LEEDS RHINOS legend Rob Burrow has tasted highs and lows in the first two games of his coaching career and reckons both will stand him and his young players in good stead.
Rhinos’ new academy boss was in charge for the first time when Rhinos won 70-14 at Coventry Bears in a pre-season game last month, but another young side found the going much tougher at Keighley Cougars yesterday, where they were crushed 50-12.
Cougars, of Betfred League One, were near to full strength and Leeds – fielding a host of first year academy players, including several 16 year olds – were never in the game. Burrow admitted it was a tough introduction to playing against men, and he reflected: “I said to the boys at half-time, I think it was Mike Tyson who said ‘you’ve got a gameplan until you get a whack on the chin’.
“Having beaten Coventry so convincingly, we came here and it was totally different. It will be an experience for these boys and they’ll never forget that – and they are getting it young in their career.
“It was men against boys at times. They were playing against fully-fledged, very good players and hopefully we can take as much from this negative as we did from the win the other week. You have to experience the bad as well as the good. They will learn a lot from it.”
Burrow admitted the final scoreline was “very disappointing”, but he stressed: “You can’t get carried away.
“There were a lot of very young lads out there and it was the first kick they’ve had in the teeth and the first time they’ve played against people like that. Our young lads have never been knocked about like that and it will be an education for them.
“We’ve now had a good win and a bad loss and it will test me as a coach, how I can get them ready for the next game, on Friday.”