McDermott: Rhinos' Grand Final hopes slipping


Brian McDermott has conceded a top-four finish may be out of Leeds Rhinos' reach after their fourth Super League defeat in a row at the Magic Weekend.

The defending champions have been a shadow of their former selves this season with only three wins from 15 matches, leaving McDermott's side bottom on six points.

After exiting the Challenge Cup to Huddersfield Giants earlier this month Leeds have since lost heavily to Castleford Tigers and were easily beaten 40-8 by Wigan Warriors on Saturday.

McDermott still harbours hopes of reaching the Grand Final despite his side's form, but he acknowledges Leeds' objectives for the season have changed.

"I think there are some special things to do at the end of this year, but the objectives shift as weeks go by and you keep losing games," he told a media conference.

"I don't know whether I am giving up on the Grand Final, I don't think I am but numerically we might be out of touch at the moment.

"We didn't give in [against Wigan] and there's some things to work with, something good for the future."

Leeds' injury worries show no signs of easing, though, with only Rob Burrow likely to be fit in time for the league clash with Warrington Wolves next Friday.

He added: "There's a chance of Rob Burrow [being fit], he tweaked his calf against Cass [Castleford].

"I don't think Carl Ablett, Stevie Ward, Tom Briscoe, Ryan Hall or Joel Moon will be ready. There's a shimmer at the end of the tunnel but probably not a light for them."