young stand-off Liam Sutcliffe received a pat on the back from coach Brian McDermott following Leeds Rhinos’ 26-12 win at Castleford Tigers.
Sutcliffe, 20, stood in for injured captain Kevin Sinfield for the third successive game, all of which Leeds have won.
Sinfield has announced he will leave Leeds at the end of the year, to switch codes with Yorkshire Carnegie and Sutcliffe is viewed as a leading candidate to be his long-term replacement.
“Between him and Danny McGuire I thought they did very well,” said McDermott of his half-back partnership.
“Danny has been good since the start of the year. On a couple of occasions I thought Sutty might have found a pass of tried a speculator, but he didn’t.
“He kept it nice and tight and got down and played it and we get to find out if they are good enough on the next play.”
McDermott added: “As a team we had to be really controlled. Although we did play with the ball and got some offloads and punched some holes into Castleford, it was all under control.
“There weren’t too many unrealistic passes. It needed to be like that and Sutty and Magsy needed to be in control of what they did, or Castleford would have got the ball in good field position.
“They are a good team with the ball and hard to defend.”
Leeds’s win lifted them two points clear of St Helens at the top of the Super League table.
Castleford have slipped into Super League’s bottom four and their coach Daryl Powell admitted they were second-best.
He said: “I don’t think we ever really got our game together. I thought Leeds were the better side consistently
“Leeds were excellent, I thought they played well and put us under pressure.
“They made big metres on us and were just the better side I thought, over most of the 80 minutes. It was disappointing.”