BALL-HANDLING PROP Adam Cuthbertson has described Leeds Rhinos’ season as a huge learning experience.
Rhinos swept the honours board in Cuthbertson’s first season at the club, last year, when he set a new Super League record for the most offloads.
Both the team and player have found the going harder this term and Rhinos are involved in a battle against relegation in the First Utility Qualifiers after finishing a lowly ninth on the table.
Cuthbertson said: “It has been a big learning curve, that’s for sure, about how to react to things you can’t control on and off the field.
“Obviously I haven’t been really happy with the season myself, not just as a team.
“I have been trying to pull myself together each week, it feels like, after having niggling injuries and one big injury.
“It hasn’t been ideal in that sense because I feel like I have always been coming back and trying to find my feet again.
“It has definitely been tough, but a good learning curve and we are all going through it together. I honestly believe it will only make us stronger as a team.
“We went through what we did last year and we had nothing but praise and glory.
“It’s not good, but it’s a big lesson to have this tough run and come back from it stronger.”
Rhinos continue their Qualifiers campaign at home to part-timers Batley Bulldogs in three days’ time.
Leeds will be expected to win comfortably, but Cuthbertson insisted they have to prepare as well as they would for Super League opposition.
“Obviously it is a different challenge,” he said.
“That’s what the middle-eights has been. We’ve come up against some different teams we haven’t been used to playing each week and they have been a big challenge for us.
“We have got to prepare as best as we can and worry about our own game and take it out and execute it on the weekend, because if we don’t you can definitely get a shock when they come out and throw the kitchen sink at you.”
Cuthbertson suffered a cut eye in last Friday’s win over Salford Red Devils, but said: “Hopefully I’ll be all right [for Friday].
“I got a bit of a head knock last weekend.
“I’ll have to get that assessed and then go from there.”
Meanwhile, a celebration of the life of Rhinos president Harry Jepson OBE, who died last week aged 96, will be held at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Tuesday, September 20 (11.45am).
The celebration, which will be open to all, will be followed at 2.20pm by a short service of farewell at Lawnswood Crematorium for family and close friends only.
The club are compiling a remembrance book for Jepson’s family.
Anyone wanting to contribute and share their memories should email firstname.lastname@example.org
The family have requested no flowers, but any donations will be shared between the British Heart Foundation and Leeds Rhinos Foundation.
Cheques should be made payable to Leeds Rhinos Foundation, referencing Harry Jepson on the back.