Leeds Rhinos: Star centre Moon rises to Rhinos’ challenges

Leeds Rhinos' Joel Moon.
Leeds Rhinos' Joel Moon.
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leeds rhinos are back on track, but they still need to improve.

That’s the message from centre Joel Moon as Rhinos prepare for Friday’s visit of fellow Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-finalists Hull KR.

Rhinos ended a run of three games without a win in emphatic style when they dismantled Huddersfield Giants 48-16 in the Cup sixth round last Saturday.

But Friday’s visitors are also in form, having ended Wigan Warriors’ Cup hopes four days ago and Moon said Leeds will need to keep improving to hang on to top spot in First Utility Super League.

“Saturday was good, it was a big game and all the boys were keen to do well,” Moon said.

“We put some good tries on, but there’s still things to work on.

“We clocked off near the end and made a few errors. There’s some stuff we need to be better at.

“We will address that this week and go forward from there.”

Rhinos have not won in the league since a victory at St Helens last month which opened a six-point gap at the top of the table.

Their lead is now down to two points, but Moon said the Cup triumph – over a team they drew with two weeks earlier – has boosted confidence in the squad.

“It was just what we needed,” he said. “We were all keen to get a result like that and it is a bit of a relief to get the first Challenge Cup game out of the way.

“We got to the final and won it last year and we want to do it again.”

With Wigan, who they play at the Magic Weekend later this month, snapping at their heels and only having the league to focus on, Moon admitted Rhinos can’t afford to switch off again on Friday night.

Hull KR are ninth in the table, but crushed Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 54-6 in their previous league match and will be in confident mood following their shock Cup victory.

“They are in good form,” he said. “They played really well last week so it will be a big game.

“We’re looking forward to it, we’ll train hard and hopefully we can get the two points.

“They are a dangerous team and every team this year is tough.

“We played them in the first round and they showed some good stuff. All round they have got some good players, they have a lot of potential and they are going well.”

On a personal note, Moon, who is ever-present so far, said he is enjoying his third season at Leeds. He said: “It has been good. I started a bit slowly, I missed a bit of pre-season due to injury, but it’s all going well, we’re top of the league and it’s all good.”