Leeds Rhinos: Zane Tetevano says Super League Grand Final is the goal after play-off win at Wigan Warriors

Star forward Zane Tetevano wants to pay back his Leeds Rhinos teammates for the effort they put in during his recent suspension.

By Peter Smith
Friday, 24th September 2021, 5:00 pm

The New Zealand and Cook Islands international returned from a three-game ban when Rhinos won 8-0 at Wigan Warriors in a Betfred Super League elimination play-off two days ago.

That was his second suspension of the campaign - after he missed four games early in the year - and he was also sidelined for six matches after contracting Covid midway through the season.

Despite being without their midfield enforcer - and a host of other first-choice players - for much of the season, Leeds are one win away from the club’s 11th Grand Final and Tetevano is grateful to his colleagues for getting him to that position.

Zane Tetevano, right, reflects on Rhinos' win at Wigan as Konrad Hurrell and Rob Lui celebrate. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

“Three weeks is a long time,” he said.

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“It was good to be finally back in the mix.”

Rhinos’ defensive effort at Wigan will stand them in good stead for next week, Tetevano reckons. He reflected: “The first half was nil-all so it was a tough game, which we knew it would be, but that’s finals footy for you.

“D [defence] wins games. We knew it was going to be a pretty basic gameplan for us and that defence would win us the game so we hung in there and got what we wanted. Next stop the semis.”

Having kept Wigan scoreless on their own ground for the second time in a month, there are signs Rhinos are coming good at the right time.

“It’s a massive achievement keeping a side to nil,” Tetevano added. “It’s all about attitude, we showed what we wanted to do.

“We did it against Wigan last time and we know they’re a good side. It’s good, but we have to step up again next week.”

Tetevano played in two of the past three NRL title deciders before joining Rhinos from Penrith Panthers in pre-season. An appearance at Old Trafford would be the perfect end to his first Super League campaign and he insisted: “That’s the goal.

“I’ve been [talking to] Matt Prior and he has been through the same process.

“We’re taking it game by game, but it would be nice.”

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