Leeds Chiefs urged to make temporary 'homes' tough places to visit for NIHL National rivals

RICHARD BENTHAM says Leeds Chiefs need to make their temporary home venues intimidating places for visiting teams.

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 7:36 am
Updated Saturday, 9th November 2019, 11:49 am
FORTRESS: Leeds Chiefs struggled in their 'home' opener against Sheffield Steeldogs last Sunday at Blackburn, losing 6-3. Picture courtesy of Cerys Molloy.

READ MORE - Leeds Chiefs coach Sam Zajac happy with his options ahead of derby date at Hull PiratesThe NIHL National outfit are still waiting for their Elland Road rink to be completed with the first games there now scheduled for some time in December.

In the meantime, they are hosting games elsewhere, the first of which saw them welcome Sheffield Steeldogs to Blackburn Ice Arena last Sunday only for their Yorkshire rivals to head home on the back of a deserved 6-3 victory.

Three more games are scheduled for alternative rinks this month, with the Chiefs hosting leaders Swindon Wildcats at Widnes on Sunday, before two further matches back at Blackburn.

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“We just weren’t at the races against Sheffield which was really disappointing,” said Bentham.

“But whether it is at Blackburn or Widnes we need to take it upon ourselves to make it uncomfortable for teams.

“And then, when we do get into Leeds, we can turn that place into a fortress and make it impossible for other teams to get a result.”

MAKING LIFE DIFFICULT: Richard Bentham says leeds Chiefs need to make home advantage count - whether it in Leeds or not. Picture: Chris Stratford.

Before facing Swindon, the Chiefs pay their second visit of the season to Hull Pirates on Saturday night hoping to avenge last month's 5-4 defeat in overtime and lift the inaugural Yorkshire Remembrance Day trophy in the process.

Bentham was missing for the last encounter, but believes the heart shown so far by Leeds this season can continue to play a major factor going forward.

"I’ve never played on a team like this where everybody is such good mates - that’s something that is hard to come by and is massive in terms of getting a team up and running," he added.

"We’ve got a good mix of age groups and I know that the younger lads do listen to us older players. The main thing we’ve got at the minute is we’ve got the heart - it’s all about positive encouragement and getting the best out of each other.

"In some teams you do often have a couple of cliques, but there is nothing like that in our room. We are all one little family."