AUSSIE PROP Mitch Garbutt is confident Leeds Rhinos can cope with the loss of hooker Paul Aiton.
Aiton will miss the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final showdown with Hull KR on August 29 after suffering a broken arm, which will keep him out of action for six to eight weeks, in the 49-10 thrashing of Warrington Wolves three days ago.
Coach Brian McDermott has indicated he will turn to teenagers Jordan Lilley and Robbie Ward and Garbutt said: “It’s really disappointing because Paul plays such a big part in our side.
“Any time he is out of the side, we are at a disadvantage, but there’s some good players waiting in the wings, who are ready to step up. We’ve got Rob Burrow as well and whoever gets their chance is going to be ready.”
The win over Warrington avenged two earlier defeats in the regular season, but Garbutt insisted it was far from easy. He said: “I think we had to work for all our points.
“They came out firing and I think we went away from our game plan a little bit, but once we went back to it we showed what we can do.”
Last Friday’s victory backed up an impressive effort against St Helens in the previous week’s Challenge Cup semi-final.
“That was a good thing,” Garbutt reflected. “We spoke about that before the game. There was a very big build up to the semi-final, but we are making sure we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We are taking every week as it comes.”