BIG FORWARD Anthony Mullally reckons Leeds Rhinos will travel to Huddersfield Giants in confident mood on Friday, despite yet another defeat.
Mullally was among the try scorers in Rhinos’ 38-34 loss at St Helens four days ago.
It was the champions’ ninth reverse of the First Utility Super League campaign, but their highest score since last August and Mullally said their improved attacking display has given Rhinos something to build on.
“That’s probably the best we’ve done in offence,” said Mullally, who joined Leeds from Huddersfield in the off-season.
“I thought a lot of things clicked and it felt really good.
“It was just a crazy game, it was going end to end and I would rather lose like that than lose really badly.”
Mullally felt the way Rhinos’ youngsters – and one veteran – played was a major positive.
“The young lads killed it: Ash Handley, Ash Golding and Sutty [Liam Sutcliffe] – and obviously Rob Burrow as well,” he added.
“I think everyone had a dig and it was good to watch. I think we can only take positives from it. We will look at the tries they scored, but I thought we took a big step.”
Hull KR’s shock win at Castleford pushed Rhinos down a place to 11th in the table and they will be bottom if they lose this week.
Mullally, though, insisted Rhinos are heading for a better second half of the season.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but obviously we have got injuries,” he said.
“But the lads who came in did really well on Friday and we have still got a lot of players to come back.
“When we get everybody back and it clicks I think we will be hard to beat and it is going to be a good end to the season.”
Mullally reckons it is a similar story for Huddersfield, who have won just twice in their opening 12 games, after finishing fourth last year.
“They played well at Wigan [last Thursday],” Mullally said.
“I watched that one and they seem to be heading in the same direction as us.
“The game is at Huddersfield, which is a tough place to go, but there’s no reason why we can’t go there and get the win.
“They are a good team, like ourselves, so it is a surprise how they are doing this year, but hopefully they will turn it around and get back up the table soon.”
Rhinos’ defence will need to improve this week after they conceded seven tries at Langtree Park – four of them in sets after a penalty.
“I gave away a penalty for a high tackle that led to a try, so I have got to look at myself and sort out my discipline for that,” Mullally conceded.
“But there’s no reason why we couldn’t have defended it [the set] after that.”
The Irish international forced his way over for his first Leeds Rhinos try in the second half at Saints, and he added: “It is always good to get a try, especially the first one for your new team – it gets me out of the nude run!”