Leeds Rhinos: Loan Wolf Crosby has ‘big eyes’ on cup final

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HE HAS a foot in both camps, but front-rower Dom Crosby insists Leeds Rhinos are capable of overturning the odds this weekend.

Crosby joined Rhinos last month on loan from Sunday’s Ladbrokes Challenge semi-final opponents Warrington Wolves.

Dom Crosby.

Dom Crosby.

The terms of the loan, which runs until the end of this season, mean he can’t play against Warrington, but he is not Cup-tied and will be eligible for the final if Rhinos get there.

Leeds are the underdogs, having finished ninth in Betfred Super League and been crushed 38-22 at Salford Red Devils a week ago.

But despite their poor league form Crosby reckons Rhinos are “definitely” capable of booking a sixth Wembley appearance in nine seasons.

“We’ve got the players across the board,” he said.

Daryl Clark.

Daryl Clark.

“We’ve got some world-class players and world-class athletes here.

“The same goes for Warrington.

“They have got world-class players in their team so it’ll be a good contest and hopefully we’ll put in a performance and get to the final.

“We’re working hard this week to give ourselves every chance.”

Stefan Ratchford.

Stefan Ratchford.

Assessing the threat Warrington will pose, Crosby predicted: “I think it will be a fiery contest. It’s a semi-final and it’ll be a battle of the forwards.

“Warrington’s pack is very good, very aggressive and very big.

“They’ll be coming to bash us and we’ll be coming to bash them. It’s just who gives in first, really.”

Warrington finished fourth in Super League, 11 points better off than Leeds.

“They have got a lot of strike players all across the board and we will have to be on our game 100 per cent,” Crosby warned.

“Everybody has got to put in a 10-out-of-10 performance this week.

“They’ve got the likes of Chris Hill and Daryl Clark who are in good form and Steff Ratchford at the back.

“Their back-field’s pretty good and the wingers get them on the front foot. It’s all over the park really, it’s not just one player. They are a good team collectively and we will have to improve a lot from last week.

“It will be a good game and a good spectacle.”

Leeds won only one of their final 10 Super League games, but the former Wigan Warriors forward believes they will produce their best form on the big occasion at Bolton’s Macron Stadium.

“I think Warrington are one of the benchmark teams in the competition and they have been all year so the boys know what kind of test it will be,” he stated.

“Warrington will be hurting after their loss [to St Helens] last week and it’ll be a tough game and it’s one we’re looking forward to.

“You want to test yourself against the best and these are the games you want to play in.

“It’s a massive reward at the end of it and semi-finals hurt when you lose.”