McDermott turns focus to Saints
Leeds coach Brian McDermott is confident there will be no World Club Challenge hangover when his side return to Super League action at St Helens.
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McDermott feared in the immediate aftermath of the Rhinos' 18-14 defeat by Melbourne last Friday that it would take some time for the wounds to heal but, on reflection, now believes there were lots of positives to take into their league campaign.
"Everyone was a bit down after the game but, when we reviewed the game on Monday, we were able to see the match in a different light and we played really well," he said.
"We opened up Melbourne on a number of occasions, which not many sides will do, and we pushed them all the way.
"Whilst no one at the Rhinos will ever be satisfied with a loss, we were able to take encouragement from our performance.
"We have always known that we have Saints next up and that is what our focus is now on."
St Helens have won their last five home meetings with Leeds and the Rhinos have particularly painful memories of a 46-6 hammering on their first visit to Langtree Park last March, when the Leeds players were left red-faced after dying their hair for charity.
"I think it is fair to say that St Helens have done a job on us in the last four meetings between the two sides and for the last two seasons we have not performed well against them," McDermott admitted.
"We are certainly ready for a big performance after last week and are looking forward to it."
After making a disappointing start to the season under new coach Nathan Brown, Saints got their campaign up and running with an impressive win at Bradford last week and he is hoping for more improvement against the champions.
"I'm sure we will improve again," Brown said. "History says that this club gets up for games against Leeds, Wigan and Warrington and I'm sure the effort will be good and we will improve this week.
"It will be a good challenge. They are a good side and did the English competition proud against Melbourne too."
Salford will be looking to make it back-to-back wins when they host bottom club London Broncos on Friday night.
City Reds coach Phil Veivers is content to change a winning team following the arrival of forward Vic Mauro and half-back Liam Foran from Manly Sea Eagles.
The pair arrived in Manchester on Wednesday after a 24-hour flight from Sydney but will go straight into the City Reds' line-up.
"They will play," Veivers said. "They're keen and I'm keen so we'll see how they go. I had to make two changes any way because Lee Jewitt is suspended and Rhys Williams has gone back to Warrington so they go straight into those slots."
Foran will provide competition for young half-back Marc Sneyd, who produced a man-of-the-match display in the dramatic 38-34 win over Hull KR last Sunday.
"He went good but the club has never had competition for places," Veivers added.
"They need to be competitive on a weekly basis. We probably need two more players to fatten out the squad a little bit more."
The City Reds' last-gasp win over Hull KR leaves the Broncos as the only team without a point but Veivers is wary of the threat they pose.
"They've got some quality players in their line-up and might have Tony Clubb coming back this week," he said.
"They've got some big forwards that rumble up the field, some pretty canny half-backs and they've definitely got speed on the fringes. We need to be on our guard."