FRIDAY’S VISIT of Wigan Warriors is just the tonic for wounded Leeds Rhinos, according to prop Brad Singleton.
Rhinos are hurting from last Saturday’s 43-24 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Hull, but Singleton reckons they will have no trouble getting their chins up for what is always one of the biggest games of the year.
Rhinos begin the Betfred Super-8s in second place on the table and this week’s fixture is an opportunity to boost their play-offs hopes and leave Wigan further adrift of the top-four.
“We just need to get that winning mentality and keep ticking off wins,” said Singleton.
“It is Leeds versus Wigan and that’s my favourite game of the year.
“It is always an aggressive game and it’s always a battle – I will thoroughly enjoy it.”
Wigan are seventh, three points behind fourth-placed Salford Red Devils.
They beat an under-strength Rhinos side two weeks ago and reached the Cup final by overpowering Salford last Sunday.
“The main thing for them is they will be wanting to stay on winning ways,” Singleton added.
“I know they’ve had an injury-struck year, but this is the business end and teams like Wigan know what to do at the business end.
“They need to get wins, they need the two points to get into a position where they can get in the top-four. There’s everything to play for for both teams.”
Wigan have struggled for much of the campaign, but players are beginning to return at the right time.
Singleton said: “They have had a lot of injuries, but they’ve got some big players back now – people like Sam Tomkins.
“Something like that does perk the dressing room up.
“I imagine that will help them for the business end of the year and they always have a big game when they play against Leeds.
“There’s probably a few lads in their team who’ll say it’s their favourite game of the year.
“It always attracts a big crowd and both teams will be excited for this one.”
Wigan will be without hooker Sam Powell who was banned for one game after pleading guilty to a grade B dangerous contact offence against Salford.