Kruise Leeming column: Matt Prior ‘easy to forget’ message, Leeds Rhinos warning, injury update
Kruise Leeming’s latest column for the Yorkshire Evening Post on all things Leeds Rhinos.
I travelled to Catalans with the team and it was an unbelievable evening in south-west France.
It’s strange because you never want to have a player sent off but I think if Priz - that’s Matt Prior - hadn’t got a red card, we wouldn’t have won that game.
It spurred us on and, to be honest, Catalans maybe took their eye off the ball a bit as well.
When we were down to 12 we had to work harder or it could have gotten embarrassing.
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That was probably the first thing then, once we got a couple of tries on the board, everyone started thinking ‘hang on a minute, we might be onto something here’.
It is always nice fighting back like that because you get some momentum and the opposition find it hard to stop.
That’s what it looked like, watching the game. They couldn’t halt our momentum and all we needed to do was keep hold of the ball.
If we did that, we were going to score and score and score. That’s what we did; we kept hold of it, got on the front foot and they couldn’t stop us.
It was brilliant, such a good win and a big one in our season. It is hard not to look at the table and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t, but we are trying our best to go week to week and build and build.
I’ve been saying for a while that we are getting better; we just haven’t been able to show it on the scoreboard but I think that is starting to come through in results now.
The fans are beginning to believe what we are saying and, internally, confidence is growing. It’s not easy to believe and trust in the process when results aren’t going your way but now they are starting to turn.
There’s still a long way to go, but we are seeing the fruits of our labour now and that makes it enjoyable. The changing room is a nice place to be at the minute and the club, as a whole, is in good spirits.
It’s a big game on Sunday, against Salford. You might not believe this but I tipped them to beat Saints last weekend. On the plane over to Perpignan, I was chatting to Priz and I said they’d win.
They are in good form and their spirits are really high. They have come close a couple of times to beating Saints and I could feel it coming. I think they are the dark horses in the table.
We’ve played the teams second and third in the last couple of games but this one will be as tough, if not tougher, so we need to keep our eye on the ball.
They’ve beaten us twice this year, in Richard Agar’s last game and Rohan Smith’s first, but we were a very different team back then. They will think they’ve got our number but we want to right some wrongs. Unfortunately, we are going to be without Priz for that game and the week after at Hull KR.
As a team, our discipline hasn’t been good all year and it’s something we definitely need to fix.
Priz was gutted after the Catalans game but it was hard to be upset in that changing room following such a good win. I will get my arm around him this week and let him know we are behind him as a team and a club. The high tackle wasn’t deliberate. In his position, his job is to belt people.
Sometimes you have to tread close to the line to be a good player and, occasionally, you might overstep it. He has been such a good player for us since he came over from Australia.
It is easy to forget what he has done for the club when stuff like this happens, because you are judged on your last performance. It is important to remember what players have done throughout their whole career at Leeds Rhinos, not just the week before.
Just like one good game doesn’t make up for some poor ones. Priz has been fantastic for us and I think we owe him some respect and to get around him in this tough period.
Finally, just an update on my injury. I am good and my spirits are high. It’s tough not being able to play and the last month hasn't been the best, but it makes it a lot easier when the lads are winning.
Everything is progressing as expected with my foot and I am able to train - without running - but I’ve not got a date yet for when I’ll be back on the field.