McDermott upbeat about Leeds despite sixth straight defeat

Catalans Dragons celebrate a try against Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott says his injury-hit champions are in “good shape” despite slipping closer to the bottom four in Super League.

The Rhinos lost a sixth successive league match as they went down 28-25 at home to Catalans Dragons on Wednesday.

“The anxiety that we had a couple of years ago because of the fear of being in the bottom four is not there for us at the moment,” he said.

“When we have more of a regular team, we will be good.”

Leeds are seventh in the table, one point ahead of ninth-placed Catalans, with five games of the regular season remaining before the Super 8s.

The Headingley side are relying on youngsters, with 12 players missing for the one-point defeat by St Helens last week, but McDermott says it will be two to three weeks before his side will be approaching full strength.

“Everybody is worried where we are going to end up this season,” the 48-year-old told BBC Radio Leeds.

“The crowd are giving the players a huge amount of backing which is appreciated by the players, but I understand that they’re concerned.

“In stressful and tight games, especially when you are down on bodies, it is not easy to compose yourselves. While we are not great at the moment, we are tough.

“If one or two things go our way and one or two come back from injury, then we are good.”

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BBC Sport – Rugby League

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