Leeds Rhinos: Rob Burrow insists the only way is up
LEEDS RHINOS have gone from their highest point to an all-time low, says captain Rob Burrow.
Just eight league games after winning the Grand Final and completing an historic treble, Rhinos are in turmoil following a double derby disaster.
Easter defeats at Castleford Tigers and at home to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have left Rhinos with only four points out of a possible 16 and they are third from bottom in First Utility Super League.
Burrow, who has been standing in as captain during Danny McGuire’s injury absence, said: “Throughout your career you have highs and lows – none better than last year and probably none lower than this now.”
Successive wins over Easter would have left Rhinos within touching distance of the top four, but they are now three points adrift of the eight.
“It is tough times,” Burrow admitted. “I’ve given a lot of interviews this year when I’ve said ‘we need to win next week’ and we’ve not.
“We got a good win against Saints and then we lost our next two. It is part of being a sportsman, it is a roller-coaster ride.
“All you can do – like in any walk of life – is keep going with it. You can’t give in, you’ve just got to deal with it and keep doing the things that’s got you through all your life.”
Rhinos led until late on in both their Easter losses. They were two points ahead at Castleford for 39 minutes either side of half-time before Jake Webster’s try and a Luke Gale conversion saw the hosts home 18-14.
And, two days ago, Mitch Achurch crossed 13 minutes from time and Liam Sutcliffe converted to make it 16-14, only for Liam Finn to level four minutes later before Craig Hall raced the length of the field for the winner in the final moments.
Rhinos have a better defence than any other team in the bottom six, but are Super League’s lowest scorers with just 136, at an average of 17 per game.
In four of their six defeats they have scored the same number of tries as their opponents, but Burrow said that is no consolation.
“I wouldn’t look into that,” he reflected.
“Obviously we are missing a goal kicker like Kev (Sinfield, who left the club at the end of last season), but it shouldn’t be down to goals.
“We need to be playing better and we’re not.
“We are working hard and morale’s good in the camp, but it has just not been there.
“We need to get it right and when we do we have to kick on and build from that.”
Burrow insisted Rhinos - who are at home to second-bottom Hull KR on Friday - can turn things around.
They still have 15 games to play before the competition splits into Super-8s and Qualifiers and Burrow said: “There’s too many good players in the team to be like it is.
“You have dips in form every season. For the first eight games we have been in poor form and things can’t get much worse, it can only get better.
“But we have got to do it soon. It is a new format now and we can’t lose many more.”
Meanwhile, Rhinos under-19s will face St Helens in a curtain-raiser at Headingley on Friday, kicking off at 5.15pm.