Brian McDermott critical of Leeds despite win over Hull KR
Last Updated: 12/08/16 11:45pm
Brian McDermott was critical of how Leeds handled the pressure of a tough Super 8s Qualifiers clash with Hull KR despite watching his side run out 22-18 winners.
The Rhinos eased past part-time Championship side Featherstone in their opener but were pushed all the way by their Super League rivals in a tense and scrappy encounter at Headingley.
Last year's treble winners were indebted to two tries from James Segeyaro and Liam Sutcliffe's five goals as they edged to a crucial win in their battle to retain their top-flight status.
"I don't think it was the most exciting game I've ever seen and certainly wasn't the most skillful one," said McDermott, whose team have now won seven of their last eight games.
"We invited that to be a contest and I don't think it should have been. But Hull KR are fighting for the same goal as we are and they had a lot of fight about them.
"We've got to manage how we played there. While I want to pay respect to Hull KR who were a resilient team out there, I want to hold us accountable.
"We can't serve up that offense and hope not to have a nightmare every single game we play.
"We'd like for it not to be such a close game every time we play in this competition but this anxiety and pressure that comes with the middle eight, we've got to deal with it."
McDermott paid tribute to Segeyaro, who has been a key player for the Rhinos since arriving from Australia last month.
"There's a threat from dummy half which then helps Rob (Burrow) and Mags (Danny McGuire) at six and seven," said McDermott.
"His two tries ultimately got us the win tonight. They were sneaky little things as well. He had to barge through a couple of Hull KR players to score."
Rovers head coach James Webster agreed Segeyaro's influence from hooker got Leeds over the line.
"He's a good player and plays 80 minutes which helps them," said Webster.
"He's a tough little thing and scored two tries close to the tryline which were probably the telling factor between the two teams."
The Robins matched Leeds' three tries as James Greenwood, James Donaldson and George Lawler crossed after Kallum Watkins' opener, but Sutcliffe's boot proved to be the difference as Webster's men failed to build on their victory over Batley.
"It was a very spirited performance, but we made it a spirited performance with a poor completion rate," added Webster.
"I thought it was a close game and a very even game. Leeds play a very powerful game at the moment and I thought we were able to match them for long periods.
"We let two tries in from dummy half which we spoke about all week, which was disappointing. In saying that, you can't knock the boys' desire and commitment to win that game.
"We came here fully expecting to win if we put our best foot forward. While we did some outstanding things, we did some things below par and understand why we lost that game. We made too many errors."