Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos: We need to get quickly out of the blocks, insists Myler
IF THERE is one thing Leeds Rhinos' Richie Myler has learned about playing Castleford Tigers it is the need for a fast start.
The ex-England scrum-half knows that it is imperative if they are to come out on top in tonight’s Magic Weekend clash in Newcastle.
Defending champions lost 25-24 when they last met in an enthralling contest at Elland Road in March but that scoreline only told half the story.
Myler recalled: “I just remember not touching the ball for the first 20 minutes or so.
“They started off like a house on fire and our start was well off. They capitalised on it and were 24-0 up at one point.
“We know we’ll have to start well this time around and really build on what we’ve done so far this year.
“We’ve not been too far off. Obviously we’ve lost a couple of games by a point and been scratchy at times but we’re looking forward to really nailing a performance.”
Leeds sit sixth in the table, just behind the side they beat in last year’s Grand Final.
Myler won’t be up against his usual adversary, though, with Man of Steel Luke Gale out following knee surgery.
“It’s a bit of an unknown quantity what they’ll be like without him,” said Myler, Castleford having been knocked out of the Challenge Cup by St Helens last week.
“But Gale has been such a big indicator for them for so long, such a great player, so they will miss him. Yet I do think they have a lot of talent across the board to live with that and they can really, really trouble us.
“And let’s not forget, the Cas fans, the Cas team and the Leeds team and fans… everyone seems to raise their game for this. It’s a derby and it gets really spicy. I can’t wait to play in it again.”
For all Leeds have been inconsistent this term, winning seven of their 13 league games so far, Myler has certainly shown his own quality since arriving from Catalans Dragons.
So often it takes time for a half-back to bed into a new team but the ex-Warrington Wolves star has been an instant hit at Emerald Headingley.
For instance, no player has created more tries in Super League than Myler who already has 19 assists to his name.
He said: “I am enjoying it. The boys have been very, very welcoming and I think I’ve fitted into a system that was perfect for my game really.
“Why I joined was I knew it was a platform here for me to show what I’m all about.
“I’ve found that I’ve shown that so far but obviously we’d like a few more results to be getting us higher up that table.
“But I am enjoying the way this team is playing.”
The pressure could have been unbearable giving Myler - who turns 28 on Monday - came in to replace a living legend in Rhinos captain Danny McGuire.
But he maintained: “I’ve been fortunate to be around a team that knows what it’s all about and how it plays.
“It was just me coming in and fitting in really, adapting to them and giving them what we needed as a team.
“That’s my main goal and so far so good.”
Myler, meanwhile, will play at Magic Weekend for a fourth different team on Saturday.
“I’ve loved the Magic experience and been fortunate to play in quite a few now,” he explained, having featured with Salford Red Devils, Warrington and Catalans.
“It’s a great spectacle. I just love how the fans all interact with each other and treats such a great atmosphere and environment to play rugby in.
“Obviously there’s been some big moments in some of the games over the years and that’s added to it all, too.”