Leeds Rhinos: Burrow reckons ‘underdog’ status is an advantage

Rob Burrow.
Rob Burrow.
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FIT-AGAIN Rob Burrow was pleased to get a game under his belt before the play-offs, but admits Leeds Rhinos have hard work to do as they bid to reverse the decline in their league form.

Burrow came off the bench during the 24-19 defeat at Hull in Rhinos’ final game of the regular First Utility Super League season three days ago.

That was his first appearance since the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final win over Castleford Tigers three weeks earlier and Burrow was pleased to avoid a recurrence of his persistent groin problem.

“I got through all right,” the veteran half-back/hooker confirmed. “I wanted to play and get a bit of game time, because it steps up a notch in the play-offs.

“It was important I got out there and got a bit of a feel for the game, because you can lose that when you’ve been out for a few weeks.”

The defeat at Hull was Leeds’ fifth successive league loss and Burrow conceded they have some hard work to do ahead of Saturday’s elimination tie at home to Catalan Dragons.

“The Challenge Cup obviously masked the five straight defeats,” Burrow said. “We can’t rely on the past, but we’ve shown that we can do it in this situation.

“2011 was a poor season, but we came good at the end. We didn’t have as bad a run into the play-offs as this, but at the same time I would not want to be coming into these play-offs with any other team.

“These lads are super lads and we are determined to win it.”

Rhinos led 19-4 at Hull with 18 minutes left, before conceding four unanswered tries in a morale-sapping collapse.

“It is tough, but the lads are all right,” Burrow said.

“Obviously we are disappointed, but there’s no point moping.

“It is knock-out rugby this week and it’s exciting. In theory it could be our last game, but we are determined not to go out.

“It brings a little more out of the players, it is exciting and hopefully it will bring the best out of us, like it has done in the past.”

Sixth place means Rhinos will need to beat Catalan this week and then win away to two teams who finished above them if they are to reach Old Trafford.

“It’s good to be the underdog,” Burrow said. “If we can play anything near our best we will take some beating.

“We’ve got a week to prepare, we’ll address this loss and move on. It’s not a time to dwell on things.”

Leeds 'Rhinos head coach Brian McDermot watches on at Hull FC. 'Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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