Leeds Rhinos: Leuluai tipping Grand Final specialists to pull it off once again

Kylie Leuluai.
Kylie Leuluai.
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VETERAN PROP Kylie Leuluai reckons Leeds Rhinos can still win the Grand Final, despite defeats in their last three matches.

“We’ve done it before,” said Leuluai, who was a member of the team which came from nowhere to claim the Super League title in 2011 and 2012.

“Just because we aren’t playing well now doesn’t mean we can’t get back into form.

“We just need a win and hopefully we can get one this week.”

Rhinos got a reprieve on Friday night when Wigan Warriors, who could have gone top of the table with one round remaining, lost at St Helens.

That means Leeds will almost certainly finish top if they win away to Huddersfield Giants in four days’ time. Leuluai felt Rhinos improved against Castleford Tigers last week from the previous Saturday’s drubbing in France, but admitted they were nothing like good enough to win against full-motivated opponents, playing near the top of their game. Rhinos were hampered when captain Kevin Sinfield limped off early in the second half, with centre Joel Moon taking over at stand-off, but Leuluai said errors with the ball and in defence were the cause of the downfall.

“The best thing you can say about it is it was better than the scoreline the week before,” Leuluai said. “We missed Kev when he came off, though I thought Moony did a great job in attack and defence.

“But we gave the ball away too easily and when we needed it, in the last 20, we dropped it too many times. We were missing tackles as well and that didn’t help our cause.”

Leuluai was among the substitutes against Tigers and had to wait until the second half to get into the action.

“I am just enjoying the time I’ve got left before I retire,” he said.

“I am just doing the best I can and as long as I am performing I can’t really complain.”