THE EASTER fixture pile-up was a “pretty decent” spell for Leeds Rhinos, hooker Brad Dwyer reckons.
Rhinos dropped a point in a 22-22 draw at struggling Huddersfield Giants on Good Friday, but whitewashed Salford Red Devils 20-0 on Easter Monday and won 28-26 away to Wakefield Trinity two days ago.
Those results have left them fourth in the table, but they are only a point behind second-placed Wigan Warriors who visit Emerald Headingley on Friday night.
Rhinos trailed 12-6 at half-time against Wakefield and were eight points adrift going into the final quarter, but three late tries secured what Dwyer felt was a precious win.
He said: “Obviously, on the back of last week – and Easter – it was tough, but we spoke about going out there strong and fast and I thought we did that.
“Credit to Wakefield, they came out and punched back after about 15-20 minutes so all together we showed some great character.
“We finished the game strong and we came away with two points, which makes our Easter period pretty decent – five out of six.”
Rhinos have had to dig deep into their squad during an early-season injury crisis, but Dwyer insisted: “That’s going to shine through for us, some young lads have been exposed to some game time and they’ve come up trumps and shown they can handle it.
“That’s good for our squad and puts us in a good position for later in the year when the experienced lads are going to be a bit fresher and, if we need them, the young guys have had some experience.”
Full-back Ashton Golding filled in as replacement acting-half when Dwyer was out of the side for three recent games. Dwyer said: “He was really impressive, really steady in D [defence] and strong and obviously he’s very athletic and, being a back, he’s really fit so he’s suited to it.
“It’s good, with the squad we’ve got it doesn’t matter who plays where as long as everyone’s playing well and pushing each other. It keeps everyone in the starting team on their toes.”
Dwyer returned to make his first Leeds start at Huddersfield and was on the bench against Salford and Wakefield.
“I’ve been struggling with a rib injury and then we had the good win against Saints and it was difficult to change the team,” he reflected. “I was just pleased to have made an impact [last Sunday] and, hopefully, I can work on that this week and get some consistency, along with some game time and some fitness, then I can do it for a bit longer, hopefully.”
The former Warrington man was born in Wigan and is relishing this week’s visit of his hometown club.
“I normally go all right against Wigan so I am excited for it,” he said.
“I’ve not played against them too many times so I’m looking forward to getting another chance at Headingley.
“And hopefully there’ll be a good crowd on and it’ll be a good occasion.”
Meanwhile, Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington has played down speculation linking the club with Gold Coast Titans’ former St Helens second-rower Joe Greenwood.
He said [It’s] just another player who becomes available and we are automatically linked.”