Leeds Rhinos 6 Wakefield Wildcats 14: Derby defeat is no cause for concern – McGuire

Danny McGuire.
Danny McGuire.
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ACTING-CAPTAIN DANNY McGuire reckons Leeds Rhinos’ 14-6 loss to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in their opening pre-season hit-out is no cause for concern.

McGuire felt Wildcats deserved to win the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge, but insisted Leeds will get better in the six weeks before First Utility Super League kicks off.

“It is early and we haven’t done much practice,” McGuire said.

“I think Wakey have probably been in pre-season a bit longer than us.

“It’s how it is at this time of year, you’re just working on combinations and trying to get them right.

“We are working on a few things and we have got some key players to come back.

“We’ve a few players still out injured as well, so there’s no panic on our part.

“We need to be better than we were (on Saturday) and fix a few things up, especially skill-wise, but we will put that down to a bit of rustiness.”

McGuire added: “We aren’t getting carried away, there’s still a month before Super League starts and you don’t want to be getting burned out come the back end of the season.

“We are aware of where we’re at and we know we’ve got a few things to work on.

“We need to get some combinations right and we’ve got a new No 9 (Beau Falloon) who we need to work with.

“Unfortunately he couldn’t play many minutes, but I am sure we will improve.”

Leeds included several young players in their matchday squad and McGuire said: “They’ll benefit from the experience, being around the changing rooms and involved in the warm-up and everything.

“Being part of things at Headingley in front of a big crowd is great for them and I’m sure they’ll learn a lot from it.”

McGuire had no complaints about the result.

He said: “It was tough out there,

“The rain was pretty relentless and the pitch was heavy, but at this time of year you get those conditions.

“Wakey handled the conditions better than us. I thought they played a bit smarter and Finn and Miller both kicked well when they had opportunities.

“I thought Wakey deserved the win.”