Saints have ‘had our number’ says McDermott

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Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott has challenged his side to end their dire form against 
St Helens.

That sounds like an oxymoron given the West Yorkshire club have defeated their rivals in four of the last six Grand Finals.

But Leeds’s displays against them in the regular season have been a different matter.

On their previous visit to Langtree Park last March they were embarrassed 46-6 when all the post-match discourse surrounded whether the champions’ bleached red hair in aid of Sport Relief had caused their downfall.

There have been other defeats, too, with Leeds not prospering away since 2008 and also losing their last two home fixtures against Saints.

“It is fair to say that 
St Helens have done a job on us in the last four meetings between the sides and for the last two seasons we have not performed well against them,” conceded McDermott.

“Some of that is down to Saints playing well but of course we have not produced a good enough performance in those four games.

“In recent years, because of the history between the sides, people have talked up the game beforehand as being a great contest but unfortunately we haven’t played our part and have been rolled over by Saints.

“Saints have made a good start to the season and I’m sure Nathan Brown will be evolving the team into his side throughout the season.

“In Jonny Lomax they have a very exciting talent and someone who has already made his mark on the new competition.

“We are certainly ready for a big performance after last week and looking forward to it.”

He is seeking an immediate response after the disappointment of their narrow failure against Melbourne Storm in the World Club Challenge.

Someone desperate to make his mark is prop Richard Moore, who was left out for that game against the Australians.

“I know he was miffed to miss out on the World Club Challenge having played well against Salford the previous week,” said McDermott.

“He will get his chance this week and I’m sure he’ll be ready for another big performance.

“Ryan Bailey has an outside chance of being right for Friday night but we will be advised by the medical team as to whether he is ready to go or will need another week.”