McDermott: Leeds Rhinos sunk by Melbourne Storm pressure

World Club Challenge captains Kevin Sinfield and Cameron Smith
World Club Challenge captains Kevin Sinfield and Cameron Smith

Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott believes that the intense pressure Melbourne Storm exerted on his team was the key to the NRL champions’ 18-14 World Club Challenge victory at Headingley on Friday.

Rhinos were guilty of missing chances in attack but McDermott believes that the damage was done at the other end of the pitch as Storm pressure took its toll on the Super League champions.

McDermott said: “It took so much out of us to try and break them down that we didn’t take our chances at the other end.

“[Melbourne’s tries] are on the back of a lot of pressure we have soaked up.”

A penalty from skipper Cameron Smith and a try from Billy Slater gave Storm the advantage early on but a good spell from Leeds resulted in a try from Ryan Hall, converted by Kevin Sinfield.

The Rhinos skipper added a penalty to level the match at the break but Storm piled forward in the second period and tries from Jesse Bromwich and Tohu Harris, both goaled by Smith, gave Storm the upper hand.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan crossed to set up a storming finish from Leeds but Storm held out to regain the title.

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