sport

McDermott hails two-try hero

Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott acknowledged the contribution of Ben Jones-Bishop after the winger marked his first appearance of the season with a two-try show against Widnes.

The Rhinos have an embarrassment of riches on the flanks with Jones-Bishop joined in the squad by international pair Tom Briscoe and Ryan Hall, and the 25-year-old former London loanee has been at the back of the queue so far this season.

His first outing of 2014 was a fruitful one, though, with his brace the standout story in a 38-4 win which ended Widnes 100 per cent start to the season.

"He's done what he planned to do," McDermott said. "He scored two tries and laid on another with a nice break. He has put his hand up and will make any decisions we have difficult.

"This isn't about whether Ben Jones-Bishop plays instead of the other wingers. We will roll the squad about and get people game time. But good effort, Bish."

Jones-Bishop was selected with Hall rested and his display should put talk of a loan move away from Headingley on ice for the time being.

Wakefield had been circling for him at one stage but McDermott now has no immediate plans to let him go, although he concedes that could change.

"I have no intention to to send him out anywhere just yet," he added.

Resilience

"But there is a desire from us and from him for him that he plays. We are not farming him out and if he stays there or thereabouts we will keep him. I don't know who it serves to send him out on loan for a month."

Away from Jones-Bishop this was Leeds' most fluent display of the season.

They ran in seven tries in total - five of them converted - as they maintained an unbeaten start which has seen them concede just 46 points across five games.

"It was a good one," McDermott said. "I thought we had a good test and it was a good contest throughout. I thought we showed a lot of defensive resilience and enough offensive composure.

"Widnes always looked like they would get in the game and to keep them to four points is a good one."

Widnes arrived in Leeds with three wins from as many games but were comfortably second best on Friday night.

They stuck with the hosts during the first half as Leeds were blown along by a strong wind, but curiously in the second they never got going with the elements in their favour.

They also lost half-back Joe Mellor to a dislocated shoulder and coach Denis Betts said: "It's a tough scoreline. We were second best. It was a tough first half and the character that Leeds showed stopped us from scoring.

"We came in at half-time and knew we were going to have the wind behind us and we felt we could build some pressure.

"But the quality of Leeds showed and that's probably the best they have played this year. Some of the tries they scored were fantastic."