Leeds Rhinos: Ablett not fazed by previous Magic Weekend set-backs

Carl Ablett
Carl Ablett
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REVENGE FOR previous defeats won’t be a motivation for Leeds Rhinos this week, according to back-rower Carl Ablett.

Rhinos will face Wigan Warriors at St James’s Park on Saturday in the sides’ third successive Magic Weekend meeting.

Wigan will be aiming for a hat-trick of victories, after narrow wins in 2013 and 2014, but Ablett insisted what has happened in the past will play no part in their thinking ahead of Saturday.

“We just want to keep performing,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll look back at the last two defeats at Magic.

“It’s a different team and we’re in a different part of the league now, where we need to start building some momentum. We weren’t at our best on Friday and we’ve got some work to do before we play this weekend. I am sure we’ll have a good week and try and fix things up and get things sorted for what I’m sure will be a tough game.”

Rhinos’ clash with Wigan will close the opening day of rugby league’s first visit to the home of Newcastle United.

“We’ve not really thought about it up to now,” Ablett said.

“We had a big week with the Cup and then we needed to back up last Friday, so the Magic Weekend hasn’t really been a focus or something we’ve talked about.

“Now the Hull KR game’s out of the way we will review that and then look forward to Saturday, which will be a new atmosphere in a good stadium.

“It is great to go to different places and experience these things. We’re all looking forward to it.”

Ablett said the main positive from last week’s 36-16 victory was Rhinos’ second-half defensive effort, which kept Hull KR scoreless.

“Going in at half-time, we weren’t very happy,” he conceded.

“I think in the first half we played well with the ball, we were rolling forward and we made some good metres.

“But on the back of that they did play with the ball a bit, they promoted it and shifted it and we didn’t deal with that.

“It took a few stern words at half-time to address that.

“We came out in the second half and defended a lot better.

“But on Saturday, against a team like Wigan, we can’t defend like we did in the first half, so we’ll be looking to improve that part of our game. We will have to be good.”

Ablett is becoming Rhinos’ interception king, after snatching an opposition pass to score against Huddersfield and setting up a try with a similar effort last weekend.

“I didn’t score last week, but we scored in that set and I’ll take that,” he said. “It’s just being in the right place at the right time.”

Ablett added: “Sometimes things just fall in your hands.”