McDermott pleased to finish on winning note

Leeds Rhinos Head of Youth Development Barrie McDermott praised the club’s Under 18 side after they finished their season with a 58-22 win at Headingley Carnegie over the touring Australian side NSW Group 6 U18s.

The Australians were coached by former Leeds prop Harvey Howard but they were no match for a well drilled Leeds outfit.

Speaking after the game McDermott said, “I'm pleased that we managed to finish the year with a good performance and win. The Country Juniors posed a serious threat throughout the game and the 22 points we conceded gives us something to focus on and improve in the off season.

“We've been preparing for a couple of weeks for this game including our last session on the stadium pitch itself. Very rarely do the U18s get chance to train and play on the Headingley Carnegie pitch, so our thanks must go to Jason Booth and his ground staff for allowing this to be a game our boys will remember.

“Stevie Ward was awarded the man of the match in his first game back after a lengthy injury layoff. He showed some classy touches with the ball and worked tirelessly in defence.

“Other top performances were full back Josh Sunley, prop Matty Blake, loose forward Liam Suttcliffe, scrum half Ollie Olds and Centre Jordan Harper.

“The players now face what will be the hardest and longest pre-season they have experienced in preparation for next year.

“A big Thank you must go to Harvey Howard and the group 6 team for a very special experience for our younger players who I thought were outstanding. The game was played in the right spirit and our guest were very impressed with Headingley Carnegie stadium and its rich history. Well done to Chris Plume, his staff the U18’s players on a very good season and it’s always nice to beat the Aussies….!”