Headingley Carnegie Insight

In this week’s edition of Headingley Carnegie Insight, Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott looks ahead to Friday’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup fixture against Castleford Tigers.



How big of a challenge will Castleford be?

I am envisaging this to be one of our toughest games of the year.  They have already beaten us at their place earlier in the year and they will use a lot of that as a confidence boost and they will hit the ground running and we will have to be massive. Castleford will come into today’s game with a spring in their step this week following their win over Widnes last week in Super League, but in reality I think that would always have been the case, regardless of whether or not they had won that game.

How will you approach this game?

You don’t start playing a different style because it’s the Challenge Cup.  The fact we play Castleford, who are a Super League, does add a bit of continuity for us and we will approach this game in the same manner we always do. Castleford are no easy side and we know we are going to have to work hard to progress to the next round.

How pleased are you with your side’s current form?

We have had some decent wins and performances and have defended really well this year.  I am encouraged by what we are doing structurally near our try line when we are defending and also the desire we have shown.  I’m hesitant to say we are where we need to be just yet.  We have a long long way to go but we seem to be travelling in the right direction, which is good.  Against London last week, despite it being wet, I thought in the second half we switched on and came up with some very good plays and we did some nice things with the ball, but we are still losing it too much and we still have too many soft errors, but we’ll try get on top of it and fix that.