Adam Cuthbertson: Challenge Cup is an opportunity for us to turn our season around

Brad Singleton. Picture Tony Johnson.
Brad Singleton. Picture Tony Johnson.
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THE CHALLENGE Cup starts for us tonight and I think it is a great chance to turn our season around.

We haven’t been in the best form, but the Cup gives us an opportunity to really test ourselves in pressure situations and get some confidence going into the rest of the Super League season.

Mikolaj Oledzki.

Mikolaj Oledzki.

Widnes at Widnes is not the greatest draw we’ve ever had, but you have to deal with what’s in front of you and we can’t complain after three ties at home to lower-division teams last year.

What it is, is a real chance to respond with a good performance. We’ve not had much luck playing at Widnes – I have never won there – but it is a do-or-die game and we have to come up wih a real Leeds Rhinos performance.

The Cup is exciting, it’s a different competition and a chance to take a break from Super League.

And it is a competition we love and want to do well in.

We are just a few plays off having a really good Leeds Rhinos performance.

Adam Cuthbertson

We’ve had a lot of disappointment over the last couple of years, going out at Huddersfield in 2016 and then getting to a game before the final and losing to Hull in 2017.

I think what you have to do in the Cup is more or less take it personally.

Widnes will be saying the same things we are; it’s a chance to turn their season around after some disappointing results.

But, as far as I am concerned, they are standing in our way this week.

There’s no second chances, we want to get to Wembley and to do that we have to win tonight.

If we can get a good Challenge Cup win it’ll stand us in good stead for the Super League matches coming up and we will only be two wins away from getting to the final. Playing at Wembley is a huge honour and winning the Cup is even better.

I’ve been fortunate to have had that experience and, when you are there, it just makes you more hungry to go back.

We are good enough to do it, I am sure of that, but we have to be more consistent in games.

We need to start better and be better at managing games when we get into a winning position. We have got a load of improvement in us and, at the moment, we are just a few plays off having a really good Leeds Rhinos performance.

To do that, it is about getting the really small things right.

All you can do is fix them up in training and take them on to the field with you.

It is not a case of expecting it to happen one week. It is all about working hard and keeping the faith. We are quite happy for everyone to write us off, because that’s how we love playing.

It means we can turn our season around and prove people wrong.

We’ve done it before and, at the minute, we are not far off. It will take just one good performance to get us back on track.

It is a shame we will be without my right-hand man tonight. Singo’s been holding the fort in the front-row this year, especially when I was out. His broken hand means he’ll be sidelined for a few weeks and we will miss him.

He has been playing massive minutes and really ripping in, but when one door closes another opens. Jack Walker came in this time last year and proved what a quality player he is and Mikolaj [Oledzki]has got the opportunity now to get more game time and experience and he will take it with both hands, I am sure.

I was really proud of the Leeds Rhinos women’s team this week when we made it three wins from three in Super League.

The girls let their standards slip in the game before, at Wigan, but they bounced back with a really good, clinical performance.

We worked hard on the training paddock – from one to 20 they all came off hating me – but it paid off.

We wanted to win the toss and play uphill in the first half and we lost that, but I was really proud of the way the girls responded.

They were clinical in the first half and then in the second Featherstone had a lot of ball, but the way the girls stood up for each other was outstanding.

We tired Featherstone out in the first half and gave them nothing in the second.

The desire and determination the girls showed was really pleasing and now they have got to take it into the rest of their games.