SO FAR in his Leeds Rhinos career, Jack Ormondroyd’s tries have come around as regularly as Christmas.
The big forward touched down in Rhinos’ Boxing Day win at Wakefield Trinity, exactly a year after scoring in a heavy defeat by the same opposition.
Ormondroyd also crossed in Leeds’ pre-season win at Featherstone Rovers last January, but has yet to break his duck in a competitive game.
That had embarrassing consequences at the end of last season and Ormondroyd is determined to avoid a repeat in 2018.
“It was nice,” he said of his Boxing Day touchdown. “I only seem to score on Boxing Day.
“I did it last year as well, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t get me off the naked run at the end of the season.
You don’t want to be a dead cert’ in the team, you want to be pushing each other for places because that means you put better performances in.Jack Ormondroyd
“I had to do that because I didn’t score in the league – all the lads stitched me up!”
Ormondroyd made six competitive appearances in his debut year with Rhinos, plus 16 on dual-registration for his former club Featherstone, scoring three tries.
Playing at No 13, the 26-year-old Bradford-born front-rower was Leeds’ top forward against Wakefield and is hoping to push for more senior games in the new campaign.
“Last year in a way exceeded expectations,” he revealed.
“When I signed I expected to be at Featherstone, but then when I got a taste for it (playing for Leeds) at the start of the year it makes you want to play more.
“Next year, hopefully I can get a few more games than last year and, hopefully, keep building.”
Coach Brian McDermott will have some useful options in the front row for 2018.
Nathaniel Peteru, who missed the Christmas derby due to a knee/hamstring problem, has joined Rhinos from Gold Coast, England academy prospect Mikolaj Oledzki is expected to be pushing for more than the three games he got last year and former Australian Test veteran Keith Galloway will be in the mix when he recovers from an Achilles tear.
They – and Ormondroyd – will be putting pressure on Adam Cuthbertson, Mitch Garbutt, Anthony Mullally and Brad Singleton, who was named captain for the Boxing Day game.
“There’s a lot of competition and that’s what you want because it brings the best out of you,” Ormondroyd said.
“You don’t want to be a dead cert’ in the team, you want to be pushing each other for places because that means you put better performances in.”
His barnstorming display against Trinity gave Ormondroyd a head start, but he knows the hard work is still to come.
“It was nice to get quite a few minutes under my belt,” he added.
“It was nice to start the game, because that doesn’t happen very often.
“I played quite a few minutes in the first half and then most of the second, so it was good.
“It blew the cobwebs off and it was nice to get back out there again.
“It is what you work towards.
“We have had a tough pre-season and it has been different this year because the Aussies still aren’t back in yet and the England lads are still away.
“We have been a tight bunch because at the start there were only 10 or 12 of us, but we have worked hard and it paid off with the win (on Boxing Day).
“It was good, because they had a decent team out.”