Kruise Leeming’s View From The Pitch: Toulouse game ‘massive’ for Leeds Rhinos

WE ARE a very different team now to the one we were four or five weeks ago and I think we are due a win.

By Kruise Leeming
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 8:27 am

There’s still a lot of things that need changing and plenty of stuff going wrong at the minute, but the last couple of games have shown we are on an upward curve.

To be honest, that’s the only real positive we can take out of the Easter weekend because the bottom line is, we didn’t win either game.

Huddersfield felt like a loss, even though we got a point, because it was a game we should have closed out and against Castleford it was a case of so near, yet so far.

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Skipper Kruise Leeming was impressed by Jack Sinfield's Leeds Rhinos debut. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

There’s not a lot I can say about our performances because we aren’t getting the results we want and need; no matter how close it is or how much effort we put in, the only thing that people – fans and ourselves – are bothered about is two points and getting a win.

We are at least trying for each other and there’s people in the team who are absolutely working their socks off.

Within the camp, we feel the win is coming but, other than that, it is difficult to find anything to smile about.

That said, in a few years’ time people might look back on Monday as a big day for the club.

Club captain Kruise Leeming says Max Simpson, pictured, should be proud of his Leeds Rhinos debut - at just 1y. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

It’s not often you get two 17 year olds playing in the same team, never mind making their debut together, but I thought Max Simpson and Jack Sinfield could be proud of the way they played. We have talked before about how good our youngsters are and I think it was just another display of what we’ve got waiting in the wings.

Max is a quiet young lad, who gets on with his job.

He is a very good athlete, he’s fast and strong and that’s what he showed on Monday.

He got on with his job, did it to a high level and I was really happy for him.

Jack has got a famous last name and that gives him a lot to live up to but I thought he grew into the game the longer it went on.

I know Jack pretty well – we travel over together – and he is a confident young lad.

We spoke before the game and he was really nervous, as you’d expect, but his confidence oozed out and I think he is going to be a good player in the future. It was great experience for them both; the only thing missing was the win, but we’ll get that soon.

Discipline is something that has let us down this year and we have spoken about that in team meetings and reviews.

There’s only been two matches this season we haven’t had anybody suspended for and that isn’t good enough.

We can’t afford to keep having people sin-binned and banned. Playing with 12 men or having to reshuffle because people are ruled out makes it harder to win games and it has to stop.

I always say every game is a big one but Friday against Toulouse is absolutely massive and we will be putting extra emphasis on it.

We’ve both won the same number of games this season – one – and it is like a four-pointer.

They’ll be coming here thinking if they can get a win they’ll go above us on the table but if we come out on top we’ll have a three-point gap. We have got to treat it like a Cup final; it is that important.

I know Toulouse have improved after a tough start to the year; they have beaten Saints this season – which is no mean feat – and they’ve been close against Wigan and Hull KR, so we are under no illusions.

They will have targeted this game and they’ll come out all guns blazing but, as I mentioned earlier, we are heading in the right direction.

We played Cas a month or so ago and lost by 24 points; on Monday it was just two.

The numbers don’t lie, they give us something to build on but not the two points and that is all that matters, especially this weekend.

I’d rather have the win than anything and, hopefully, we can continue our improvement, tidy up some areas that are still letting us down and finally give our loyal fans at Headingley something to cheer about.

The supporters have been great and they deserve a win.