Rhinos coach expects improvement

Brian McDermott 11463468Leeds coach Brian McDermott feels his side “are not there yet” but expects an improvement over the coming weeks (Leeds 13/8 – Challenge Cup outright).

The Rhinos bounced back from consecutive Super League defeats to Warrington and Huddersfield with a 38-28 win at Widnes last time out and McDermott was satisfied with the performance.

Leeds face Warrington in a Challenge Cup semi-finals at the start of August and McDermott hopes his side have hit top form by the time they take on the Wolves.

“We are still taking stock of the last four, five or maybe six games and reviewing and progressing and improving and building from there,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“We are not there yet. If we had to play a really big game tomorrow, a must-win game, I don’t think we’d be ready.

“But we have got another few weeks before we reach the (Challenge Cup) semi-final, to be in good shape, to get our combinations right, to get people back to being match fit, to get some blokes back from injury.”

Leeds have had to cope without the suspended Zak Hardaker of late and McDermott feels the Rhinos’ performances will start to pick up when the fullback makes his return.

He added: “Zak Hardaker comes back (from suspension) in three games’ time and he will have to find his feet and the team will have to find their feet with him.

“There’s a few things we have got going on at the moment and it would be wrong to highlight one area and say we have got to get that right.”

Leeds take on Catalan Dragons in Super League on Sunday and can be backed at 1/5 to secure the win and 10/11 to come out on top with a -14 handicap.

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