Adam Cuthbertson: It’s all about getting our attitude right for the Cup and Qualifiers

Adam Cuthbertson is tackled by Widnes' Gil Dudson.
Adam Cuthbertson is tackled by Widnes' Gil Dudson.
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IN THE four years I’ve been at the Rhinos we’ve had some brilliant moments and some sky-high highs, but unfortunately with those come some lows.

Since I joined the club in 2015 we’ve won the comp twice, the Challenge Cup and finished top of the table and now we’re heading into the middle-eights for the second time.

Tom Briscoe celebrates scoring the Rhinos sixth try against Widnes.

Tom Briscoe celebrates scoring the Rhinos sixth try against Widnes.

In the Qualifiers you are fighting for your Super League lives and that’s something you don’t want to be involved in, ever, in your career.

It is the situation we find ourselves in and we’ve got to face up and get on with it. We have still got a lot to aim for this year, with the Challenge Cup semi-final coming up against Warrington in nine days’ time.

That is going to be brilliant for us in terms of trying to salvage a bit of success from what has been an unsuccessful season.

The Challenge Cup’s a big one for us now and we are going to do what we can to go out and win the semi-final coming up, then hopefully go on and lift some silverware.

It is all about how you go into it mentally and how you prepare for it.

Adam Cuthbertson

From then we’ve just got to carry ourselves in the right way when we get into the middle-eights. Attitude is going to be important and we won’t be taking it lightly. We know there’s going to be hard matches coming up and every team we play will see us as a scalp they want to take.

The way we approach it and carry ourselves for the remainder of the season is the big thing for us now. We know it isn’t going to be easy. It wasn’t last time and some of the teams we will be playing are a lot more experienced against Super League opposition now.

We won six out of the seven last time and finished first in the table, but every game was a challenge. What makes it so tense is you know two teams are going to have to play off at the end of it and in the last two seasons a Super League side has been relegated.

You go into every week with some sort of fear so for us it is just about being as professional as we can be, preparing as well as we possibly can and not taking any game for granted.

I think we did that really well last time and that stood us in good stead to ultimately finish ninth at the end of the season. We learned a lot from the experience, it gave us a lot to work on and it helped us turn things around and win the Grand Final a year later.

We hoped we wouldn’t be in this situation again, but at least having been there we know what we are in for.

It is all about how you go into it mentally and how you prepare for it. We could go into it with a doom and gloom mentality, or take a really positive attitude and attack the middle-eights.

That’s what we’ll be trying to do and I think the fact we’ve still got a chance of taking out the Challenge Cup is going to help up stay focused. There’s still a lot for us to play for and hopefully a lot of good times ahead.

It was good to get the win over Widnes last week, but we were still relying on other results and once you’re into that you are in trouble.

It would have been nice if Castleford or Hull could have done us a favour and kept the top-eight alive for another week, but it wasn’t to be.

The positive for us is we’re back to winning ways after so long without being able to sing the victory song.

Nine games is a long time to go without a win, but we got the draw against Wakefield and then built on that last week and there are definitely positive signs.

I won’t be playing at Salford tonight, but it is an important game for us even though there’s nothing at stake in the table.

We want to go into the semi-final and then the middle-eights with a bit of form and momentum behind us.

We need a good win and another positive performance and that will give us something to build on.

Winning and losing are both a habit. We’ve broken one and we need to pick up the other.

We looked good with the ball at times last week and defensively we’ve had a much better attitude for the last two games and that is going to stand us in good stead for the big matches coming up.