FIRST PLACE at the end of the regular season is not guaranteed for Leeds Rhinos, according to half-back Danny McGuire.
With three games to play, Rhinos are three points clear of St Helens – who they crushed 46-18 at Headingley last Friday – and four ahead of third-placed Wigan Warriors.
Leeds travel to Wigan on Thursday and wrap up the opening stage of the campaign with home games against Salford Red Devils and Catalans Dragons.
Points earned in the first 23 rounds carry over the the Super-8s, which is a new seven-game competition to decide the four teams who will take part in knockout semi-finals for a place in the title-decider at Old Trafford. So, the next three matches remain vital and McGuire insisted Leeds’ approach will not change, despite their healthy lead.
He said: “We’re not looking too far ahead.
“It really is one game at a time for us. We are preparing well and the coaching staff are working really hard and doing a lot of good things for us during the week.
“We’ve got competition for places – Brad Singleton didn’t play at the weekend and Tom Briscoe is not far off – so the coaches have got some selection dilemmas, which is good for the team.
“Hopefully that’ll continue for the next few weeks.
Rhinos will face Saints again in a Challenge Cup semi-final at the end of this month and the Super-8s. McGuire said: “Psychologically, having beaten them twice is good for us, but every game is different.
“Saints didn’t play as well as they’d have liked.
“But they are a quality team and they will bounce back.
“We’ll look at a few things from Friday building up to the semi-final.
“But it is a few weeks down the line and anything can happen.”