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McDermott: Leeds can win without McGuire
Leeds coach Brian McDermott is convinced his side can overcome the absence of Danny McGuire to knock out Super League title favourites Wigan in their Super League semi-final at the DW Stadium on Friday.
The defending champions have been dealt a body blow with the loss of Super League's all-time leading tryscorer through suspension and, although they have won just two of 10 matches in his absence this year, McDermott insists they are no one-man team.
"He's one of the best players in Super League so take him out of the team and it's hard," McDermott said.
"But I don't think it is going to come down to a try from one player or a play from one player. That may be a result of a massive team effort.
"We're ready for it, we know what's in front of us. Our focus will be on doing our job right and making sure we produce our best performance of the season over there because that is what it will take to have a chance of beating Wigan."
At least Leeds can call on the services of prop forward Kylie Leuluai, who sat out last Friday's play-off win over Catalan Dragons in Perpignan through suspension. He will be back to face his cousin, scrum-half Thomas Leuluai, who was absent with a broken leg when the Rhinos pulled off a surprise 39-28 win over Wigan in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup in July.
That defeat still rankles with Warriors coach Shaun Wane, who was delighted to be able to select Leeds as his semi-final opponents under the controversial Clubcall system. Revenge will clearly provide additional motivation for the 2010 champions, who can still remember the Rhinos' play-off win at the DW Stadium two years ago.
Leeds will be playing their 36th match of the season, more than any other team in the league, but Wane is wary of a side that won so impressively in Perpignan just six days ago.
"That's a tough place to go and they did it without their main front row in Kylie Leuluai," said Wane, whose side had the luxury of a week off after winning their opening qualifying tie.
"I thought Jamie Peacock was outstanding, it was a great win for them. I enjoyed the game. It will put them in a good place before they play us."