Tetley's Challenge Cup fifth round: Mixed emotions for Brian McDermott after Rob Burrow blow
Last Updated: 27/04/14 7:38am
A broken collarbone suffered by Rob Burrow has taken some gloss off Leeds Rhinos' 32-12 win over St Helens in the fifth round of the Tetley's Challenge Cup.
In an all-Super League clash, the Rhinos raced in five tries on their way to securing a quarter-final berth as they inflicted a third successive defeat on Saints.
Victory came at a cost however as 31-year-old former England scrum-half Burrow went off after 64 minutes clutching his shoulder.
"He's broken his collarbone so that's not good," Rhinos coach Brian McDermott confirmed after the match.
"I'm being told by the physio that it's - 12 weeks - but I always try to shave a couple of weeks off that."
Burrow, who made his 400th appearance for the club over Easter, has been an ever-present force in the Rhinos' campaign so far and McDermott admits it will be difficult to replace such a pivotal figure.
Not so excited
"There are some things going around in my head at the moment but I'll have to give that some thought," McDermott added.
Full-back Zak Hardaker scored two first-half tries to put the Rhinos on their way to a deserved victory and Joel Moon, Danny McGuire and Jamie Peacock also graced the scorecard, but McDermott is less concerned by the style of Leeds' display.
"I'm not so excited about the performance," he said. "Our desire in defence got us that game.
"I wouldn't say that has been the greatest performance from us, certainly not with the ball. The second half was very scrappy but I'd that down to nerves.
"There was a huge amount resting on today. There had to be a loser of two teams who have a massive expectation.
"We certainly played nervous and I reckon Saints would admit to that as well. I'm absolutely ecstatic to be in the next round but will have to be a lot better to progress further in this competition."
Although Hardaker took the scoring honours, the man-of-the-match award went to winger Ryan Hall, who set up one of the full-back's tries and caused Saints all sorts of problems with his powerful running out of defence.
"Some of the things Ryan Hall did defensively probably got us the game," McDermott said. "They asked a huge amount of questions of him and he answered them."
St Helens also sustained an injury blow, with former Leeds prop Kyle Amor going off with a knee problem, while a third consecutive defeat threatens to undermine their flying start to the season.
"Once again we started the first set with a dropped ball and we were defending our tryline for a fair period," Saints head coach Nathan Brown said.
"Defensively I thought we handled them pretty well until that try just before half-time which was quite crucial.
"We let ourselves down a little bit with a flow of our attack. Our game management was just so-so."