PLAYING TWICE in five days did not cause Leeds Rhinos’ latest defeat, according to hooker Paul Aiton.
Rhinos suffered their fifth loss of the First Utility Super League campaign when they were beaten 31-24 by Castleford Tigers at Headingley Carnegie four days ago.
Leeds’ management had opted for a short turnaround, deciding not to ask Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to move the date of their previous fixture from the Sunday afternoon.
Castleford had also been due to play on the Sunday, but their game at Hull KR was brought forward two days at their request and they looked the fresher side in the closing stages, scoring a drop goal and converted try after Leeds had levelled the scores at 24-all.
Aiton insisted: “It is very difficult with a short turnaround, but at the end of the day there’s no excuses.
“We did have a disapponting start. There were times when we thought we were okay, but towards the end it was anyone’s game.
“When we got level, personally I thought we could go on and win it.
“You always have that belief, but we didn’t manage to do it, unfortunately. That’s just the game of rugby league.”
Rhinos are facing a run of crucial games, taking on Hull in the league and Challenge Cup, plus Super League matches agianst St Helens and Wigan Warriors.
Aiton said: “We will review Friday’s game, look at what we need to improve on and look forward to the next game. It has made us more hungry.”