Leeds Rhinos: Ablett is satisfied with Leeds’ progress

Carl Ablett.
Carl Ablett.
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SECOND-ROW FORWARD Carl Ablett says Leeds Rhinos can be quietly satisfied with their start to the season.

Rhinos opened their First Utility Super League campaign with wins at Hull KR and home to Widnes Vikings, scoring 78 points and conceding 36.

“I don’t think we can complain,” Ablett reflected. “Obviously in the first game to concede 30 points was a bit disappointing, but there was no panic.

“We watched the video and reviewed the game and there were no real fractures in our line, it wasn’t as if we were coming up with system errors and they were letting us down.

“There were some kicks we didn’t deal with properly and a few of those came off for them, but we were better against Widnes.

“We were a little bit disappointed with the try we conceded – you don’t want to give away an easy try like that, you want to make teams work for it – but we were a little bit better defensively.

“There was a lot more intensity in our game and we were pretty happy with scoring 30-odd points, especially in the second half.

“The first half was a bit of an arm wrestle and we went in at half-time six-apiece, so to score that many points in the second half was good.”

Rhinos were without a game at the weekend, when Super League took a break for the World Club Series.

“It’s just part of it,” Ablett said of the early rest. “It might be good for us because we’ve had our first two games, then chance to settle down and get some training done again, look at a few things and make sure we’re ready for Thursday’s game against Huddersfield.

“That’s going to be a big game, so we’ll have a big prep’ for that and hopefully we’ll be ready.”

Rhinos haven’t won in their last seven meetings with Huddersfield, including six defeats and a draw.

Their last victory over Giants was in the 2011 play-offs and Ablett admitted: “Our record against them hasn’t been great.

“But this is a new year and we are playing a little bit differently this season. Hopefully we’ve got a few things that can trouble them. We know we will have to keep improving, because they challenge you. They are coming off two defeats so they are going to be fired up. They will have had a big couple of weeks building up to it and they’ll be ready to go.”

Of his own form in the two games so far, Ablett said: “I was a bit rusty against Hull KR because I didn’t play much in pre-season because of my knee problem. It was good to get a good 65 minutes against Widnes. I’ve been able to get some more training done and get a little bit fitter and hopefully I’ll be all right come Thursday.”