LEEDS RHINOS might not have won in Perpignan without Rob Burrow’s impact off the substitutes’ bench, according to their coach Brian McDermott, but he looked elsewhere for his man of the match.
Burrow made an important contribution to the 38-22 victory over Catalans Dragons which lifted Leeds top of First Utility Super League, after replacing the injured Paul Aiton in the first half, but McDermott named Stevie Ward as his team’s most outstanding player.
“Rob had a huge impact,” McDermott said. “I am not sure, if he had not been on the field, we would have got the job done. Brad Singleton was very, very solid and when JP [Jamie Peacock] went back on in the second half things started to turn for us.
“He gave us some extra punch, but Stevie Ward was outstanding, very, very good. He played 80 minutes, defensively he was very solid and he has clearly got some strike.”
Leeds led 10-6 at half-time, but went 22-10 down before scoring 28 unanswered points in the final 27 minutes to record their fourth successive win in France.
“It was a tough game,” McDermott reflected. “I thought it was a great game and Catalans played really well. They will have their moments when they felt they were patchy, as did we, but I thought it was a very good game, between two teams that attack and defend very well. I was really pleased to get that win against a team that could have been very, very good had we not been as resilient defensively. We had to defend extremely well to keep them out.”