Leeds v Warrington: Rhinos coach confident that best is yet to come

BRIAN McDERMOTT: Says it would be asking too much for Leeds to remain unbeaten.
BRIAN McDERMOTT: Says it would be asking too much for Leeds to remain unbeaten.
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IT may alarm their rivals but Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott – whose side sit five points clear at the top of Super League – says his players still have far more improvement in them.

They will seek a seventh consecutive win when they host Warrington Wolves this evening, ironically the only team to defeat the West Yorkshire club in their 11 games this season,

Leeds’ most impressive performance was a resounding 41-16 victory at champions St Helens a week ago yet McDermott believes they are capable of much more.

“I thought Castleford over Easter was a great performance and St Helens probably equalled – if not bettered – that as our best performance of the year,” he said.

“But I don’t think I’m being crazy when I say there’s some improvement in us. Of course there is. We conceded too many breaks, Saints came back at us and threw everything. Some of the resilience and determination we showed to not let them score was great but how they started their sets, we weren’t in control of that.”

With just a dozen games to go, some people have suggested Leeds could go the rest of the regular season unbeaten.

McDermott said: “That’s a big ask – there’s some very good teams out there.

“In reality, we will probably drop another game before the end of the year, at least one.

“That’s not me trying to not be ambitious, it’s the reality of it. That’s not to say we can’t aspire to win every game we play, but the reality is we probably won’t.”

Strangely, since defeating Leeds on March 13, Warrington have lost their way somewhat and won just one of six matches.

But McDermott insisted: “They have had a good run against us in recent years and are a good team.

“They are having a rough ride at the moment, but we always prepare for a good version of what’s coming to Headingley.

“I’m sure they’ll be doing everything to make sure they can perform and if they do they are a really challenging team.

“That’s something we have to be ready for. Every team goes through a bit of a (poor) period and they’re having theirs.

“There’s no doubt they will get it together. They’ve got too many quality players there, who’ve been there, seen it and done it.”