BETTER STARTS to games are crucial if Leeds Rhinos are to get their season back on track.
That’s the message from half-back Danny McGuire as Rhinos begin preparations for Sunday’s vital home clash with Hull.
Leeds will be seeking only their third win in eight league matches since April and McGuire reckons slow starts are proving costly.
Rhinos have conceded the opening try in six of their last seven First Utility Super League fixtures, including last Thursday’s 31-24 loss to Castleford Tigers.
Rhinos got off to a disastrous start as three errors led to tries for Tigers in the opening quarter, the visitors racing into an 18-0 lead.
McGuire admitted: “We just made mistakes and they capitalised.
“We dropped the ball in the first set and there was a forward pass in the next.
“We have had a bit of a problem starting games over the last five or six weeks, which is something we need to address and get on top of.”
The No 6 added: “In the last few games we’ve either coughed the ball up or made a mistake.
“You can’t afford to start like that against good teams.
“Cas made the most of it and they deserved it.
“The league’s tight and that’s what we wanted, we wanted a tough competition.
“You’ve got to turn up and play well and if you don’t, you get rolled.
“We weren’t good enough – there’s no excuses, we just didn’t play well enough.”
McGuire was keen to praise Tigers’ performance.
He said: “You’ve got to pay credit to Cas.
“They were very resilient.
“Their completions seemed very high and they put us under a lot of pressure, so I think they deserve all the plaudits.
“They have got a really solid squad, a lot of good players and if you give them time and space they can create opportunities.
“They did that and they deserve the credit.”