Leeds Rhinos: Bring on Easter schedule, says captain Sinfield

Kevin Sinfield.
Kevin Sinfield.
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LEEDS RHINOS captain Kevin Sinfield has denied the busy Easter schedule puts too much strain on players.

Rhinos are preparing for a sequence of three games in 10 days which will see them travel to Bradford Bulls tomorrow, followed by the Easter Monday visit of Salford Red Devils and then a home showdown with St Helens in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup the following Saturday.

Sinfield insisted he sees it as a “challenge” and he is relishing seeing how he and Rhinos cope with a crucial phase of the campaign.

“I am looking forward to it,” stated Sinfield. “I always enjoy it. I think as long as you can get through the games unscathed it’s a real challenge and a test of yourself and everybody within the squad.

“We have seen a fair bit of rotation this year and that will certainly help over the Easter period if Brian (coach Brian McDermott) continues to do that. Hopefully, whoever takes the field on Thursday and Monday will go out and do a great job for us.

“It is tough and challenging and you hear a lot of people moaning about it, but I don’t think many people will moan from our camp.

“We get really well looked after and you get a fair amount of free time, resting and recovering at home with the family. It is our busiest spell in terms of games, but one of the most enjoyable.”

Rhinos will go into Easter on the back of a 42-6 First Utility Super League win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats last Friday.

That came just five days after Leeds had crushed Wildcats 60-6 in the Challenge Cup and Sinfield felt Rhinos’ attitude to the league clash was an encouraging sign.

“We put ourselves in their shoes and tried to think of the attitude and mentality they would come with,” he said. “The pressure was completely off Wakefield.

“We thought they would come with a carefree attitude and throw the ball about and ask some questions of us, so we needed to be really careful and make sure we were on our game.

“We had to make sure we had the right attitude going in and we were prepared to work hard for each other and I thought we did that.”

An injury to Ben Jones-Bishop meant a first half reshuffle, which saw Carl Ablett go into the centres, Liam Sutcliffe to half-back for spells and Joel Moon taking half-back responsibilities.

Sinfield said: “It disrupted us a bit and we probably weren’t as fluent in the second half as we’d have liked, but we got the job done.

“I thought we did some good stuff in and among that and again our defence was pretty strong.

“It was good to get another win at home and another two points and now we can look forward to Easter.”

Meanwhile, prop Jamie Peacock will be rested for tomorrow’s game and Ben Jones-Bishop (concussion) is ruled out, but Zak Hardaker, Danny McGuire and Brett Delaney could all return and Elliot Minchella is also in contention.

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