'It's our biggest issue': Rhyse Martin reveals what Leeds Rhinos need to do to beat Castleford Tigers in Magic Weekend derby

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Goal-kicking forward Rhyse Martin has outlined what he believes to be the “biggest issue” facing Leeds Rhinos during his four seasons at the club.

Rhinos ran in 11 tries in last week’s record 62-16 win over, an admittedly weakened and out of sorts, Hull, but the real test is whether they can back that up.

Today’s Magic Weekend opponents Castleford Tigers are missing some key players, but in much better form than Hull and have beaten Leeds twice already this year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Martin admitted: “That has probably been our biggest issue as a team since I have been here.

Rhyse Martin. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.Rhyse Martin. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Rhyse Martin. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

“The team we have are capable of a lot more than we’ve been showing. I think the biggest step for us as a team is to string our good performance together and build that consistency.

“If we can do that, we will be a hard team to beat. We have struggled in the past with backing a really good performance up with another good one, so we have just got to keep doing what we’ve been working hard at over the last couple of weeks at training.

“We have to keep believing in what we are doing and hopefully the results will start turning up for us.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In his six games as coach, Rohan Smith has made a clear difference to Rhinos’ attack, which was the poorest in the competition before he arrived.

“It just makes sense, I think,” Martin said of Rhinos’ new style, bringing the three-quarters into play and involving much more ball movement than earlier in the year.

“It’s not over-complicating what we are trying to do, he is just giving everyone a licence to perform and do what they are good at in the team.

“I think we are just building on those combinations week-in and week-out.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Everyone feels like they are contributing to the team and you feel like you are part of something good. I think what we are doing is really positive.”

Martin packed his kicking boots last week, contributing to Rhinos’ big win by landing nine goals from 11 attempts.

“I don’t know where they’ve been, to be honest,” he reflected. “I think I must have been using somebody else’s.

“I have been working really hard, I think I was getting a bit frustrated with how recent games have been going and lost a bit of confidence, I think, with it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“But I have just been focusing on my technique and my approach to practise at training and I just have to keep doing what I’ve been working hard on the last couple of weeks and not forget I am quite handy with it.”

Last week also saw Martin return to the second-row, after a spell playing at centre. He admitted: “It’s just consistency with me; I need to keep focused on what I am doing each week. For the team, I am happy to play wherever.

Read More
'It'll be weird': Ex-Leeds Rhinos man Alex Mellor backs Castleford Tigers to gra...

“Wherever I am, I just want to know that’s me and I can work hard on the back of that role.”

Martin is out of contract at the end of this season, having signed a new one-year deal last September and revealed negotiations over his future are continuing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I don’t think it’ll be far off, but I am not really delving into it at the moment, I am just trying to focus on my footy,” he said.

The immediate concern is helping Rhinos close day one at Newcastle with a win which would lift them to seventh in Betfred Super League, just a point outside the play-offs.

Martin said: “It’s my second Magic and last year was very enjoyable, a great experience.

“It was good going to a new stadium I had not played at. The facilities are obviously Premier League-standard so that was really good to experience.

“To be the main game on the Saturday is exciting.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Playing Tigers adds to the anticipation, Martin reckons and he stressed Leeds need to “get one back” after this year’s previous defeats.

“It is always a packed crowd and a good atmosphere and I am assuming - well, hoping anyway - it will be the same,” he said.

“We’ve both come off a good win and it’s a big game. For our season, we need to win.

“Cas have managed a few wins recently which have put them into the play-off positions so we need to get this win, regardless of who we are playing.

“We definitely need to get one back on Cas this weekend, but it’s more about getting our season back on track.”