David Furner takes the positives ahead of Leeds Rhinos opener against Wakefield Trinity
AHEAD OF their long-awaited return home this week, Leeds Rhinos coach Dave Furner says he has been given a clear idea of where his team stand and what they need to improve.
With the £45m redevelopment of Headingley Stadium continuing Rhinos began the season with four successive away games, against Warrington Wolves, who were in both finals last year, champions Wigan Warriors and league leaders St Helens, as well as Salford Red Devils.
A 46-14 victory at Salford was their only success, but Furner feels his team, who play host to Wakefield Trinity on Friday, are improving every week and was encouraged by much of their performance in the 27-22 defeat to Saints three days ago.
Assessing the first month of the Super League season, Furner said: “We knew what we were in for over the first four weeks. As a coach I wanted to see what mettle this team has got, individually and collectively.
“We have had a fair crack; we’ve played the two Grand Finalists and also the league leaders.
“It has given me a good chance to assess what we’ve got.
“I was very proud of the players (on Friday).
“I was hoping we would pick up that result, but we need to analyse it, have a look at it and move on.”
Leeds trailed 10-0 early on, hit back to lead by 12 points at the interval and did not score in the second half.
“The players need to make sure they keep their heads up,” Furner reflected.
“The fightback (in the first half) was great. We have been training like that and we are getting better. The players are working hard, there’s just certain lapses we can’t afford.”