Leeds Rhinos: Moon out to keep Catalans’ run intact

Joel Moon
Joel Moon
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LEEDS RHINOS “owe Catalans one” according to centre Joel Moon.

Catalans Dragons have never won at Headingley in the weekly First Utility Super League rounds, but knocked Rhinos out of the play-offs on their last visit, 10 months ago.

That last-gasp defeat still hurts, but Rhinos will have an opportunity to gain some revenge when they face the French side on Sunday afternoon in their final game of the regular season.

A win would see Rhinos go into the Super-8s as league leaders and Moon said: “I guess we owe Catalans one after last year, though we aren’t talking about that.

“It is a new year and a new team and it will be a tough one this week. It’s our last one before we’re into the top-eight, so it’s important.

“We’ve got the [Challenge Cup] semi-final coming up as well and you want to get your best performance going and hit the ground running for that, so we are in good form.

“We are training well and everyone’s pretty fit, so we are looking good.”

Catalans have won only once away from home this year and are still mathematically in danger of missing out on a place in the Super-8s.

They are two points clear of Hull KR, who travel to St Helens on Friday, but have a points difference advantage of 73.

Moon said: “They’ve got some good players and whenever they play us they want to beat us and it’s always a tough game.

“I don’t expect anything less. We had a good win when we went over there, but we are just moving forward and working on our own game.”

Moon reckons Rhinos are in good shape going into the business end of the season.

“Definitely,” he said. “We had a good win last week. We have got stuff to work on, but we are doing that, everyone’s grounded and we are looking good.”

Rhinos ran in 13 tries in last Friday’s 70-6 demolition of Salford Red Devils, which was their highest score since August, 2009.

“We played well,” Moon reflected.

“But there’s still a few things we need to be better at. When you go into the top-eight it is going to be tough teams every week and obviously it’s not going to be like that.

“We will definitely need to be on our game every week.”

Moon has scored eight tries in 22 appearances this year, including a touchdown against Salford.

Veteran former England captain Jamie Peacock told the Yorkshire Evening Post last month Moon and Kallum Watkins are the best centres he has played with, but the Aussie shrugged off the praise.

“I think he’s exagerating,” said the former Salford man.

“I think Kal is, but I am going all right. I have still got stuff I need to work on, but I am pretty happy with my performances.

“I am giving it all for the team and the team’s going well, so that makes me go well.”

Rhinos under-19s will face Catalans’ academy in a curtain-raiser at Headingley on Sunday (noon kick-off).

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