Briscoe singled out for praise

The Bolton News: Tom Briscoe had a Leeds debut to remember Tom Briscoe had a Leeds debut to remember

Leeds coach Brian McDermott praised his hat-trick debutant Tom Briscoe for helping his side start the season with a 34-6 win at Hull KR.

Briscoe's treble in the second half took the game away from a Rovers side who struggled to trouble the Rhinos.

McDermott was more pleased with the work in other areas of Briscoe's game than the three tries he scored.

"When you bring someone in of Tom's calibre at this level, you don't expect him to finish those tries," McDermott said.

"But there is an expectation that he will do. The pleasing thing for me was the way he was involved in our sets coming away from our try line.

"He was hard to contain. He's a strong fellow and very robust winger with speed.

"He punches holes in the KR defence in the first half and we value that as highly as the tries.

"His strength is his strength."

McDermott admits he did not know which way the game was going to go in the second half as the teams were level 6-6 at the break.

But he was glad his side took their chances when they came their way.

"It was pleasing because it was a tough game for the first 40 minutes," McDermott said.

"We were asked a lot of questions by Hull KR who have a big set of forwards.

"At times we struggled to contain them and at half-time it was a bit scrappy but nothing had gone wrong.

"To come out of those tough performances and put points on was pleasing.

"It could have gone either way in the second half. It wasn't because of the outside backs and the tries we scored, we toughed it out. The important thing is we got the win."

Rovers coach Craig Sandercock had no complaints about the final result and said the difference between the two sides was the quality of Leeds' outside backs.

Sandercock said: "It was a good tight first-half performance but unfortunately Leeds have some world-class outside backs and they were on fire.

"We needed to be better defensively in the second half but their backs were way too good for us.

"We want to get better and the boys are working hard together.

"The fact it was a tight first half is a positive. It wasn't like Leeds came and blew us off the pitch.

"If we can play two good halves defensively then we'll do okay."

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