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McDermott set for 'big task'
Leeds boss has work to do after big loss at Giants
Leeds coach Brian McDermott admits his side face a 'big task' following their crushing 48-24 defeat at seventh-placed Huddersfield.
The reigning Super League champions were looking to build momentum going into the play-offs but were trailing 48-10 at one stage at the John Smith's Stadium.
Even three tries in the last six minutes failed to mask their failings as the fifth-placed Rhinos prepare for the visit of in-form Wakefield in next Saturday's elimination play-off.
McDermott admits he must pick up his troops quickly ahead of the clash.
"We've a job on with Wakefield next week," he said. "I'm sure Richard Agar will be looking at that and rubbing his hands together. We've a big task."
Leeds could go into that tie without prop forward Ian Kirke, who is in hospital after being knocked out in a tackle by Huddersfield's Luke O'Donnell, and second rower Brett Delaney, who went off with a shoulder injury.
"Ian Kirke lost consciousness for a few minutes," McDermott said. "He wasn't in great shape so they've taken him to hospital for a check-up."
McDermott said he did not see the incident which led to O'Donnell being sent off by referee Thierry Alibert for an alleged deliberate use of the forearm on Kirke.
Alibert initially allowed play to continue and issued a warning to O'Donnell during a 10-minute stoppage while Kirke received treatment on the field.
The Australian forward was then replaced by substitute Larne Patrick but several minutes later was recalled to the field by the referee and, once Kirke had been carried from the field on a stretcher, was shown the red card.
Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson criticised Alibert's actions and remains confident O'Donnell will be available for his side's play-off tie at Hull next Sunday.
"My take on it was that he was initially put on report for a high tackle and sent off retrospectively," Anderson said. "I don't agree with it.
"Can you send somebody off because you think something has happened five or six minutes after it took place?
"I appreciate the bloke was hurt and I wish him well but it's a physical game and from the footage I believe it was a clash of heads."
Huddersfield were leading 10-0 at that stage after newly-appointed captain Danny Brough had created tries for Leroy Cudjoe and Luke George. They went on to make light of their numerical disadvantage, stretching their lead to 22-6 at half-time.
Brough finished the game with 20 points from a crucial opportunist try on the stroke of half-time and eight goals as Huddersfield completed their first league double over Leeds for more than half a century.
"The Giants got hold of that game early," admitted McDermott. "It was never a contest after 10 minutes and the try just before half-time was a big one in terms of momentum.
"We lost Ian Kirke and Brett Delaney and it caught up with us in the second half. We showed some resilience and I thought we had some outstanding performers. Jamie Peacock was absolutely immense."
Centre Kallum Watkins scored two tries in the last six minutes as Leeds added a touch of respectability to the final scoreline but Anderson was furious over his side's late collapse as he looks towards next Sunday's play-off clash at Hull FC.
"The last 15 minutes didn't impress me at all," he said. "It's something we're going to be looking at.
"For 65 minutes I was over the moon but then some people clocked off.
"But our effort in regard to the circumstances was outstanding and that's a compliment to our forwards and the conditioners."
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Catalan Dragons 28 - 6 Castleford|
|London Broncos 36 - 46 Bradford|
|Friday 12th September|
|Salford 36 - 6 Widnes|
|Huddersfield 17 - 16 St Helens|
|Hull 24 - 19 Leeds|
|Thursday 11th September|
|Wigan 24 - 20 Warrington|
|Sunday 7th September|
|Castleford 26 - 22 Wakefield|
|Hull K R 14 - 32 Catalan Dragons|
|Bradford 12 - 32 Widnes|
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