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Leeds looking forward to Langtree Park return, says boss Brian McDermott
7:20am Friday 1st March 2013 in Latest News
LEEDS Rhinos boss Brian McDermott probably does not need reminding about the last time he brought his team to Langtree Park.
Last March red-mopped Leeds turned up expecting to see off a Saints side that had struggled at the start of the campaign – and ended up getting trounced.
In fact Saints did the double over the Rhinos last term, a point not lost on the Leeds boss.
McDermott said: “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.
“Some of that is down to Saints playing well but of course we have not produced a good enough performance in those four games. Saints have made a good start to the season and I am sure Nathan Brown will be evolving the team into his side throughout the season.
“In Jonny Lomax they have a very exciting talent and someone who has already made his mark on the new competition. We are looking forward to going back to Langtree Park, it is a well designed stadium and does not feel like a new venue which shows that a lot of care and attention went into its construction to make it feel like home for St Helens.”
As far as his team is concerned, McDermott revealed that Saints bogey-figure Ryan Bailey has an outside chance of being right for the game.
McDermott added: “We will be advised by the medical team as to whether he is ready to go or will need another week. Richard Moore is back in contention and I know he was miffed to miss out on the World Club Challenge last week having played well against Salford the previous week.
“He will get his chance this week and I am sure he will be ready for another big performance. Otherwise we are pretty much as we were last week for the Melbourne game.
“Everyone was a bit down after the game and on Saturday but when we reviewed the game on Monday, you are able to see the match in a different light and we played really well. We opened up Melbourne on a number of occasions, which not many sides will do against the Storm, and we pushed them all the way. Whilst no one will ever be satisfied with a loss at the Rhinos, we were able to take encouragement from our performance.”
Just like his Saints counterpart Nathan Brown, McDermott expects the game to match the star billing of previous encounters and is looking forward to it.
“In recent years, because of the history between the sides, people have talked up the game beforehand as being a great contest but unfortunately we haven't played our part and have been rolled over by Saints.
“We are certainly ready for a big performance after last week and looking forward to it.
“Given the magnitude of last week's game and the effort the players put in, this week has been good and we have always known that we have Saints next up and that is what our focus is now on,” he said.