TOP spot in First Utility Super League is still a realistic goal for Leeds Rhinos, claims forward Brett Delaney.
With six games left, Rhinos are third in the table, two points adrift of St Helens and behind Wigan Warriors on for and against.
A win at Salford Red Devils tomorrow could lift Leeds to top of the table but defeat would leave them relying on other results to claim the league leaders’ shield for the first time since 1999.
Delaney said: “We definitely still have a chance.
“There’s only two points in it and we’ve said all year we want to finish top. That’s still the goal.
“In the last few weeks, there have been a few unexpected results.
“We are third now and we are getting some form back. The second half (against Castleford) was all right last week and it was disappointing to only get a point out of it.
“We will take that but we need to get back on the horse and get a win this week.”
The league leaders have failed to reach the Grand Final in each of the last three seasons, but Delaney insisted: “It is important to finish top.
“We want to finish there and we’ve said that since the start of the year. We want to win some trophies this year and that’s one of them. It is a big goal and we still want to do it.”
Delaney reckons the this year’s race for top spot is the closest since his debut for Leeds in 2010.
“It usually begins to pan out about now,” said Delaney. “But now there’s only four points between one and five.
“It is quite a squeeze at the top and we can’t afford to slip up in any game. We need to keep winning and make sure we finish on top.
“It is good to be playing in these intense games and we’ve got the Challenge Cup semi-final coming up, which is a big one for us, too.
“We are playing in big games and you need that. We have got a lot of big game experience here and that helps us.
“It doesn’t get us the win, but playing in intense games is good. It will be another one on Friday.
“They got a result last week and they will be tough. They have hit a bit of form, so we are looking forward to it.”
Forward Mitch Achurch will miss tomorrow’s game due to a knee injury and Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield also drops out of the squad as he begins a two-match ban.
Liam Sutcliffe, Brad Singleton, Elliot Minchella and Josh Walters are all back in contention.