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Injuries a worry for Rhinos ahead of semi

Leeds coach Brian McDermott admits his side are walking wounded ahead of next week's play-off semi-finals after a bruising win over St Helens on Friday.
Injuries a worry for Rhinos ahead of semi
by AAP

By Charlie Talbot-Smith

LONDON, Sept 21 AFP - Leeds coach Brian McDermott admits his side are walking wounded ahead of next week's play-off semi-finals after a bruising win over St Helens on Friday.

Danny McGuire's dramatic late drop-goal helped the defending Super League champions edge out Saints 11-10 at Headingley in an enthralling preliminary semi-final.

Kallum Watkins and Joel Moon both crossed for tries either side of half-time, with Kevin Sinfield adding one conversion to put hosts Leeds 10-0 to the good.

But back came Nathan Brown's Saints and Willie Manu, formerly of the West Tigers in the NRL, grabbed a try double, the second in the 71st minute.

Jordan Turner converted the first try but his effort after Manu's second from wide out on the left touchline flashed across the face of the posts to leave the scores level.

And McGuire, who has had a miserable season with injury, held his nerve to slot the winning one-pointer.

But with Sunday's club call still to come meaning either Wigan or Warrington await Leeds in the final four, McDermott knows he has a fight on his hands to get his side all fully fit.

"I'm extremely proud of my players, to be honest I feel a bit humble, I'm a lucky bloke to be in charge of such a great group of lads," he said.

"Both teams out there have had their fair share of injuries this season and neither team were really match fit.

"That might have contributed to the way the game was played but it was fantastic to watch and now we will go down (on Sunday) and see which coin gets tossed."

On Thursday, Huddersfield secured their place in the final four with a record-breaking 76-18 win over Hull FC that delighted coach Paul Anderson.

The Giants, who won the League Leader's Shield this season, bounced back from their defeat by Wigan on the opening weekend of the play-offs and ran riot with 13 tries at the John Smith's Stadium.

Luke Robinson touched down four times, all in the first half, in the romp while five-eighth Danny Brough showed why he is the favourite for the Man of Steel with 12 conversions from 13.




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