‘It won’t take us long to get back where we were’ insists Leeds Rhinos’ Mikolaj Oledzki

BIG PROP Mikolaj Oledzki reckons it is only a matter of time before Leeds Rhinos come good.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 6:00 am

Rhinos will face Salford Red Devils at Warrington in two days’ time on the back of successive defeats which have come after a five-game winning run.

Oledzki believes they are suffering from the five-month coronavirus layoff and have yet to fully come to terms with Betfred Super League’s new rules, but insists a two-week build up to Saturday’s game will stand them in good stead.

“We know ourselves we are not quite where we finished before lockdown just yet,” Oledzki admitted.

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Mikolaj Oledzki on the attack for Leeds Rhinos against Wigan Warriors earlier this month. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

“I think the good thing is we know that and we are doing everything to improve on the things that need improving.”

He stressed: “We are keeping our head up, we are not sulking.

“We are working hard and the hard working attitude and the determination to be better every week is there.

“I am sure it won’t take us long to get back where we were.”

Mikolaj Oledzki touches down against Salford Red Devils earlier this season. Picture: Steve Riding.

Oledzki was among the try scorers when Rhinos won 22-8 at AJ Bell Stadium six months ago, but Salford – last year’s Grand Final runners-up – have recorded successive wins over Wigan Warriors and Hull either side of lockdown.

“They are always a good side, they are a hard-working team and they do their jobs really well,” Oledzki warned.

“They are a hard team to play against, but I think we are concentrating more on ourselves.

“We know if we as players play our roles well and we all turn up and play like we can and we should, it should be a good game and a close game and hopefully we can get back to winning ways.”

Saturday’s match is officially Rhinos’ home fixture, but will be played behind closed doors on neutral ground.

Rhinos have struggled to find their feet as a unit since Super League resumed at the start of this month, but the pack in particular has come under fire following the losses to St Helens and Wigan. Despite some key injuries, Oledzki is confident they have what it takes to prove the critics wrong.

He said: “It is hard because before lockdown the pack was the same and we showed what we are capable of and not many people criticised us. Now we haven’t won a few games and there’s people criticising our pack and saying we are not big enough.

“People will always have an opinion, but we know what we are capable of and I think we showed that against bigger packs before lockdown.

“We know we are not there yet as a forward pack, but we are working towards it. We are working on getting better and we are getting there.

“Hopefully we can use this as a building block to get better.”

Now 21, Oledzki is in his fourth season as a full-time member of Rhinos’ squad and already has 53 senior games under his belt.

The England Knights and former England academy forward is ever-present this year and happy with the game time he is getting.

“I always love being in the team,” the former Hunslet Warriors youngster, who was born in Gdansk, Poland, said.

“I am always grateful to be in the team.

“I just love playing and I love playing with the bunch of lads we’ve got at the moment.

“Everyone is honest and hard working and when you are on the field you really enjoy playing with these lads.

“I am really enjoying it at the moment and hopefully we can back our performance with a win this week.”


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