Leeds Rhinos will turn things around insists Liam Sutcliffe

AFTER DEFEATS in their opening three games, centre Liam Sutcliffe is confident things will turn around for Leeds Rhinos, sooner rather than later.

By Peter Smith
Monday, 28th February 2022, 6:00 am

Last week’s 10-4 home loss to Catalans Dragons left Rhinos still looking for their first win in Betfred Super League.

They face a big game at Wakefield Trinity, who have also lost their first three matches, on Thursday, but Sutcliffe believes it is “just a matter of time” before Rhinos come good.

“Obviously it has not been ideal, losing the first three games, but we’re still confident we’ll get to where we want to be,” he insisted.

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Liam Sutcliffe is confident Leeds Rhinos will get their season back on track. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“It’s just one of those things; we’ve got to take it on the chin, recover from it and go again.

“I am still very confident we’ll achieve something good this year.

“It is just a matter of time.”

Rhinos’ fixtures so far have been against three of the four teams who finished above them in last year’s table.

Leeds Rhinos' Liam Sutcliffe. Picture: Tony Johnson.

“It has been a tough start,” Sutcliffe added.

“But, especially [last Thursday] I thought we should have won.

“I thought we were going to win, especially when they went down to 12.

“We missed a few chances, myself included, so it’s bitterly disappointing, but I am sure it will come at some point.

“We are very confident and we’ve just got to stick with it.”

Rhinos have a new half-back pairing in Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer, who have played together just twice for the club in competitive matches.

They have also been hit by a series of suspensions and injuries and David Fusitu’a, Harry Newman, James Bentley, Rhyse Martin, Richie Myler, Tom Holroyd, Sam Walters and Muizz Mustapha were all unavailable for last week’s game.

Sutcliffe, though, insisted they aren’t looking for excuses.

He said: “It has been a bit of a disrupted start to the season, it has not been ideal for us, but we’ve just got to get on with it.

“It is part and parcel of the game, you get these things week in and week out and you’re never going to get your own way, so you’ve just got to deal with it.

“It will come good for us at some point, hopefully this week. We will rip in at training, it is just a matter of time before we get things right and when we do, we will go on a good run.

“We are working hard in training and we know we’ve got a good group.

“We will get there.”

Rhinos suffered another injury setback in the opening moments of last week’s game.

Second-rower Alex Mellor was taken to hospital for treatment to a neck injury after being carried off the field on a stretcher, causing a long delay in play.

“I thought it was just concussion at first, then when you see the stretcher come out you do get a bit worried,” Sutcliffe reflected. “Hopefully it is nothing too serious and we send our best wishes to him. It happens in games, but hopefully he’s all right.”

Sutcliffe missed the second half of last season following knee surgery, but has played in all three competitive matches this year.

“I’m getting there,” he said of his own form. It is good to be back playing, after a long time out.

“It is not going our way team-wise, but I am enjoying being back out there and when we get some wins it will make it more enjoyable.”

Meanwhile, utility-back Jack Broadbent – who has yet to feature in Super League this season – sent a message to coach Richard Agar with a hat-trick of tries as Rhinos’ reserves opened their campaign with a 52-8 away win over Bradford Bulls.

Other try scorers were Mackenzie Turner, Alfie Edgell, Mekhi Bridgeman-Rooney, Jack Sinfield, Max Simpson and dual-registered Featherstone Rovers duo Tom Holmes and Kyle Trout.

Sinfield kicked six goals.

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