McDermott: Should have done better
Leeds coach laments disappointing effort despite absence of key men
Last Updated: July 30, 2012 11:10pm
Brian McDermott: Line-up was good enough to beat Wakefield
Brian McDermott put a brave face of Leeds Rhinos' 38-18 Super League defeat at Wakefield on Monday night.
The head coach will be hoping it is only a hiccup en route to next month's Challenge Cup final as they slipped to their first defeat in seven matches.
Wakefield, who had already lost twice to their arch rivals this season, led 18-4 at the break and thoroughly deserved to make it third-time lucky after outscoring their visitors by seven tries to four.
"Wakefield came out of the blocks a lot better," McDermott said. "They were gifted field position from some errors from us.
"A bit of ill-discipline early gave them that field position which created the tries."
Leeds clearly missed the creativity of suspended half-back Danny McGuire, while Brett Delaney, Carl Ablett and Ryan Bailey were also absent from their likely Wembley line-up, but McDermott did not seek to make excuses.
"We didn't have our best team out there, but the team that was out there was more than good enough to beat Wakefield had we managed the game a lot better," he said.
"Credit to Wakefield, they didn't let that happen. We missed the blokes that weren't in the team, but that's not why we lost."
Leeds threatened to turn the game on its head when Hall twice collected Kevin Sinfield's kicks to the corner early in the second half to haul his side back into contention, but Wakefield finished the stronger team.
"I think we were creating chances right through the game," said Wildcats coach Richard Agar.
"The worry for us was that we let a couple of opportunities slip and we know there is no better team at posting quick back-to-back tries.
"Their first try came from an intercept but we didn't go into our shell and for the second successive week defended all right.
"I thought defensively we were pretty good and we played some entertaining football. The key was that we played to our strengths.
"One of our goals if we can't make the play-offs was to be a good, competitive team and we've showed that we're a handful for any team when we see enough of the ball."