McDermott insists Leeds are in “good shape” despite sixth straight league defeat

Leeds coach Brian McDermott has insisted to the club’s supporters that the reigning Super League champions are in good shape despite a sixth successive league defeat on Wednesday.

The Rhinos are now just one point above the bottom four after being beaten 28-25 by ninth-placed Catalans; at one stage, they were leading 24-10 at half-time before falling to yet another loss.

But McDermott has promised that while he acknowledges they are in a difficult situation, he has insisted the Rhinos will come through the other side of their poor form.

He said: “It’s a worry, of course, but I’ve been saying most weeks when we have more of a regular team we’ll be good.

“The anxiety we had two years ago about being in the bottom-four isn’t there at the moment. I understand the supporters and everyone are concerned, but my message is: ‘we are in good shape’.”

McDermott also said he was pleased with how his young side – Leeds’ 17 had five teenagers included in it – acquitted themselves, particularly in the first half where they appeared to be on their way to ending their losing run.

“I’m pleased on a fair few levels. After the spike of enthusiasm against St Helens the challenge was to get up there again and we did,” he said.

“I thought in the first half we were really good. Our energy levels dropped in the second half. We conceded some soft tries, but that’s down to experience.”