Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott will not be cracking the whip

AFTER his team were taken apart 38-10 by Castleford Tigers at the Magic Weekend, coach Brian McDermott admitted Leeds Rhinos' injury crisis is taking a heavy toll on their Super League title defence.

Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott: Injury woes.

Leeds were without centre Liam Sutcliffe and forwards Brad Singleton, Carl Ablett and Mitch Garbutt due to injury, along with suspended front-row Anthony Mullally.

To make matters worse, full-back Jack Walker and centre Kallum Watkins sustained knee injuries, prop Nathaniel Peteru damaged a biceps and hooker Matt Parcell suffered a shoulder injury, though lack of numbers meant he had to go back on.

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McDermott described parts of Leeds’ performance as “soft”, but said the injury list made it “hard to be extremely critical of my group”. He insisted: “You might argue, if you are going to lose you should only be losing by a couple of points and you should still be in the contest.

“I agree. That has been happening, we have been losing or winning by a couple of points and I think today it just caught up with us. I thought we looked tired. We have some important people missing and when that dynamic changes and I get my front-rowers back and get them back consistently, I might be a bit more critical and examine a loss a bit more than I’m going to do.”

In contrast, Castleford coach Daryl Powell believes things are looking up.

He said: “Once we got a grip of the game we did some excellent things.

“Our left-side was particularly creative in the first half and our pack was immense.”