Leeds Rhinos: Garbutt living Rhinos dream

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AUSSIE FORWARD Mitch Garbutt says he feels “lucky” to be on the verge of history after only 13 games for Leeds Rhinos.

AUSSIE FORWARD Mitch Garbutt says he feels “lucky” to be on the verge of history after only 13 games for Leeds Rhinos.

Mitch Garbutt, left, and Adam Cuthbertson.

Mitch Garbutt, left, and Adam Cuthbertson.

The former Melbourne Storm and Newcastle Knights prop joined Rhinos in July and has already won a Challenge Cup final and been part of the team which clinched the League Leaders’ Shield.

Rhinos will attempt to complete a clean-sweep of available trophies for the first time in the club’s 125-year history when they face Wigan Warriors in Saturday’s First Utility Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.

Garbutt said: “I have been lucky to play in such a good side.

“We have performed well most weeks, apart from those when we lost three in a row, which was a tough period for us.

“But I think we are stronger from it. We have defended really well the last few weeks and it has been really exciting for me and my family. But it all comes back to the boys in the side. They’ve been great.”

Old Trafford’s nickname is ‘The Theatre of Dreams’ and Garbutt admitted in his case, that is true.

“When I signed I knew Leeds had been successful in the past and were having a really good season,” Garbutt reflected. “I didn’t expect this would happen. I didn’t know what was going to happen when I got over here, but it has been great.

“I am very happy with the way everything has turned out.”

Rhinos coach Brian McDermott was due to name his initial 19-man squad for the final this afternoon.

The last two games, wins over Huddersfield Giants and St Helens, have seen Leeds pushed to the limit, but Garbutt is confident there’s fuel left in the tank.

“Those are the sort of games you need coming into big games,” he said. “We were behind for a long period of time in both those games and we hung in there.

“We have been working really hard on our defence and that has been really good the last few weeks and that’s something we need to take into Saturday, because Wigan are so good across the park.

“We are expecting a massive game and we have to prepare well for it.”

Rhinos’ never-say-die spirit has got them to Old Trafford and Garbutt added: “It is the attitude Leeds have – even if they are losing by 30 they always try right to the end.

“We are a very resilient team, with world-class players. The last few weeks will hold us in good stead.”

This weekend will be the fifth meeting between Rhinos and Warriors this year, with the score now standing at two wins each.

“I played against them earlier in the season and it was a very physical game, I was sore for a few days after it,” Garbutt said.

“They have performed well all season. You can’t really fault them, they’ve been great.

“We are expecting a very, very tough game and I am sure they will perform very well.

“I don’t think it is going to be a high-scoring game, it’s two great defensive sides so we will have to play our best on the day and hope for the best.”