James Donaldson determined to ‘deliver the goods’ for Leeds Rhinos
LEEDS RHINOS’ James Donaldson admits things have got even more “interesting” at the foot of Super League following London Broncos’ shock win in Perpignan – but his side will be ready to make sure they don’t suffer the same fate.
Saturday’s 17-4 success against Catalans Dragons means only an inferior points difference now separates bottom-placed London from both Hull KR, in 11th, and Huddersfield, in 10th.
Yet Wakefield Trinity and Leeds are also just two points clear of bottom with only three games remaining in the fight to avoid relegation.
Moreover, Rhinos, who lost 36-20 at home to leaders St Helens on Thursday, face London next.
After the Challenge Cup weekend, they head to Ealing on Sunday, September 1, for a gargantuan contest.
Richard Agar’s side looked to have turned a corner with back-to-back wins over Huddersfield Giants and Catalans Dragons but are now very much still in the scrap for safety.
Loose-forward Donaldson, 27, insisted: “We’ll be ready for London. There’s still games to be won and points to be got.
“We have to really look forward to going down there and putting a good shift in.
“London showed what they are capable of again with that win in France and it’s made it all-the-more interesting.”
Leeds beat Broncos 24-22 in their last meeting at Magic Weekend in May – Agar’s first victory since taking over from the sacked Dave Furner – but, prior to that, suffered a shock 18-16 defeat to Danny Ward’s side at Headingley.
“We owe them big time,” conceded ex-Bradford Bulls star Donaldson.
“We let them off the hook here but, more importantly, we’re a better side and a different team to what we were back then.
“We’ll be looking forward to going down there and improving on what we dished up against Saints.”
Leeds were level 10-10 with an under-strength Saints on Thursday but conceded some soft tries to fall behind before saving a little face near the end.
“It was disappointing,” recalled Donaldson.
“I thought we were all positive going in at half-time and we could probably have stopped that try just before half-time to be ahead.
“In the second half we just didn’t follow instructions from Rich and just couldn’t seem to be able to get the ball back to be fair.
“There was a period where we didn’t touch the ball for four sets or something like that and I can’t remember getting in their half with some good ball.
“But it came down to our defence and attitude really and that’s disappointing.
“We’re better than that and we’d shown that for the last two but we let ourselves down. It’s disappointing really as we felt we were moving forward and kicking on.
“We seem to go hard for two games and then let ourselves down. We can’t do that again.”