GIANT LEEDS Rhinos forward Anthony Mullally admits he needs to step up his game.
Mullally reckons he is still getting back up to speed after two matches on the sidelines due to a fractured finger.
Rhinos’ injury crisis in the pack has increased his workload and Mullally made rare starts in the defeat at St Helens and last Friday’s loss to Castleford Tigers.
“I am playing a lot bigger minutes than I’m used to, with some of the big boys out,” he said.
“I am just trying to do my best in the big spells I am doing.
“I can only do what they want me to do and try my best, but [Friday] was an off-day for me and I was pretty disappointed.
“I will work on it and bounce back.”
Rhinos are preparing for a spell of three games in 10 days, beginning away to Mullally’s former club Huddersfield Giants on Good Friday.
Giants are second from bottom in Betfred Super League, but the Irish international warned: “They have got quality players so they are always going to be tough opposition, especially at their place, no matter how the results have been going.
“You can’t really go off that, all you can do is go off the day and we have got to make sure we’re ready.”
I can only do what they want me to do and try my best, but [Friday] was an off-day for me and I was pretty disappointed. I will work on it and bounce back.Anthony Mullally
Monday’s opponents Salford Red Devils are just one place above Giants in the table and Leeds will be expected to win both games.
“That doesn’t give you the right to,” Mullally stressed.
“You still have to work hard and turn up on the day and perform.
“We need to rack up some wins now; we can’t have back-to-back losses.”
Rhinos trailed 24-0 after as many minutes against Castleford before going on to lose a thrilling derby 25-24.
“It says a lot about our character that we came back, but obviously the first 15 minutes wasn’t good enough so we’ve got a lot to work on this week,” Mullally said.
“It was a tough loss to take. We can’t pat ourselves on the back [about the fightback]. We need to look at where we went wrong, individually as well, and then go again this week and over the Easter weekend.”
Once Leeds went four converted tries behind they chanced their arm and produced their best attacking rugby of the season so far.
Mullally said: “We needed to play. The halves and the outside-backs were great, poking their noses through holes every time and making breaks.
“It was good to be in the middle just watching them!
“It was enjoyable, but obviously not enough at the end of the day because we didn’t get the result.”
The derby was marred by a series of scuffles between players and Mullally and Tigers’ England forward Mike McMeeken squared up at one stage in the second half.
The Leeds man said: “It was something and nothing – we shook hands at the end of the game and that’s that, no grudges held.”