BANNED PROP Brad Singleton says he is “not proud” of the incident which has ruled him out of six Leeds Rhinos matches, but is determined to make something positive out of a bad situation.
Singleton admitted a grade E charge of elbowing Catalans Dragons’ Greg Bird in the first half of Leeds’ 46-10 win earlier this month and was handed the lengthy suspension by the Rugby Football League’s disciplinary committee.
The ban is the longest imposed on a Leeds player since David Cruickshank was suspended for eight games in 1990.
It means Singleton will miss matches against Huddersfield Giants, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Hull and Widnes Vikings, as well as last Friday’s 38-14 derby defeat of Wakefield Trinity.
“Obviously it’s frustrating to know I’m going to be out for the six games, but I’m not going to dwell on it too much,” Singleton told The Yorkshire Evening Post.
“I am going to get myself in the right shape.
“I’ve got a couple of niggles that needed a rest anyway, so I am using it as a bit of a healing process and then I’ll get myself in the best possible nick to come back and make an impact in the side.”
The 24-year-old added: “Hopefully it’s not too costly for the team. They picked up a good result against Wakey and hopefully they can keep racking up the points.
“I’m not going to let the ban or the incident itself define me. I can’t dwell on it, I just need to get ready and see what sort of impact I can bring when I get back.”
Of the offence, which left Bird needing stitches in a head wound, Singleton said: “I think it’s one of those things that now and then boils over in a game.
“I can’t say it was a proud moment, but these things happen. I can’t sit there and think about it over and over again.
“I just need to get myself in good nick and get myself ready for the rest of this year.”
Singleton will be available for Rhinos’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fifth-round tie during the weekend beginning Friday, April 21.
That comes straight after the busy Easter period, when Leeds play two games in four days.
And Singleton predicted: “I think there’ll be a few tired boys.
“It might be a blessing in disguise, with a fresh player to come back. I hope it doesn’t cost the boys too much.
“Hopefully the boys can get two points against Huddersfield this week and then get ready for a big clash against Wigan.”
Leeds have picked up back-to-back wins since their 66-10 thrashing at Castleford Tigers almost three weeks ago.
“We had a big, emotional week after that,” Singleton said. “It was a heavy week because that wasn’t what we wanted to see, a result like the Cas one.
“But we turned it around against Catalans and it was good to get another win against Wakey. If we can get two points at Huddersfield it’ll be nice to see where we end up.”