Defeat was tough to take but we gave it everything says Leeds Rhinos’ Matt Prior

HAVING SCORED a try in his 300th career game, Leeds Rhinos forward Matt Prior admitted only one thing spoiled his day.

By Peter Smith
Monday, 14th February 2022, 6:00 am

“I would have preferred the win,” the Australian prop admitted after Rhinos’ Betfred Super League campaign began with a 22-20 loss to Warrington Wolves in front of the live Channel 4 cameras at Headingley.

Prior scored Rhinos’ second try of the season, following fellow prop Zane Tetevano’s opener.

Despite having debutant second-rower James Bentley sent-off and Brad Dwyer sin-binned and losing Richie Myler and David Fusitu’a to injuries, Leeds were less than seven minutes away from victory when Warrington grabbed the winning score.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Leeds Rhinos' Matt Prior is stopped by the Warrington Wolves defence. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Prior said: “It’s obviously disappointing, but we were down a couple of men, we lost a few players with injuries and the effort was still there.

“I think we can hold our heads up high and be proud of the effort.

“I think we could still have got the two points, regardless of the circumstances, but we will be better next week.”

Prior felt the loss was “tough to take”, but insisted there were encouraging signs.

Leeds Rhinos' Rhyse Martin hauled to the floor by Warrington's Peter Mata'utia. Picture: Tony Johnson.

“If you keep putting that much effort in, you are going to win games,” he stated.

“We’ll keep building on that, learn what we can from it and move on.”

There were a flurry of red and yellow cards across the games in round one and Prior noted: “The refs are cracking down and I guess the rules are the rules and you’ve just got to play by that.

“You know that’s what they are cracking down on, so you’ve just got to be better.

Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar.

“That kind of effort and commitment is going to take us a long way this year; we just need to be smarter, learn from our mistakes and move on to next week as quickly as we can.

“We’ve got another game and we need to be better.”

Enforced changes are likely for Friday’s visit to Wigan Warriors.

Prior said: “We will be down on troops, but whoever is in there is going to do a good job.

“That’s the calibre of players we’ve got at the club and what the club’s all about.

“Whoever comes in is going to give their all, we all expect that of each other so I think we’ll be right.”

Rhyse Martin is likely to be missing this week following the sudden death of his father before the Warrington game.

He played on Saturday and the club are arranging for him to fly to Australia to be with family there.

Prior said: “The way Rhyse has handled himself this week is credit to him as a bloke.

“He is a tremendous bloke; everything he does, he does at 100 miles an hour.

“What he did [on Saturday] was special, under the circumstances.

“It was pretty emotional seeing him in there [the changing room] after the game, after giving his all.

“It was touching to see how much effort he gave after the circumstances.

“We will just try and be there for him and support him.

“Credit to him, he has been amazing.

“He’s going to try and get home and be with his family, which is good.

“It is a tough time for him and his family.”

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. You’ll enjoy unlimited access to the latest on Leeds United and Leeds Rhinos. With our sports digital subscription, you’ll also see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get exclusive content. Click here to subscribe.