ENGLAND centre Kallum Watkins believes Jimmy Keinhorst’s form has been one of the positives in Leeds Rhinos’ disappointing season.
Keinhorst scored a brace of tries in last week’s 36-22 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup defeat at Huddersfield Giants, taking his tally to six in 10 games.
The German international - who can play at centre or in the second-row - has been arguably Rhinos’ form player this year and Watkins feels he has massive potential.
“He has been great for us,” said Watkins, who was Leeds’ other centre in the defeat at John Smith’s Stadium.
“He is a quiet fella, but a really tough, hard player to have in our team.
“He has been outstanding for us and he does the hard stuff in defence as well.
“It is obviously tough when we haven’t got the ball in our hands and we are having to do a bit more defending than we want to.
“He has had a fantastic season and long may that continue. He is kind of a utility player, he can play pretty much anywhere and do a good job at it.
“That’s priceless for us and full credit to him.”
Keinhorst’s performance was one of the consolations from Rhinos’ Cup exit, which Watkins admitted was largely due to poor ball control and discipline.
“We made too many errors and that cost us in the end,” he said.
“We are all disappointed, but we have got to move on pretty quickly now.
“Credit to Huddersfield, they played well and they dealt with the ball better than we did.
“A bit of discipline let us down. That costs you when you don’t have a lot of the ball.”
Watkins feels Rhinos - who are at home to Castleford Tigers on Thursday - can take some heart from a strong opening to the game, which included a spectacular try inside the first minute.
“It was a fresh start in a new competition,” he said. “We knew what we needed to do, but little things let us down.
“When we made a bit of a breakthrough we couldn’t back it up and that cost us in the end. Obviously it is not good enough.”
Rhinos won the Cup in 2014 and 2015 and Watkins insisted there are no benefits to being out of the competition so early. They will get three free weekends, when the quarter-finals, semis and final are played, which will be their first in-season time off for more than a year.
But Watkins said: “You never lose the desire to get to Wembley. You want to get there and be in those big games, when silverware is up for grabs.
“This club has got a history for it. It is going to be quite strange because we have been playing pretty much every week for the past two years and we wanted to do the same this year.
“We have got to move on, we can’t focus too much on that. We have got to focus on ourselves now.
“Thursday’s game can’t come soon enough, then we start again.”