Leeds Rhinos: Recalled Sinfield points to team ethic

Kevin Sinfield lines up a kick against Huddersfield.
Kevin Sinfield lines up a kick against Huddersfield.
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CAPTAIN KEVIN Sinfield denied he had a point to prove on his return to Leeds Rhinos’ team.

Sinfield was recalled after two games out of the side and produced a man-of-the-match performance in the 48-16 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup demolition of Huddersfield Giants.

“I’m not sure I had a point to prove,” Sinfield stressed. “I was just determined to help the team play well. I know what my strengths are and they’re different to what the other players in my position bring. I just wanted to make sure we were in the hat for the next round.

“I thought it was a really good performance, especially the first 25 minutes. Our big men in the middle really stood up and did a fantastic job for us and our back-three, bringing back Danny Brough’s kicks, were great too. It was a great team performance and it’s nice to be part of it when it comes together like that.”

Sinfield added: “I’m delighted to be back. I think if you ask any player, or anybody who works, they want to be in a position to be able to do their job.

“Anybody who’s left out or put on the bench, who’s worth their salt, is going to be unhappy or disappointed with it. I have been, but I’ve worked hard these last couple of weeks in training to make sure I was physically ready when called upon. It was just nice to be out there and to be able to play a part in the team winning a big game.”

Sinfield admitted the past month has been “difficult”, but typically he spared a thought for 20-year-old stand-off Liam Sutcliffe, who he replaced in the team on Saturday.

“It’s always difficult when you’re left out,” he said.

“You want to play and it has been a while since that has happened to me, but I have got to say, Liam Sutcliffe is a fantastic, fantastic player.

“He is going to be around for a long, long time and I hope we get the chance to play alongside each other. I don’t think it is him against me at all, or me against him. I have said that to him. I think we can certainly play together. I am a big fan of his and I have got a lot of respect for him. He is a young bloke who is learning his way and he has had a lot of pressure thrown at him at such a young age. I think he has handled it incredibly well.”

Sinfield will join Yorkshire Carnegie in November and stressed he is keen to finish his Rhinos career on a high. “That would be nice,” he said. “It might not work out that way, but if the last six or eight weeks has taught me anything it’s that I have to work really hard this year if I want it to end in the way I’d like.

“I’ve said all along I will do anything possible for us to win silverware this year – and hopefully that will be with me playing as well. I will continue to do my best. It is a big target for us to win trophies and hopefully we can be there or thereabouts.”