Leeds ordered 'to put heads where it hurts'

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The Independent Online

The Leeds coach Brian McDermott has given his players a simple message before today's game against Warrington. The Rhinos were beaten at home last weekend by Harlequins, more emphatically than the 36-26 scoreline showed.

Asked what needed to improve this week, McDermott was unequivocal yesterday. "To put it simply: defence," he said. "It was just a case that we didn't front up on the night. We didn't put our heads where it hurts and do the things you have to do to stop a side scoring."

For the match at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, he will be without the ultra-reliable prop, Kylie Leuluai, who is suffering with a pectoral injury, but he should have Brent Webb and Carl Ablett available to him.

Warrington should be unchanged, but must guard against a reaction after last week beating St Helens for the first time in 10 years.

Saints themselves are at the Catalan Dragons today, with Leon Pryce on the team-sheet for the first time this season after recovering from his neck injury.

There will be at least as much interest in how his half-back partner Kyle Eastmond performs in his first match since confirming that he is joining Bath at the end of this season. His coach, Royce Simmons, will want to see some concrete evidence of the commitment to Saints' cause he has promised between now and then.

The Catalans are still without Thomas Bosc and Clint Greenshields – arguably their two best players – but will be boosted by having come from behind to secure their first win of the season at Hull KR last weekend.

This weekend also sees the third round of the Challenge Cup, with its mixture of amateur and professional clubs. Among the more intriguing ties are Egremont Rangers' long trip from Cumbria to play the London Skolars and Leigh Miners Rangers' home game against Barrow.

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