Pressure mounts on McDermott

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott.

Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington appears to have given Head Coach Brian McDermott the month of March to save his job at Headingley.

After massively underperforming 2016, the seven-time Super League Champions finished outside the play-off places in a nightmare title defence.

Hetherington stood by McDermott throughout the whole campaign but after Thursday’s record 66-10 defeat away to Castleford, the Rhinos CEO appears to be finally losing his patience.

“We are not stubborn enough to believe no change is always the best option. But equally we don’t make knee-jerk decisions and any actions have to be carefully thought out with the only consideration of ‘what’s in the best interests of the club now and in the future’.”

With two wins and two defeats from their first four matches, the biggest criticism has been of a faltering Leeds attack which has yet to post more than 20 points in a game.

Their defence had been a strong point up until Thursday when the Tigers registered 12 tries, and now Hetherington has recognised changes may need to be made if March doesn’t go to plan.

He added: “This month is an important one with games against Catalans Dragons, Wakefield Trinity, Huddersfield Giants and Wigan Warriors and at its end we will be in a much better position to make an accurate judgement on the performance of all our players, coaching staff and senior management including myself.”