TODAY’S FIRST Qualifiers clash with Betfred Super League opponents has been labelled a pivotal game in Leeds Rhinos’ season.
Rhinos will be aiming to make it three wins from three in the middle-eights when Hull KR visit Emerald Headingley this afternoon.
But their two so far have been against Championship clubs and in 13 meetings with Super League sides since a victory at Hull KR in April, they have won only twice – both against Widnes Vikings.
Rovers got off the mark with a hard-fought success at Toronto Wolfpack two weeks ago and travel to Leeds knowing another two points would be a huge step towards Super League survival.
Prop Nathaniel Peteru described today’s showdown as “massive”.
He said; “I haven’t played Hull KR before, but I’ve watched them and they’ve got a lot of good, seasoned players and old heads.
“We will be up for it, we are not going to let them come here and walk through us at our home ground.
“I think this game could be a real defining point in our season.”
Ten points is the target to avoid relegation or a place in the million pound game.
“Obviously we want to win them all, but in this competition every week’s a dogfight,” Peteru added.
“It is crunch time and we are looking forward to it. When I played during the season we didn’t win many, but we have won a few now and hopefully we can keep that winning streak and make it a habit.
“Teams lift in this comp’ and take it up a notch when they play us. What better team to beat than Leeds Rhinos?
“We understand that, but we just want to win and win strong.”
Today will be Peteru’s fifth successive appearance and ninth in total for Rhinos in a season disrupted by biceps tears in both arms.
His recovery has strengthened the pack at a crucial time and he admitted he is relieved to finally string some games together.
“For me that was a mental thing,” he said.
“I’ve got through the last four games with no worries so that was good.
“In the five remaining games I can really ramp it up now.
“I’ve got some good training sessions under my belt with not having a game last week.
“That’s another confidence boost for me and I’m really looking forward to this game and ripping in.”
Peteru confirmed: “The arms are feeling really good, no worries at the moment.
“I came back early, but I had to do what’s best for the team and I am feeling really good now.”
Peteru insisted his performances will improve as he gets more games under his belt.
“I set myself high standards,” said the former Gold Coast Titans man.
“I am not content with where I am at the moment.
“I want to keep improving and really add something to the group.
“That’s my goal, I want to try and become more of a leader with my actions and really take the team forward and make a difference.”