McGuire opens up on McDermott exit from Leeds
Hull KR star Danny McGuire admits the time was probably right for his ex-boss Brian McDermott to leave his beloved Leeds – and says he could see the Rhinos becoming ‘stale’ in their performances.
The Robins playmaker lifted four Super League titles under McDermott’s guidance before his move to KCOM Craven Park for the 2018 campaign ended his long-standing Headingley association.
Equally, McDermott’s time came to an end at the start of this week as Leeds slipped to their seventh-straight defeat, their worst ever run and the manager was sacked.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, McGuire revealed his thoughts on the shocking departure of the competition’s longest-serving boss and Leeds’ most successful manager.
“I’m probably not surprised, if I’m honest. Leeds have lost seven on the bounce and that’s pretty tough to take for a club of their stature,” said McGuire.
“The timing is probably a bit of an issue now. Is someone going to be ready to jump in? I think it’s pretty crucial that there is someone in charge in this period of time.
Danny McGuire’s glittering career at Leeds Rhinos
A fresh-faced Danny McGuire’s first photo as a Leeds Rhinos professional ahead of the 2002 campaign. The legacy he would leave at Headingley was just beginning.
McGuire scores the winning try for Leeds in the 2004 Grand Final when beating Bradford Bulls at Old Trafford.
A historic Great Britain series saw victory in Australia over the fierce enemy, and McGuire played his part in the Tri Nations that year.
Again, McGuire is influential as Leeds overcome St Helens at Old Trafford to lift the Grand Final trophy once more.
Completing their third successive Grand Final win, McGuire celebrates with Rob Burrow and Kylie Leuluai
McGuire is stretchered off against Wigan Warriors, suffering a long-term knee injury.
Returning to success at Old Trafford, McGuire started at scrum-half in the 32-16 victory over St Helens
Another trophy in the cabinet as McGuire lifts the Grand Final silverware, beating Warrington in 2012.
The treble was complete as Leeds lift the World Club Series, Challenge Cup and Super League trophies. McGuire was part of history at the Rhinos.
“What Mac’s achieved at Leeds has been phenomenal really but I believe there is always a time when the coach’s time is up.
“When you get the same sort of style and same messages every week I think it can become a little bit stale. A freshen up for the lads and everyone at the club will be good for the team.”
Leeds’ last victory came ironically over McGuire’s Rovers side, with the lookout now on for a new manager with the Rhinos on the verge of slipping into the bottom four.
But McGuire believes Leeds will be first wanting a reaction from the players before finding the fresh face that will take the Headingley reins.
“I think Gary (Hetherington, Rhinos chairman) is probably looking more for a reaction from the players,” McGuire said. “I actually think it’s not great timing but again when is it good timing to get rid of tour management.
“I think he’ll be looking for the players to come together and, in my time there, it was very player-led.
“It’s sport isn’t it? If results aren’t what the club needs or the club and fans demand then changes have to be made. But Mac’s still got a lot to give the game.
“Although he might take a bit of time out now I think he’ll definitely get back involved again as he’s too good a coach not to.”
Saints deny Barba ‘homesickness’
St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus says reports suggesting star full-back Ben Barba will seek an early release on compassionate grounds are “irresponsible” and “incorrect”.
The red hot favourite for this year’s Steve Prescott Man of Steel award has been regularly linked with a return to Australia despite being contracted to Saints until the end of 2019.
McManus issued a statement on the matter in May, but the latest report – which appeared on the NRL website – claimed that Barba’s partner Ainslie Currie is suffering from homesickness.
McManus insists the club has heard nothing of the sort, and says that their position on Barba’s future remains the same.
McManus told Mirror Sport: “Nothing has changed – there’s been no discussion and no approaches.
“Again this has come out of the blue and is just a story that keeps resurrecting itself.
“We believe that Ben’s partner and their children are extremely happy and are really enjoying life.
“It is irresponsible to make such a factually incorrect statement.”
Ganson admits wrong drop-goal decision
RFL head of match officials Steve Ganson has admitted that the controversial decision to award a match-winning drop goal to Hunslet during Sunday’s win over North Wales “fell short of the standards expected” from his refereeing department.
Hunslet further cemented their League One play-off chances when referee Andy Sweet awarded Cain Southernwood’s drop-goal in the 19-18 success, leaving the Crusaders flabbergasted.
After North Wales CEO Andy Moulsdale asked the RFL to review the incident Ganson issued a statement to League Express to shed light on the situation.
“Following on from an in-depth review of the game, it is clear that the referee made an error of judgement and incorrectly awarded a match-winning drop goal to Hunslet RLFC,” said Ganson.
“We continuously review the performances of our match officials and, whilst are keen to emphasise that the job is extremely difficult and challenging, on this occasion the referee fell short of the standards expected.”
Furthermore the RFL’s Operational Rules dictate in Rules B1:3 and B2:12 that:
“Save as otherwise set out in the Operational Rules, including but not limited to Section D (On Field Misconduct), in relation to any On Field matter, the Match Officials decision shall be final.
“B2:12 also states that in relation to a club wishing to object to a result of a match. For the avoidance of doubt the club shall not be entitled to object to a result on the grounds of a Match Officials decision(s).”
Milestone man Wane hails Wolves star Westwood
Wigan boss Shaun Wane has paid the ultimate compliment to the oldest player in Super League on the eve of his 500th match by revealing he would have loved to have coached him.
Warrington’s durable forward Ben Westwood, who turns 37 this month, will reach the landmark in Friday’s derby at the DW Stadium.
Westwood is one of just two ever-presents for the Wolves this season, a remarkable record for a player who began his Super League career with Wakefield in the last century.
“I love my team playing against Benny Westwood,” said Wane, who is leaving Super League at the end of the year to join the Scottish Rugby Union. “He’s a player I would have liked to have coached.
“I rate him very highly. He’s a tough competitor who has bashed our lads a few times and we’ve bashed him a few times. I like him.”
Westwood has indicated that he would like to play on in 2019 and Warrington coach Steve Price is unlikely to stand in his way.
“Bennie is an absolute legend of a guy,” Price said. “Everyone at the club loves Ben. He plays the game tough and we are glad he’s on our side.
“It’s a credit to him to have reached 500 appearances.”
Leigh take Walne on loan
Leigh have signed former Salford forward Adam Walne on loan from Huddersfield until the end of the season.
The 27-year-old Walne, brother of Hull KR man Jordan, joined the Giants on a three-year deal from the Red Devils at the end of last season but has made only five appearances so far and has yet to play under new coach Simon Woolford.
Leigh coach Kieron Purtill said: “Adam is a fantastic professional with a lot of experience.
“The reports I have had about his training, attitude and his willingness to work for and help out his team-mates has been first-class.
“I am looking forward to him bringing this to our group on a daily basis and to him being a leader with his no nonsense approach to games as we push for a top four place in the Betfred Championship.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Walne will not be able to play against his parent club if the teams meet in the Super 8s Qualifers.