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Challenge Cup: Brian McDermott salutes Jamie Peacock after Leeds beat Castleford
Leeds coach Brian McDermott paid tribute to prop Jamie Peacock following the 28-12 victory over Castleford in their Challenge Cup fourth round clash.
The 35-year-old former England captain led from the front for the Rhinos as they rallied from 12-10 down after an hour and McDermott believes Peacock can add another Man of Steel award to his 2003 honour.
"Jamie has been absolutely immense this year for us," McDermott said.
"I know it's far too early to be talking about Man of Steel but, if you were to choose it now, I'm sure he would be among the top one or two contenders."
McDermott also praised Castleford's performance under caretaker coach Danny Orr.
"Had we converted some of our early scoring opportunities into tries, we may have had more breathing space but I still think Cas would have thrown everything at us," he said.
"They were the factor in how competitive that game was. We needed to be very good defensively to stop them."
Orr said: "I can't fault their effort, it was absolutely outstanding. To come here and play the way we did, I'm actually quite proud of them.
"The first half went according to plan. We knew they would come out strong but we weathered the storm and got on top.
"They probably raised their game a bit in the second half and we didn't go with them. We gifted them a lot of field possession and, if you do that against Leeds, they will punish you.
"But there were a lot of positives for us, we were not far off tonight."Contest The Final 2013. Click here to bet.