sport

Peacock admits to big-night nerves

Veteran Leeds prop Jamie Peacock admitted he still felt nerves ahead of his 500th career appearance, a 42-6 victory over Wakefield.

The former England and Great Britain captain, 36, is one of the sport's greats and his achievement was celebrated in style as the Rhinos trounced the Wildcats for the second time in a week.

Peacock crossed for one of seven tries as Leeds moved up to second in the First Utility Super League table.

"On the way here I was getting a little bit nervous and I was just thinking 'what are you doing, it's just a normal game just crack on with it'," he said.

"It was really enjoyable. It's been a humbling experience. I've had a lot of kind messages from people and it's been really nice to receive them and I'm grateful.

"I'm grateful for the career I've had as well, so far. I've met some great people and I've had some great times."

Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott, who played alongside Peacock at the Bradford Bulls, heaped praise on a man who has won Super League on eight occasions, the World Club Challenge four times and the Challenge Cup twice.

He said: "He's had an outstanding career. I'm very envious and I think most players are.

"I know it hasn't been easy for him and he has had a few setbacks.

"Just by sheer determination and hard work has he got through and that's not because of talent or speed or something that he was gifted with, it's through hard work so he should be very proud about what he has done."

On the victory over Wakefield, McDermott insisted his side were made to work hard despite the nature of the scoreline, which quickly followed their 60-6 win against the same opposition in the Challenge Cup.

"I didn't think Wakefield were so bad defensively last week," McDermott added. "Tonight I thought they showed a fair amount of resistance.

"There were some outstanding passages of play from us, defensively and with the ball."

Wildcats head coach Richard Agar felt his team improved on their cup showing but conceded they were outplayed once again.

"It is easy to judge by the scoreline but I thought our effort was much better," said Agar.

"We were beaten by a team, whether we like it or not, that has got a lot more talent than us."

There was more bad news for Wakefield on the injury front after Ali Lauitiiti hobbled off in the opening minutes with a knee problem.

"Ali is very much a go-to man for us," added Agar, who went into Friday's match without Dean Collis, Taulima Tautai, Reece Lyne and Daniel Smith.

"To lose Ali so early in the piece was a blow and I think we are probably going to lose him for a while now."