FRONT-ROWER Brad Singleton says Leeds Rhinos are hurting from their shock 31-12 home drubbing by Huddersfield Giants, but have to come up with a positive response.
A win on Thursday night would have taken Rhinos top of Betfred Super League, two points clear of Castleford Tigers.
But, after leading briefly early on, they went into the break all square and then collapsed during a one-sided second half in which Giants scored 19 unanswered points.
It was Leeds’ fourth defeat of the year and ended an unbeaten home run stretching back to last July.
Singleton admitted it was a poor performance and result, but insisted how Rhinos respond is what matters now.
The race for places in the top-four is wide open and Singleton said: “We had a chance to go top and we didn’t take it, but we’ve got a tough game against Catalans next Saturday and we can’t sit around feeling sorry for ourselves.
“I think we’ve been in good nick and hopefully this is just a blip, because it was a disappointing performance.”
Identifying where Rhinos went wrong, Singleton said: “I just feel like we never had a full grip of the game.
“We made some simple errors and a few things didn’t go in our favour and we ended up losing the momentum.”
Rhinos’ players have been given a break from training until Tuesday. Thursday’s defeat was their fourth game in two weeks, but Singleton said: “We can’t have any excuses. All the boys, right across Super League, we all play the same games and for me personally, I have missed six weeks so there’s no excuses from any of us and hopefully it was just a one-off.”
Hopefully there’s a decent amount of reaction throughout the lads next week.Leeds Rhinos’ Brad Singleton.
It was Singleton’s first Super League game since completing a suspension imposed for a foul on Catalans’ Greg Bird at Headingley last month.
“Personally I felt good,” he said. “I have missed it. I enjoy playing and I enjoy being with the lads, but it is disappointing whenever you don’t get the two points.
“It’s frustrating. I am not sure how it looked on television, but it was a very frustrating game. There were some simple errors and some simple penalties we should not be giving away.
“We are going to let it hurt us, but we can’t let it bother us too much. We need to keep our confidence high.”
Huddersfield’s improved performance came four days after they had been knocked out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup by Kingstone Press Championship side Swinton Lions.
Leeds now need a similar reaction and Singleton said: “You’d like to think we’ll get one. The last time we played Catalans we had been beaten by Castleford in the game before. We let that hurt us, but we reacted well.
“Hopefully there’s a decent amount of reaction throughout the lads next week.”
Rhinos under-19s are in action tomorrow against London Broncos at Ealing (4.30pm).