Leeds Rhinos: '˜Eights' system is working just fine '“ Ablett

I DON'T think anyone should be calling for a change in the way the season works just because there's been some one-sided games.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 19th August 2016, 5:00 am
James Segeyaro celebrates his second try against Hull KR.
James Segeyaro celebrates his second try against Hull KR.

We are two weeks in and I am already reading that the whole thing should be scrapped because teams at the bottom of the Super-8s can’t get into the semi-finals and the Qualifiers needs axing because of some blow-out scores.

Last year I think it worked pretty well and going into the last round of the Super-8s four teams – us, Wigan, Huddersfield and Saints – were all in with a shout of finishing top.

I don’t think you can ask for much more than that. Obviously it is difficult for the teams at the bottom end of the top-eights.

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Wakefield and Widnes aren’t going to get into the top-four so people are saying they have nothing to play for, but as a player I don’t know how you can enter a game not wanting to win or caring about the result.

Fans pay good money to come and watch you, so you owe it to them, to yourself and to the club to go out there and give it your all, whatever the situation on the table.

Wakey play Widnes on Sunday and I am sure both teams will be all guns blazing, trying to finish as high up the ladder as they can.

The players won’t have the mindset that there’s nothing at stake. Look at Castleford, they started the eights in sixth place and have beaten two of the top-three already.

They will be going to Warrington tomorrow determined to send the home team to Wembley on the back of a defeat, so there is always something to play for.

In the Qualifiers, I think it’s shaping up to be an exciting next five weeks.

Huddersfield and Salford have already lost a game each, which has opened things up a bit.

They have got five games left and they’ll know if they lose another one they’ll be under pressure.

Leigh have won two from two and will be looking at finishing in the top-three and getting automatic promotion, never mind the million pound game, so there’s some interesting times ahead. From our point of view, we are taking it game-by-game. We haven’t set a target for how many wins we need to stay in Super League.

All we know is if we keep winning we will be all right. We are just focusing, like we have for the last couple of months, on trying to get better.

At the moment I think we are doing a decent job and we have definitely improved from where we were.

We were a bit scratchy last week, but you have to give credit to Hull KR. I thought they defended really well and we never really got going.

We made too many errors so that’s something we have to look at, but we have got London tomorrow and then a week off to recharge and refocus and recover a bit for the final four games.

It looks like it is going to be tight, but I am not going to second guess what will happen. There could be a few twists and turns as the Qualifiers go on.

Pressure can do all sorts of things to teams so it is exciting as a fan and that’s what the game wants.

As a player, you don’t focus on the format too much. We are given a fixture list and we get on with it.

The position we are in, it’s important we just focus on us. We are in the Qualifiers so we’ve got to get our heads around that.

So far we’ve put in two professional performances and we have to be happy with four points, but we know if we have one bad day we could be right back in the mix.

It’s a lot different to last year, when we were going for the title and top spot. We’d definitely prefer to be in the top-eight, but we haven’t been good enough and we have to deal with the consequences.

We are where we deserve to be and the Qualifiers bring a different sort of pressure. People are expecting us to be comfortable and win every week, but we can’t approach it like that.

We have got seven massive games and we need to win as many as we can and play as well as we can.

Tomorrow’s game at London is just as important as any we’ve had over the past couple of years and that’s how we are approaching it.