Rugby League

Brian McDermott guarding against complacency

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Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott insisted his side have not achieved anything yet despite securing top spot in the First Utility Super League ahead of the Super 8s.

The 36-22 win against Catalans on Sunday means Leeds move into the next stage of the season at the top of Super League, a point clear of second-placed St Helens.

Yet McDermott insisted nothing has been won at this stage, and played down any talk of first place after 23 rounds being an achievement - with the League Leader's Shield only presented to the side on top after the conclusion of the Super 8s.


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"We never said we needed to be top after round 23 - it's after 30 rounds which is what really matters," said McDermott. "Yes we want to be top all the time but it wasn't a target for us; we certainly haven't achieved anything yet."

McDermott reserved praise for England international Tom Briscoe, who marked his first appearance in over four months with a hat-trick.

Shoulder surgery meant the winger missed a large portion of Leeds' run towards the top of the league, but the Leeds coach paid tribute to Briscoe for how he has dealt with the lengthy lay-off.

"He was very good; to score a hat-trick he's pretty much cracked on from where he left off before the injury. It wasn't the busiest game for him but when he had ball in hand he looked good with it.

"You talk to players who've had long-term injuries and there's always levels of frustrations there. He's been out for such a long time and had to watch the team play, but he's handled himself impeccably."

As for Catalans, they finished just a point clear of the bottom four following the defeat, and still only have one win on the road to their name all year - at bottom side Wakefield. Going into the Super 8s, they are eight points behind the top four with just 14 points left to play for.

Catalans coach Laurent Frayssinous admits it will be a tough task to chase down the top four in the weeks to come, but praised his side for the fight they showed against the Rhinos.

"We challenged Leeds for 60 minutes and we didn't play that great," Frayssinous said.

"We made too many errors and that cost us in the end. But we challenged them for the most part and that's pleasing."

"It will be hard from here; you never know though. You just have to wait and see what happens. The results will matter of course, but when you play for the Dragons you're playing for the pride of the shirt no matter what. Whether it's in France or in England, we'll be tough to play."

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