A TRY-SAVING tackle on Gareth Ellis in the second-half of Leeds Rhinos’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win at Hull last week proved Aussie second-row Brett Delaney is back in business.
Delaney came off the bench for his first appearance in four matches and made a crucial contribution to Rhinos’ win. Now he is aiming to finish the season on a high after an injury-hit first half of the campaign.
“It has been disappointing this year,” Delaney said. “I’ve strung some games together and then been out of the side, so it’s good to be back.
“I didn’t do much prep’ last week, but I got through the game all right, so touch wood I can build on that.”
Delaney, 29, has undergone a series of knee operations during his time at Leeds, but of his latest setback he said: “Originally it was my hammy (hamstring).
“I pushed it against Wigan. I did it against Huddersfield and I probably over-trained. I played against Wigan and after about 50 minutes it went again.
“I was coming back from that and my calf went, so I haven’t had any luck really. But hopefully that’s behind me now and I can kick on.
“It’s the business end of the season now and I am feeling fresh. It’s good to be back out there training with the boys.
“I’ve spent a lot of time on the sidelines so I am trying to be positive and kick on now.”
One advantage is Delaney has had a rest going into the biggest games of the campaign.
He added: “I have spoken to Mac (coach Brian McDermott).
“It is the business end of the season and I need to be firing, so it’s a good time to come back.
“Hopefully I can stay injury-free and string some games together and get back to contributing to the side and helping out.
“Obviously it’s hard watching from the sidelines, so it’s good to be back out there among it, doing what you love.”
“We play a lot of games over here in England and the good thing about it is when you have time out, there’s still a chunk of games left.
“Back home I’d have missed half of the season already.
“That’s a positive. Hopefully I can stay fit for the rest of the year and help the team and club win more trophies.”
Rhinos are at home to St Helens tonight before a trip to Wigan Warriors in six days’ time.
“It is quite close,” Delaney said of the First Utility Super League table.
“We need to kick on now. We ground out a win last week against a good side in Hull, they are physical and conditions weren’t the best.
“There were as lot of positives to take from that game and the week before the boys really laid a platform and we started building from there.
“There’s no excuses. Last year we dipped at this time and we don’t want to be doing that this year.
“We have to be more consistent now, especially with it being so tight in that top-four. We want to finish top, so we need a win (tonight). We’re not shying away from the point, we want to finish on top.
“We have to be picking up points going into the Super-8s and be consistent in the final seven rounds. We want to finish on top at the end of that and build. It’s the business end, so we can’t be inconsistent, we need to move forward and keep winning.”