FULL-BACK JACK Walker reckons Leeds Rhinos are ready and able to end their long wait for a win at Wigan Warriors.
Rhinos have lost six successive games at DW Stadium since a victory there in 2013 and are on the back of a 26-6 defeat at Warrington Wolves in Betfred Super League round one six days ago.
But Walker insisted they “weren’t that far off” last week and is confident Leeds can win tonight if they get their game together.
“I thought we came out of the blocks quite well,” he said of the opening setback.
“In the first 10-15 minutes I thought we were good, then we kind of faded away and we couldn’t handle their offloads.
“They got on the front foot and got a roll on so it was a tough one, but I think if we fix up a few things we’re not that far off.
I don’t think there’s anything to say we can’t go there and do the job.Jack Walker
“I watched their [Wigan’s] game last week and I don’t think there’s anything to say we can’t go there and do the job.
“I think if we nail everything we need to do and get everything done we will come away with two points.”
Four members of tonight’s initial 19 made their competitive debut last week and Walker predicted it will “take a few games” to get combinations going.
He said: “With Tui [Lolohea] coming in and being a new half we’ve got to learn the little things he does in games and obviously I can work off that.
“It is just time, I think. It will all fit together at some point.”
Dave Furner, a former Wigan player, is searching for his first win as Leeds coach and Walker has no doubt he is the right man to get them back on their feet.
“Through pre-season he has been working really hard with me on my defence and my goalline D [defence] and my attack as well because Dave is an attacking coach,” Walker revealed. “It is looking really good in training, it just needs converting into a game now. If we can do that we’ll be all right.”
Walker is in his third season as part of Leeds’ full-time squad. He was a Super League young player of the year nominee and capped by England Knights last year, but insisted he has more to offer both with and without the ball.
“Last year I didn’t really do much attacking,” he said.
“I wanted to bring that into this year, but it’s just positional – where I need to be at times – in defence, especially in our own 20. That’s the main thing, but I am working on everything in general because I am still young and I’m still learning.”