Leeds Rhinos: Dwyer has no hard feelings over his tough start to life at Leeds

Brad Dwyer on the attack against Widnes.
Brad Dwyer on the attack against Widnes.
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RESURGENT HOOKER Brad Dwyer insists he has no hard feelings over a tough start to his Leeds Rhinos career.

Dwyer made only 12 appearances, 10 of them off the bench, under previous coach Brian McDermott and had a spell with Rhinos’ dual-registration partners Featherstone Rovers in the Betfred Championship.

Brad Dwyer celebrates scoring the Rhinos' opening try agianst Widnes.

Brad Dwyer celebrates scoring the Rhinos' opening try agianst Widnes.

But new director of rugby Kevin Sinfield has handed Dwyer successive starts and the former Warrington Wolves man repaid him with two outstanding performances including a man-of-the-match effort in last week’s win over Widnes Vikings.

Rhinos had been hoping to resign their former No9 Paul Aiton, but that seems to have fallen through and Dwyer is determined to show what he can do with a consistent run of games.

“The big thing for me now is the enjoyment,” said the Wigan-born 25-year-old who is included in the initial squad for tonight’s final game of the regular Betfred Super League campaign at Salford Red Devils.

“It’s nothing to do with the environment before, it’s not an act of a certain person, it’s just about getting a chance and me taking that chance.

It is good to see I am having a go at actually taking my chance. That’s something I hope I do and there’s no better place to do it than here at Leeds.

Brad Dwyer

“I have had chances in the past and not quite nailed them. For some reason, I don’t know why, I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential.

“It is good to see I am having a go at actually taking my chance.

“That’s something I hope I do and there’s no better place to do it than here at Leeds.”

Of his struggle to establish himself in the team, Dwyer added: “It wasn’t due to the past environment I was in. It was due to injuries and where we were as a team and trying to fit me in and there’s got to be some onus on myself taking my chances when I get them.

“There’s been limited chances this year, but that’s not the fault of one person.

“It is just the way things have gone and sometimes you need that luck. It seems the last couple of weeks I’ve had that bit of luck.

“Then it’s up to me to deliver and I feel like I have done so far. I have got to keep doing that and get some consistency so I can rely on that and if I go have an off game I can look back at the past and what I’ve done.”

Dwyer reckons he can make an impact on Rhinos’ battle against relegation in the Qualifiers.

“The stuff we spoke about when we had a change of environment, I felt like I could add,” he said.

“That was defensively last week and I felt like I did, I came away from that game buzzing for the team and myself.

“I did think I have got more to give with the ball in my hands and I’m glad I could show that [against Widnes].

“Now it’s a case of getting that all together for this week and going on with it.”

Dwyer’s performance last week was well received by the Emerald Headingley crowd.

“There’s no place like it,” he said of Rhinos’ home ground.

“It’s just no-stop noise and when you hear them singing your name it’s very special.

“That’s something I want to be part of as much as I can.

“I want to get as many of those moments as I can.

“That’s down to me – I have got to give them something to sing about.

“The enjoyment’s key for me. I’ve got that going at the minute so hopefully I can carry on.”

Dwyer said there is no truth in speculation linking him with a possible move to Bradford Bulls and stressed he expects – and is keen – to remain at Leeds next year.

He said: “In my opinion I am at the best club there is and I don’t say that lightly.

“I genuinely believe that. We could still have a special end to the year, with the Challenge Cup.

“I am here next year and for me the rest of this year is about putting myself in a good spot to kick on next year.”