Leeds Rhinos: Delaney in good shape after first game back

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LEEDS RHINOS can go into Friday’s visit of Warrington Wolves in confident mood, back-rower Brett Delaney says.

Rhinos suffered their fifth loss of the Betfred Super League season when they were beaten 29-18 by leaders Castleford Tigers in the final game of the Magic Weekend two days ago.

But they have followed their four previous defeats with a win in their next game and Delaney reckons if they can repeat last weekend’s effort and cut out some errors and lapses in concentration they can get back on track in three days’ time.

Leeds, who were embarrassed 66-10 by Tigers at the Jungle in May, were blown apart in the third quarter at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park after going in at the break all square.

Delaney admitted the spell immediately after half-time – when they conceded four tries – was decisive.

However, he felt Leeds, who scored the final two tries, could take positives from the first 40 minutes and the way they finished the game.

“The 10 minutes after half-time was crucial,” Delaney said of a devastating period when Tigers scored 22 unanswered points to take a 28-6 lead. “They capitalised, but we showed some fight at the end and we will take that into this week’s game.

“It was disappointing after going in 6-6 at half-time.

“A lack of concentration cost us; Cas are a classy side and they showed that.

“They put some points on us and we were just chasing the game after that.”

One of the positives for Rhinos was Delaney’s return from injury off the substitutes’ bench.

He missed the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win over Barrow Raiders due to concussion, but reckons he is in good shape going into a period of two games in four days over the bank holiday weekend.

“Other than the concussion, my body’s good,” said the 31-year-old Australian.

“I am just happy to get back out there. I had a disappointing year last year, so it’s good to string some games together and get back on the horse.”

Rhinos are fourth in the table and the loss in Newcastle has added extra pressure on Friday’s game.

Leeds are now four points behind leaders Castleford and only two clear of fifth-placed Wakefield Trinity, who play host to lowly Huddersfield Giants on Friday. Warrington’s win over Leeds in April was their first of the season, but they have lost only once in their last seven matches and drew with champions Wigan Warriors at the Magic Weekend.

“They played well against Wigan so it’ll be a tough one on Friday night,” Delaney predicted.

“We back up on Monday against Widnes so it’s like another Easter period.

“We’ll have to get back on the horse. We’ll rip in on Friday and hopefully get the win.”