Leeds Rhinos: Moon more than happy to stand in at stand-off

STAND-IN STAND-OFF Joel Moon says he's happy to play wherever Leeds Rhinos need him.

Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 5:00 am
Joel Moon

Moon started as one of the playmakers for the first time in his Leeds career when Rhinos won 42-28 at London Broncos last weekend.

With Danny McGuire suffering an ankle injury during the game and Rob Burrow missing it because of a calf problem, Moon’s switch could prove to be more than a one-off.

Rhinos’ management are hopeful Burrow will be available for their next fixture, at home to Salford Red Devils on Friday, September 2, but McGuire is facing several weeks on the sidelines.

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Liam Sutcliffe, who began the season in the halves, has made a successful switch to full-back and teenager Jordan Lilley was carrying a shoulder problem before returning off the bench three days ago.

Moon gives coach Brian McDermott an extra option and the Aussie, who joined Rhinos from Salford ahead of the 2013 season, said he will do “whatever the team wants”. He said: “You have got to fit in. “I haven’t played there for a while. Back home I played half and centre. I am fairly new to it, it’s different, but I enjoyed it.

“I just tried to get in there and get on the ball.

“It was good to do it and get chucked in there for the whole game.

“I’ve played there [for Leeds] before, but only for 20 or 40 minutes and to do it for the whole game was good.”

Rhinos have won their opening three matches in the First Utility Qualifiers and will go into this weekend’s Challenge Cup final break sitting top of the table.

“They haven’t hit their best form in the past two matches, but Moon insisted the victory was the most important thing to come out of the trip to Ealing Trailfinders.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game so we were just happy to get away with the two points,” he said.

“That’s the main thing in these play-offs, just get the job done, get the win and get out.”

He added: “London played well.

“They looked dangerous in some areas. They were good.

“They didn’t surprise me. I know a few of their boys and I know how good they can be.”

Of Leeds’ start to the Qualifiers, Moon said: “We are happy, considering the start to the season. Coming into these games we’ve got to build for next year so it is big to get the first three wins.”

Salford have lost two of their opening three Qualifiers and will need to beat Rhinos to have any hope of avoiding being dragged into the million pound game.

“It will be good to have a break,” Moon said.

“It has been a really long season and we’ll be keen to get into Salford and get another win.

“We’re just trying to get our game right, play well and build on our game. Every game is tough. Salford are always tough, so we’ll be getting ready for a tough game next week.”