Leeds Rhinos: Ellis aims to turn the tables on Rhinos

Gareth Ellis
Gareth Ellis
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HULL CAPTAIN Gareth Ellis reckons it will be a different story on Friday night, when his team face Leeds Rhinos for the second time inside a week.

Rhinos triumphed 32-20 in a First Utility Super League game at Headingley on Sunday, but Ellis is confident the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final at KC Stadium can have the opposite outcome.

Hull trailed only 24-20 with five minutes of the league encounter remaining and Ellis said they have taken heart from a battling performance against the Cup holders and Super League leaders.

“I think we can turn it around,” said Ellis, who made 123 appearances for Rhinos from 2005-2008.

“We haven’t got a lot of time to think about it, but I thought we finished the game really well.

“Leeds were brilliant in the first 50 minutes and that’s an area we probably have to work on, just how we control a team like that when they’re playing as well as they are.

“It does take a lot out of you putting that much effort in early on and I think we need to match that. I think we saw signs they were there for the taking as the game went on, so there were some positives to come out of it and they’ve given us enough belief to think we can turn it around on Friday.”

Ellis felt the scoreline three days ago didn’t reflect how close the game was.

“We turned over too much ball early on,” he conceded.

“They were playing well and we were handing them possession.

“They have got some huge threats within their team to punish you, but we had our chances in the second half.

“We showed great commitment and great energy to get ourselves back in the game, but we made crucial errors at crucial times – kicking out on the full and things like that.

“When you do things like that you probably don’t deserve to win the game, but there were a lot of positives in the second half and the big thing is to learn from it.”

Ellis admitted it is strange playing the same team in successive matches – though Hull will do it again next week when they travel to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on the Wednesday night, before the sides meet again at KC Stadium four days later.

“You do learn things from the game and it’s going to be great preparation for when we play Wakefield two games on the spin,” said Ellis.

“We weren’t happy with how we played on Sunday and errors have been creeping in over the last few weeks. It was a similar scenario against Catalans last week and that’s something we need to put right quickly.”

Rhinos won at Hull earlier in the year, but Ellis admitted a home Challenge Cup quarter-final is a huge opportunity for the East Yorkshire club.

“We’re looking forward to it,” he said.

“Headingley is a place where the fans really get behind their team and they do make a difference, so hopefully we can return the favour this week when our fans are all behind us.”

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