6th July 2018, 12:17 | Leeds
As the dust settles from Brian McDermott’s sacking, the next question on Leeds Rhinos’ fans mind was an obvious one, ‘who is going to be our next coach?’
His side slumped to seven successive Super League defeats, the first of those defeats coming against Warrington Wolves, since then, they have helped Catalans Dragons’ revival after a home and away defeat to the French side.
Like others I woke up to the news on Monday in shock, however, a club of Rhinos’ magnitude should be battling to be the best, and simply put, this year, they have been far from good enough.
Does that reciprocate the sacking of one of, if not the greatest coach in Super League’s history, that is one question that has been and will be debated over the coming weeks.
In 2016, McDermott’s side were the reigning champions of the Super League and Grand Final, his side ended the 2016 season in ninth position and were knocked out of the Challenge Cup in the sixth round.
Following their disastrous 2016 campaign, Rhinos’ grit and determination was back to clinch the 2017 Betfred Super League title, and appear in the Challenge Cup semi-final, although this season has been far from good enough, McDermott’s record proves he and his side know how to bounce back.
This year has been tough for Rhinos, 27-year-old Kallum Watkins suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury during Magic Weekend and will miss the rest of the season, while McDermott has had to juggle his squad because of more injuries.
During his eight-year spell at the club, McDermott won four grand finals, two challenge cups, a League Leaders’ Shield and one World Club Challenge.
I’m sure the majority of Super League clubs would not complain about winning a Grand Final every two years.
McDermott’s exit might have the desired positive effect; Rhinos may just have a sting in their tail when they travel to Castleford Tigers on Sunday, reviving Rhinos’ season will be a tough job, following in the footsteps of Brian McDermott will be even harder for their new men, Kevin Sinfield MBE and James Lowes.
Sinfield’s record for Rhinos? Seven Super League’s, three World Cup Challenge’s, two Challenge Cups – he’s home.