Leeds Rhinos: Fit-again Ward aims 
to step up 
his form

BACK IN BUSINESS: Stevie Ward crashes over for Leeds Rhinos against Huddersfield Giants. Picture by Steve Riding

BACK IN BUSINESS: Stevie Ward crashes over for Leeds Rhinos against Huddersfield Giants. Picture by Steve Riding

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FIT-AGAIN FORWARD Stevie Ward is aiming to step up his form as he prepares for a fourth game back in Leeds Rhinos’ side.

Ward was sidelined for 10 months after suffering a dislocated shoulder in a win at Hull KR In April last year.

He missed Rhinos’ First Utility Super League opener, at Hull KR, but has played in the three matches since, the last two in the starting line-up.

The 19-year-old is hoping to continue at home to Widnes Vikings tomorrow, but admitted he needs to be better after what he felt was a disappointing effort against Huddersfield six days ago.

“I have had a good start to coming back, but I think I had a bit of a dip in form in the last game,” said Ward, who scored Rhinos’ opening try at Huddersfield.

“Defensively I wasn’t where I wanted to be. It was good to get a try, but there’s still a lot to do to contribute to the team.

“The team means more. It is definitely good to be back in the swing of things, but we’re not there yet and I am not either.

“There is a lot of work still to do, but it is definitely good to be back in the team.”

Despite last week, Ward said he’s happy with his form overall. Mac (coach Brian McDermott) would not put me in the team if I wasn’t up to standard.

“Parts of my game have been, there’s just been dip in form here and there which I need to get on top of and make sure I am a bit better.

“That’s easily enough done and I just need to focus on those areas and just help the team.”

Ward has had trouble with both shoulders in the past, but said: “They are feeling fine.

“I’ve done plenty of tackles on them and they’re feeling great and pretty solid.

“The good thing is I am feeling strong so that side of things is good.

“The fitness side of things is good too, and I just need the skills side to be a bit better now.”

Ward is predicting a tough game tomorrow, against a Widnes team who have won their three games so far.

“They gave Salford a really good game last week and came away with a win and it’s going to be a really testing game,” he said.

“Widnes always are, they are always tough and this year they’re looking like they’ve got even better.

“It’s going to be a tough one, but it’ll be good to be at home and hopefully we can get a solid performance out.

“That’s the main thing. The best way to get over things is to play next week.

“If we can really iron out our performance and make sure our structure’s there, then we’re going to be happy with that and hopefully we can move on and get a win.”

Meanwhile, Rhinos’ Super League clash at Bradford has been brought forward 24 hours to Thursday, April 17 (8pm).Rhinos under-19s face Widnes Vikings at Stanningley tonight (7.30pm).

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats forward Lucas Walshaw, 21, has joined Kingstone Press Championship side Dewsbury Rams on an initial one-month loan.

The 21-year old will link up with Glenn Morrison’s squad as he did in 2013, and will be available for Dewsbury’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup clash with West Hull this weekend.

Rams have also signed 33-year-old former Leeds and Hull forward Ewan Dowes until the end of the season after the prop left Workington.

Hunslet Hawks have appointed Martin Flynn to head up their community programme. Flynn organised rugby league in schools in Scarborough before joining the Rugby Football League’s development team.

Ashton Golding.

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