Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker plays the waiting game on shoulder injury

Zak Hardaker.
Zak Hardaker.
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MAN OF Steel Zak Hardaker hopes to find out the extent of his shoulder injury today but admitted: “It’s not looking good.”

The full-back was injured just before half-time in Leeds Rhinos’ 52-18 demolishing at Warrington Wolves on Friday and is expecting to now be sidelined.

He told the YEP: “I just got a tackle on my shoulder and am not sure how bad it is really.

“I’ll hopefully get a scan and x-ray on it on Monday or Tuesday to see.

“But my gut feeling is I don’t think it’s too good.”

England star Hardaker looks certain to at least miss Friday’s visit of Catalans Dragons – and his ever-present record – as the troubled champions’ problems continue to persist.

They remain at the foot of the Super League table after their 14th defeat of a miserable campaign.

Once more, Leeds opened the scoring and trailed just 18-12 at half-time but were blown away in embarrassing style by Warrington after the break.

“I said before the game that it seems to be the second halves where we keep slipping up,” added Hardaker.

“It’s quite apparent now. We’ll be in games but then just start losing our way a little bit in the second period.

“I think confidence is a big issue as well especially when teams score points against us; we’re not backing ourselves to get back in the game.

“Confidence is a massive issue at the moment and I’m not sure how you change that. I wish I did.

“We keep training and playing for each other every week and are trying really hard to turn things around but I can’t put a finger on why we can’t.

“One of the main issues is points scored against us – we shouldn’t concede 30, 40 or 50 points in a Super League game.”

Hardaker, 24, conceded he feels Leeds will soon be destined for the Qualifiers as last season’s treble-winners face the Championship’s top four.

“I don’t think you can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on that but we have got to face reality,” he explained, with Rhinos currently eight points adrift of the top eight.

“With Salford winning on Friday night it means we’re bottom of the table two points behind Huddersfield and mathematically soon it looks like we won’t be able to get enough points to get out of the bottom four.

“A couple of weeks ago we said if we could pick up a few wins we could get back in there but now it’s becoming more desperate.

“We’ll keep going but if that is how we finish so be it and we’ll then just have to perform against whoever we face (in the Qualifiers).”

Life does not get any easier for Leeds who saw Mitch Achurch depart with a shoulder injury at Warrington and must also face an anxious wait to see if Brad Singleton is charged by the match review panel for the fighting incident that saw him sin-binned.

Hardaker, who has scored just one try in 17 games this term, admitted: “That seems to be our season so far – we get a few players back and then lose some others.

“We can’t seem to get a full team out at the moment which is adding that extra spice to this season we’re having.

“Catalans are a good side, too, who are a team that can score a lot of points.

“They are a big set and we have to really match them physically.”

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