Leeds Rhinos: Rethink is needed on double-headers, says Singleton

Brad Singleton on the charge against Leigh.
Brad Singleton on the charge against Leigh.
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LEEDS RHINOS front-rower Brad Singleton has called for an end to bank holiday fixture pile-ups.

Singleton was one of 12 Rhinos men to play three games in eight days culminating in last Friday’s 22-14 win over Leigh Centurions.

Brad Singleton.

Brad Singleton.

He also started in the 28-20 defeat at Widnes Vikings a week ago and the previous Friday’s 40-0 home victory against Warrington Wolves.

That came less than two months after a similar schedule over Easter, though Singleton was suspended for the first two of those matches. The game against Leigh was a low-quality encounter and Singleton felt the schedule was tough on players and unfair for supporters.

“It was a very flat game,” he said of the win three days ago.

“I think in terms of the standard of rugby it was one of the worst I have played in, because of the conditions and three games in a week.

“I think the players need to stand together and all the clubs need to stand together and we need to call the double-headers off.

“Maybe we could keep Easter, the traditional one, but [last Friday] was a different standard of rugby – it’s not what the fans came to see.”

Leeds – who visit Wakefield Trinity on Saturday – came through the congested program with four points, which kept them in the running for a top-four finish in Betfred Super League.

After previous defeats to the other teams in the bottom-four Singleton reckons it was a valuable victory, despite the poor rugby on show.

“Apart from that I am glad we got the two points,” he added.

“It was always going to be tough against Leigh, especially after the loss at Widnes.

“It was good to get the win.”

The result maintained Rhinos’ record of not having suffered successive defeats this season.

Every loss so far has been followed by a win and Singleton said: “That has been mentioned.

“We are a different bunch to last year – we react well.

“I think there’s plenty of heart in there and at the minute we have got an ethos of working together.

“The error isn’t the missed tackle – the error is not cleaning it up. We’ve got that out there, but three times Leigh scored on the last play so that’s an issue.

“We can’t switch off, but apart from that I think we are in a good place.

“We are sat near the top and we need to take some momentum into Wakey.

“We are confident, we should rest up with a bigger turnaround and it should be a different game.”

Surprise package Wakefield are one of Rhinos’ rivals for the top-four.

Singleton, who played one game on loan at Trinity in 2013, described it as a four-pointer.

He said: “They are in good form.

“They are playing good football, but I think we will be a much different team when we turn up there – I think we’ll be more like that one which faced Warrington.

“I think we need to build on that and it should be a good game.”

Props Keith Galloway and Mitch Garbutt both returned from injury last Friday and Singleton observed: “I think that’s the first time this year we’ve had all the front-rowers available.

“That’s good. I think in the games coming up and especially towards the back end of the season we are going to be peaking at the right time.”

On a personal note, Singleton is happy with the way things are going.

He said: “I have been playing big minutes and I played the first 40 [on Friday].

“I am feeling good, my game is built on workrate and honesty and I want to do my bit for the boys. I know what it’s like when we lose and what it’s like when we win and what winning takes and I think we can go far in the comp.”

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