Salford 14-46 Leeds: Jack Walker treble helps Rhinos rout Red Devils

17 Feb

Jack Walker grabbed a hat-trick of tries as Leeds got their Super League campaign up and running with a 46-14 thrashing of previously unbeaten Salford.

The Rhinos, under new coach David Furner, had lost their opening two games of the season at Warrington and Wigan but got off the mark in convincing fashion at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Jack Walker

Leeds’ 19-year-old full-back Walker led the way with three tries, while centre Konrad Hurrell crossed twice and Matt Parcell, Ash Handley and Adam Cuthbertson also touched down, with Tuimoala Lolohea kicking seven goals.

In reply Salford, who went into the contest as Super League leaders, claimed tries through Joey Lussick and Josh Jones and three goals from Ken Sio.

The Red Devils were unchanged from the side that beat London Broncos 24-0, while Leeds made two changes from the defeat at Wigan as Cameron Smith and Brad Singleton came into the squad.

Salford opened the scoring after just seven minutes when hooker Lussick darted over from dummy half and Sio converted.

But the visitors took control of the game with three tries in a stunning five-minute spell minute midway through the first half.

Cuthbertson collected Trent Merrin’s offload to crash over from close range and then a superb midfield break by Kallum Watkins saw him send the supporting Walker in under the posts for the full-back’s first try.

And when Salford put the restart out on the full it gave the Rhinos the position from which to claim another try as Lolohea’s kick was touched down by Hurrell.

Lolohea landed all three conversions as an entertaining half ended with the visitors holding a 12-point lead.

David Furner

Salford reduced that deficit to just six points four minutes after the restart when on the sixth tackle Josh Jones manged to burrow through some poor defending to touch down and Sio converted.

But the home side were reduced to 12-men when Jansin Turgut was sent to the sin-bin for retaliation which caused a minor skirmish and Lolohea booted over the resulting penalty to make it 20-12.

A Sio penalty cut the Rhinos’ lead to six points but Hurrell’s second try of the game was followed four minutes later by a Parcell score.

Walker then claimed two tries in three minutes to complete his hat-trick and Handley also touched down to complete the rout.

Leeds Rhinos sack Brian McDermott following seventh successive Super League defeat

2 Jul

Brian McDermott has been sacked by Leeds Rhinos after a club record seven successive Super League losses.

McDermott has been in charge since October 2010, when he succeeded Brian McClennan, and he went on to guide Leeds to glory in four Grand Finals, as well as two Challenge Cups and a World Club Challenge.

McDermott has been in charge for a little short of eight years

The Rhinos were crowned league champions last October but have endured a chastening run in recent weeks, and a 46-8 loss to Wigan last Thursday left them clinging to a top-eight place.

“It is always disappointing to announce the departure of someone who has contributed so much to our club’s success and Brian McDermott has certainly done that,” chief executive Gary Hetherington said.

McDermott was backed when Leeds dropped into the Qualifiers two years ago and they responded by retaining their top-flight place before toppling Castleford in last season’s Grand Final.

However, they have had to cope with another injury crisis this year – at one point they had 12 senior players on the sidelines – and have not won in the league since beating Hull KR at the end of April.

Hetherington added: “Brian is a man of the utmost integrity and passion for rugby league. He has so much to offer the sport and I have no doubt he will go on to achieve more success in the future. Leeds Rhinos will be forever indebted to his contribution.

“The club’s most successful coach has also helped to forge a rugby operation with toughness, resilience and a strong desire to succeed, which his successor will inherit. That search will now begin in earnest.

“Eight years is a long time for any head coach at the same club and we have enjoyed much success and endured some difficult times along the way when tough decisions had to be made.

“We have always come through strongly but I do believe our present predicament requires change and that this is the right call for the club.”

McDermott had been the league’s longest-serving coach and the defeat to the Warriors last week was his 265th game in charge.

The 48-year-old former Bradford and Great Britain prop had been confident Leeds were “going to come good” in the closing weeks of the season.

He leaves them eighth in the standings ahead of Sunday’s trip to Castleford while they have reached the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup and will face Warrington on August 5.

McDermott said: “I am extremely disappointed this has happened and obviously it is not a decision I agree with.

“I wish everyone at the club the best and my thoughts will be with the team on Sunday and through to the end of the season.”