Red-hot Leeds Rhinos centre Konrad Hurrell ready to douse Catalans Dragons’ fire
LEEDS RHINOS centre Konrad Hurrell is confident of being g fit to face Catalans Dragons at Emerald Headingley on Friday night.
Hurrell rolled an ankle during his two-try performance in last week’s 44-0 win at Huddersfield Giants.
The strong-running Tongan international, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Monday, did not train at the start of the week, when he was in a protective boot, but described the injury as “not too bad”.
Hurrell was hurt in the first half, but played the full 80 minutes at John Smith’s Stadium and confirmed: “There was a little niggle from the game, but I had a scan and it looks all right. It’s just bruised up. I should be all right for this week, I am just looking after it now.”
Hurrell was troubled by a hamstring injury earlier in the season and has now begun to regain the form he showed before that, so is keen not to lose his place.
“Especially going into the end of the season,” he added. “We are still in the fight and I don’t want to miss out.
“It has been a tough season for us and I want to keep fighting for the boys. That is why I am here, to play with them and give it all I can so I am just looking after myself this week and I should be all right.”
Hurrell’s two tries against Giants took him to 14 for the season, but he accepts other areas of his game need to improve.
Of his form, he said: “It has been up and down with the little errors and stuff, that’s what I have been struggling with this year.
“I feel like I am working on that and it’s going really well.
“It has been all right the last month, I would say, and I am working on my defence as well.
“I guess last week was one of my best defensive games in a while and attacking-wise.”
Leeds’ left side has been their most potent attacking threat this year with Hurrell’s winger Ash Handley having touched down 17 times, also including a brace at Huddersfield.
Handley is Betfred Super League’s fourth-highest try scorer, despite playing for a struggling team and Hurrell believes the 23-year-old England Knights man has a bright future.
“It is always handy to play with a good winger,” Hurrell said.
“They say the centre always sets up the tries, but in order for the centre to play better you need a good winger.
“Sometimes in defence I make a bad decision and that’s when he comes in and covers for me.
“He has been doing that for the last couple of months, with intercepts and shutting down the centre.
“Sometimes I don’t need to do a lot of work, I just need to give him some early balls and he will finish it.
“He is a young kid and he knows there’s still a lot to learn, but he’s still good and one of the best players in our team.
“I like it that he likes learning and likes taking advice from other people.”
Rhinos have climbed to a season’s best eighth in Super League ahead of the game in two days’ time, but Hurrell is predicting a tough evening.
“They have been on form the last two weeks,” he said of Catalans.
“They have been up and down like us, but they are up there fighting for the top-five.
“We have just got to look at ourselves again. Last week all we worried about was ourselves and what we are going to bring to the team.
“That is what we need to do again this week, just working on us at training and improving and seeing what we can do better.
“I guess if we worry too much about Catalans that’s when things will hit the fan.
“It has been poor this year at home so hopefully we’ll turn that around against Catalans.
“If we bring our defence, our running game, our kick-chase and do the little things we will be sweet against any team, not just Catalans.”