The Storm travelled halfway around the world to beat the Rhinos in a bruising encounter that ended with the home side handing over the trophy they so manfully won against Manly a year ago.
McDermott admitted that despite pride in battle, his men would take some time to recover from the loss. "I thought they had a massive dig. We care about that and we also care about losing," he said
Leeds were far from disgraced in defeat, though, only undone by a quickfire double from Jesse Bromwich and Tohu Harris at the start of the second half, and their performance would have surely been too good for any of their domestic opponents in the Super League. Melbourne's granite-like defence stopped them retaining the trophy, however.
McDermott added: "Melbourne are very good and they snuffed us out, but we don't like losing. The whole package was hard, it took so much out of us to try and break them down that we didn't take our chances at the other end.
"When you look at the tries we conceded they might look simple, but they are on the back of a lot of pressure we have soaked up. But this isn't a 'never mind' feeling and I don't feel like smiling. We're not far off one of the NRL's best teams but this will take a while to get over."
Often in the past the Australian sides, still in pre-season training ahead of a March league start, have been accused of treating this game as a high-profile friendly match.
That is not a charge that can be levelled at the Storm, though, who were as resilient in defence as they were brilliant in attack, becoming the first Australian side to win this trophy three times.
"That is an indication of how well we treat this game. It's well known that some clubs don't take this seriously, but we're not going to come all this way to take it easy," said their coach, Craig Bellamy.
"We didn't come here to treat this as a trial game, this was important to us. If we are going to come to England we want to win and I can't fault the players. We were here with the right attitude, they've not complained about the cold once or anything like that, and we know we have taken pride in our performance on behalf of the NRL."