TONIGHT’S REMATCH with Warrington Wolves is more about continuing to improve than setting the record straight, Leeds Rhinos forward Adam Cuthbertson says.
Warrington handed out Rhinos’ only defeat of the season so far when they won 18-6 at HJ Stadium on March 13.
That reverse spurred Rhinos into a dominant run of results which has marked them out as First Utility Super League’s form team, but Cuthbertson insisted revenge isn’t on the agenda as they bid to carry on their impressive hot streak tonight.
“I don’t think it’s a question of square-ups,” he stressed. “We want to win every game.”
Warrington dominated the previous clash, taking a 12-0 interval lead, increasing that by six early in the second half and then holding off a Rhinos fightback after a spectacular try by Tom Briscoe had given Leeds hope of getting something from the game.
The sides’ form has gone in opposite directions since then, with Leeds – despite injuries to four first-choice players – winning all their six subsequent games and Warrington losing five, their only victory being an 80-0 home romp against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
“Last time when we played Warrington I don’t think we played our best,” Cuthbertson said of last month’s meeting.
“It was a frustrating game and we played into their hands, I suppose.
“For us, this one is more about just getting our own game right.
“We have to have a mindset of doing everything we’ve practiced during the week and executing it out on the field.
“We didn’t execute properly the last time we played them and they took full advantage, like a good team is going to.
“This time around we want to execute properly and really get up for the game.
“We’re back home this week and then we’ve got two away games again, so it would be great to come back home and really put on a show for our fans at Headingley.”
Seven of Rhinos’ 11 fixtures so far have been on the road and Cuthbertson added: “I said on my Twitter after last week’s game, the most relieving thing about it is knowing we are back home for our next game.
“It’s great waking up knowing you don’t have to travel to Warrington or St Helens or even France.
“It’ll be great to be back at Headingley.”
Last Friday’s win at St Helens left Rhinos six points clear at the top of the table going into round 12.
It is five years since any team held such a big advantage, but Cuthbertson stressed that has not been discussed in the build-up to tonight.
“In the situation we are in you have to have a really ruthless mentality,” he said.
“You don’t want to get comfortable with having a six-point lead, you want to go out to build on it every week and get as far ahead of the competition as you can.
“I don’t think it’s about resting on our position in the comp’.”
Cuthbertson believes the challenge is to show the same mentality now they are out in front as they did when they were chasing previous leaders St Helens.
“The boys have a great desire to do that,” he said.
“We really want to get ahead of the competition as much as we can, but more so just worry about every week and winning every week.”
Cuthbertson, who was Rhinos’ only off-season signing when he joined them from Australian NRL club Newcastle Knights, has been a key component in Rhinos strong first half of the campaign.
His form this year has led to him being described in some quarters as the best recent recruit in Super League and he is being tipped as a contender for an England call-up ahead of this autumn’s Test series against New Zealand.
“I am really enjoying myself,” said Cuthbertson, whose father was born in Warrington.
“I have made a good connection with most of the players in the team and I am really enjoying myself away from footy as well.
“I really get along with the boys and that makes it so much more enjoyable on the field and it makes me want to play for my team even more.
“That’s where I find the fun of it. I was a bit quiet last week, admittedly, but I think that’s going to happen.
“I’ve just got to work on small parts of my game every week and try and improve as much as I can.”
Of his own form, Cuthbertson revealed: “I’ve been playing with a few niggles every week.
“I think once I am fully fit and healthy and playing at 100 per cent, you’ll get 100 per cent of me.
“I am trying every week and competing as hard as I can and doing what I can do best.”
Leeds Rhinos: from Hardaker, Watkins, Ablett, Moon, Handley, Sutcliffe, McGuire, Cuthbertson, Aiton, Peacock, S Ward, Delaney, Singleton, Burrow, Sinfield, Achurch, Mulhern, Keinhorst, Golding.
Warrington Wolves: from Ratchford, Monaghan, Bridge, T King, Ormsby, Patton, Myler, Hill, Higham, Asotasi, Currie, Westwood, Harrison, Clark, Sims, Laithwaite, England, O’Brien, Penny.
Referee: James Child.
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.