Leeds Rhinos: Moon happy with ‘half measures’

Joel Moon
Joel Moon
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AUSSIE ACE Joel Moon says he is happy with half measures – as long as Leeds Rhinos keep winning.

Moon was switched from centre into the half-backs following Rhinos’ catastrophic defeat at Castleford Tigers three weeks ago and the move, in part, has inspired back-to-back wins.

Huddersfield danger man Danny Brough.

Huddersfield danger man Danny Brough.

Rhinos, who visit Huddersfield Giants tonight, have scored 84 points in their past two matches – after only 51 in their first four – and Moon reckons the tactical change is paying off for him and the team.

“It’s a bit different to playing centre,” he said of his new role.

“You get your hands on the ball more and you have to worry about other players as well.

“I enjoy it. I don’t play like a normal six, I play a bit different, but if I play my own game the players around me will work off that.

Huddersfield manager Rick Stone.

Huddersfield manager Rick Stone.

“The last two weeks have been good performances and playing in the halves that’s what you want.

“We’ve racked up a few points and I think it’s working well.”

Moon filled in at stand-off in the depths of Rhinos’ injury crisis last year, but was expected to revert to his specialist position this season.

However, Jimmy Keinhorst’s form in the centres, injuries in the squad and the loan of Jordan Lilley to Bradford Bulls have opened up a vacancy.

“I started my career at six,” Moon said. “It has been a bit of a long time since I’ve been there, but I am finding my feet and it’s working out pretty well for the team.

“I’ll do whatever works for the team. Obviously at the moment we are going well and we are scoring some good points so hopefully we can go forward from here.”

The differing styles of Rhinos’ current stand-off and scrum-half complement each other, Moon believes.

“It’s easier for me to play with Danny [McGuire], because he conducts things out on the pitch and I run off the back of him,” Moon said.

“He is easy to play with and makes my game easier.

“The better he plays, the better I play I guess.”

Rhinos will need to combat one of Betfred Super League’s most influential play-makers, Danny Brough, this evening.

Giants coach Rick Stone has confirmed Brough will feature, despite rumours – denied by the club – he could be on his way out.

Brough has scored in his last 21 games against Leeds, who were beaten three times at John Smith’s Stadium last year.

“They are always tough,” Moon said of tonight’s hosts.

“Whenever we go to Huddersfield they are always a strong team and I guess this week won’t be any different.

“We’ve trained well this week and hopefully we’ll put in a good performance and come out with the two points.”

Of Giants’ recent record in matches with Rhinos, Moon added: “Every team raises their game against Leeds.

“Huddersfield are going to be tough and we’re looking forward to it.

“We’re not far off, we had a disappointing start, but we’ve come back well and hopefully two points tonight will lead us into a good season.

“It’s good to be putting some points on the board and it’s enjoyable for the team.”

Meanwhile, Rhinos have confirmed their home Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fifth-round tie against League One Doncaster will be played on Friday, April 21 (8pm).

Matchday prices for adults start at £18 to stand up and £23 for seats, but members of both clubs are entitled to a £3 reduction on tickets bought in advance.