BRETT FERRES hopes his long-awaited first tries for Leeds Rhinos will be the first of many – and rare wins won’t be far around the corner either.
The England second-row scored his maiden try for the club in Friday’s 52-18 loss at Warrington Wolves, his 13th game since joining from Huddersfield Giants in January.
He quickly added his second, one of the few highlights for Super League’s bottom side in another turgid display, and is clearly glad to get off the mark.
Speaking to the YEP, Ferres said: “It’s been a while. It’s certainly taken a long time to get over and I was elated to get one.
“To back up and get another was great. Hopefully I’ll score a few more now – and get some results with them.”
Struggling Leeds have now lost their last six games ahead of Friday’s visit from Catalans Dragons and showing little sign of improvement.
Against Warrington, the defending champions opened the scoring and were competitive in the first period but capitulated shambolically in a now familiar manner.
“It was a similar story to the previous week against Wigan,” admitted Ferres.
“We looked good early on, played some good rugby, pulled the game back and defended well going into half-time.
“We knew we just had to build on that and go again in the second half but for the last two weeks we’ve not done that.
“It’s really disappointing. It’s tough and hard to swallow. Everyone is giving their all but it doesn’t seem to click at the moment.”
The obvious question is whether Leeds are actually fit enough given they are tailing off so badly in matches. Is that the root of the problem?
Ferres, 30, insisted: “I don’t think it’s fitness at all.
“It’s about attitude and people making decisions.
“We are a fit side, we are working for the full 80 minutes and some are putting in extra efforts to get a result.
“But I think some people’s choices and what they are doing at times is having a big bearing on what’s happening.”
Most people have now written off the champions’ hopes of reaching the top eight.
It seems almost certain that they will find themselves in the Qualifiers.
But former Castleford and Wakefield forward Ferres refused to be drawn on their potential status.
“I’m not expecting anything,” he insisted.
“I’m just working hard every week and my sole focus – and hopefully the team’s – is on Catalans and putting in a performance against them come Friday. I’m not looking at the table or for future results; all my efforts are concentrated on what’s coming up.”
Catalans remain one of the favourites to claim Leeds’ title – and a first Super League championship – after they defeated Hull KR 34-16 on Saturday to remain within two points of leaders Hull FC.
Ferres said: “When you look at the side they’ve got, they do have some real quality.
“They certainly have some strike on the edges and size up the middle while the likes of Todd Carney are real class.
“They have threats all over the park and it will be another tough challenge.”
Luck went Leeds’ way on Sunday when Widnes staged an impressive fightback to end their run of eight Super League defeats in a row with a 24-20 win over second-bottom Huddersfield Giants.
The Vikings trailed 16-0 until just before the break but then ran in five tries to end their lean spell after a thrilling contest at the Select Security Stadium.
Huddersfield led 16-4 at half time with tries from Nathan Mason, Danny Brough and Joe Wardle with two goals from Brough with the Vikings only reply a touchdown from Corey Thompson. But Widnes fought back to lead 24-16 thanks to two tries from man of the match Joe Mellor and others from Stefan Marsh and Thompson, Rhys Hanbury adding two conversions.
Jermaine McGillvary touched down for Huddersfield to cut the deficit to four points after 69 minutes but Widnes held on. Huddersfield went into the clash having all lost all seven away matches this season before beating St Helens at the Magic Weekend.
Meanwhile, Leeds Rhinos Under-19s edged out hosts Castleford Tigers 28-26 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.