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McDermott - Saints were great
Rush full of praise for his Saints after "tinkering" with line-up
It was absolutely not about the red hair and to call us completely unprofessional is bang out of order.
Quotes of the week
Leeds coach Brian McDermott admitted his side had no answer to a red-hot St Helens at Langtree Park on Sunday evening.
Boosted by the return from injury of James Roby and Jonny Lomax, Saints ran in eight tries in a 46-6 rout of the reigning Stobart Super League champions.
Lomax himself bagged two tries in the opening half, with the hosts - now under the leadership of the interim coaching pair of Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham - scoring 24 points inside the opening quarter.
The Rhinos did avoid being shut out with a second-half try from Zak Hardaker, giving McDermott a crumb of comfort at the end of a tough 80 minutes.
"St Helens were great," he said. "They played too fast and beat us off the ground.
"They had some motivation to be good tonight. They were unrecognisable from the team that played in the last three or four weeks.
"We clearly weren't right from the off. We were in freefall and found it hard to get back. Once you've lost massive momentum, it's hard to get back.
"But we didn't give in. We kept a bit of integrity and that enables us to move on to next week."
McDermott was also quick to defend his players for dying their hair bright red as part of their fundraising efforts for Sport Relief, insisting the move made no difference to their performance.
"We're doing that for a fantastic cause," he told the post-match press conference. "A few people had a giggle and that was over and done with.
"It was absolutely not about the red hair and to call us completely unprofessional is bang out of order."
Caretaker head coach Rush, meanwhile, was quick to praise his team after they ended a difficult week for the club on a real high.
Saints sacked Royce Simmons on Monday after defeat at Bradford last weekend meant they had suffered their worst ever start to a season in the Super League era.
"I think you put that one down to the players," Rush, who doesn't want the job permanently, said. "They really understood where the club was and what position we were in. Obviously they've looked long and hard at themselves.
"The shock of losing their head coach and assistant coach has really hit home with them that they need to fix it up.
"Maybe being at home and playing against a really big team was a good thing, it really focused the mind.
"We tinkered with a few things and moving Lance (Hohaia) to half made a bit of a difference."
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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