LEEDS RHINOS’ England forward Brett Ferres is treating tonight’s visit of his old club Huddersfield Giants as just another game.
It is Ferres’ first meeting with his former team-mates since he moved from Huddersfield to Leeds in January.
The transfer came after Ferres was suspended by Giants over a non-rugby matter, but he insists the game is too important to get caught up in any personal issues.
“It is same old, same old,” Ferres said of his approach to tonight’s battle of First Utility Super League’s bottom two.
“It is all about us this week. We’ve had a couple of disappointing performances and we’ll be out to rectify that this week.
“They are in a similar situation, they have had their injury difficulties, but we need a performance and a result.
“For the last couple of weeks what we’ve dished up is now what’s expected here. We are looking to right the wrongs and hopefully this week put that complete performance together.”
There were indications Leeds could be heading in the right direction during the second half of last Saturday’s 32-28 defeat at Catalans Dragons.
Rhinos, who had scored a total of five tries in their previous four games this year, crossed four times to go with a scrambled first-half touchdown, and Dragons were hanging on at the end.
It was a case of so near, yet so far and Ferres is confident Rhinos will get off the mark and kick on up the table once they can build consistency into their performance.
“The week before in the World Club Challenge we had a great 40 minutes, then a disappointing 40 minutes” he said. “Last week we backed that up with a few good bits and then some poor errors. For us it is about getting the 80 minutes sorted out and a bit of consistency in what we are doing and what we are playing with.
“If we get that sorted out I am sure we will be all right.”
Leeds paid the price for mistakes and penalties in France and Ferres stressed they know what they need to put right.
“We haven’t had many bits of luck or bounces of the ball yet,” he said. “Hopefully that will swing around and we’ll get some of that and we’ll get momentum with that.
“I think the effort’s there. We are working hard for each other, but we’re not smart in the right areas at times. Hopefully that will all come together for us.”
The current plight is a new experience for most of Rhinos’ squad, who are used to winning consistently and being near the top of the table. Ferres said despite the poor run, the mood in the camp remains positive. He stressed: “It is disappointing, but we dust ourselves off and go again. That’s the beauty of it, we get an opportunity to put things right on Friday.
“It is a big game, a Sky game and a bit of a local derby. The incentive is certainly there for us to go out and do a job on them.”
Rhinos are beginning a run of games against the four teams who finished immediately below them last year, making this a crucial time in the season.
Ferres added: “We just need to find some form and some consistency, which has not been there for us.
“That’s something we need to get right and if we can do that I think we will be all right. Going forward it is a tough period and it is a difficult start for us, but hopefully we’ll be all right now.”
Tonight’s meeting of two teams without a win is a far cry from when Rhinos travelled to Huddersfield in the final round of last year’s First Utility Super-8s and both had a chance of finishing top of the table. Ferres reckons his old side have faced similar problems to Leeds so far this term.
“They have got a lot of injuries,” he said. “It is tough when you have got a lot of your top players out and your key playmakers.
“But that’s the nature of the beast and I am sure once they get them back they will be all right again.”
Ferres’ first meeting with Huddersfield comes at Headingley, with Leeds due to travel to Galpharm Stadium for the return next month.
He said: “It’s a Leeds home game and there’ll be a lot more Leeds fans there.
“I will really enjoy it, it’s great camaraderie with the fans. It is a fantastic stadium and the atmosphere is electric.
“It is a Sky game and it’s going to be pumping. We owe it to the fans to get the performance right.”
Rhinos are Ferres’ fifth professional club and he is used to lining up against former colleagues.
“I’ve done it before and I know the majority of players in Super League now, so it doesn’t really matter.
“It is another game and the focus is on us this week. We want to right some wrongs and get that complete performance.”
And after four defeats, Ferres reckons it’s time he got to sing Rhinos’ victory song.
“I have settled in fine, everything is sweet, it’s just the results that have been disappointing,” he stated.
“It would be nice to get the win and get the monkey off our back. It has been going all right, I have put some decent shifts in and I think once the team starts performing and injuries clear up, collectively we’ll get things right and it’ll all pan out for us.”