Leeds Rhinos: Derby display was better – but not good enough, admits Richie Myler

Richie Myler can't prevent Castleford's Jesse Sene-Lefao from scoring his side's first try last Thursday.
Richie Myler can't prevent Castleford's Jesse Sene-Lefao from scoring his side's first try last Thursday.
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A BIT better, but still not good enough.

That was half-back Richie Myler’s summary of the latest result and performance which deepened the gloom surrounding Leeds Rhinos and left them in the thick of a relegation battle.

Richie Myler.

Richie Myler.

“It was disappointing – a disappointing result and disappointing performance,” Myler accepted of the 30-8 home defeat by Castleford Tigers which came just five days after Leeds bowed out of the Coral Challenge Cup away against Betfred Championship side Bradford Bulls.

“I thought it was a better performance than last week, but still not good enough.”

A lack of effort is not the problem, according to the England number seven.

“I thought we worked hard enough as a team,” he stated.

Nobody wants to be in this position and we are working hard to put it right.

Richie Myler

“We worked hard on little bits of the game, but we probably lacked some smarts.

“We didn’t have any field position and we conceded too many points.

“We are working hard in training, we are working our socks off.

“I just think we need to keep plugging away and hopefully it turns for us.”

Kallum Watkins is tackled by Castleford's Paul McShane.

Kallum Watkins is tackled by Castleford's Paul McShane.

With 11 defeats from 15 Super League rounds, Leeds look a demoralised outfit clearly lacking in confidence.

Winning breeds confidence, but it is hard to win games without it. It is a vicious circle, but Myler insisted: “You can work on that, you’ve just got to keep doing the little things right and working as hard as you can to put it right on the field and on the training park.

“We are all committed, I think we’ve shown the effort we are putting into it. Nobody wants to be in this position and we are working hard to put it right.

“Unfortunately [on Thursday] we just came up short.”

Tom Briscoe is congratulated on his try against Castleford.

Tom Briscoe is congratulated on his try against Castleford.

Rhinos’ Magic Weekend clash with London Broncos in Liverpool on Sunday has become the biggest game of their season.

Leeds are level on points with the Broncos but sit in 10th position thanks to their superior points difference, but Myler stressed: “Every game now is a big one until the end of the season.

“I think we have put ourselves in a position where we need to perform and we need to turn it around. We are committed to doing that, we are working hard on the training paddock, we’ve just got to transfer it on to the field.”

Leeds’ defence has struggled all year, but Myler acknowledged that is not the only problem.

He added: “We are gifting field position and not building any pressure.

“I think that is probably the biggest area, whether that’s through defence or through kicking or errors.

“We are inviting teams to our line and it’s too hard at this level when you just invite people to play.”

Myler is one of the most experienced players in the team and stressed: “From one to 17 has to put their hand up, whether you are a senior player or a young player who’s come in.

“We are in a predicament now where everyone needs to perform and we need to turn it around quickly. It is a collective thing, it takes a team to win. It showed in what Bradford did last week.

“No disrespect to Bradford, but they played as a team and they worked their socks off and they got the win. We need to take a bit of inspiration from that and we need to keep grinding it out, put the work in on the training paddock, keep working on the small things we are not doing at the moment and hopefully it turns for us.”

Myler reckons Rhinos owe it to their fans to get things right, describing the support last week as “phenomenal”.

He said: “We’re disappointed we weren’t able to put a performance on for them. It was a packed out crowd in front of the new North Stand being opened and it’s just a shame we weren’t able to deliver on the field.”