HALF-BACK RICHIE Myler is confident of being fit for Leeds Rhinos’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington Wolves on Sunday.
Myler, who played for Warrington when they beat Leeds at Wembley six years ago, missed last Friday’s Betfred Super League defeat at Salford Red Devils because of an ankle injury.
That was an alarm for Rhinos, but Myler is determined to feature in the big game at Bolton’s Macron Stadium.
Without Myler – and other key players including winger Ryan Hall, and forwards Stevie Ward and Adam Cuthbertson – Rhinos slumped to a 38-22 defeat despite Salford being reduced to 12 men when Lee Mossop was sent-off midway through the first half.
Leeds will need their big guns firing to shock Warrington, but Myler confirmed: “I’ve trained [yesterday] so I should be all right for this week.
“I trained at the beginning of last week and it was a bit aggravated so there was no point really pushing it, especially with the semi-final coming up.
“We took the sensible option to give it a rest, but it was a disappointing result and performance.”
Rhinos won 16-12 at Warrington in Super League round one, in February, but the Wolves reversed that with a 33-22 success three months later.
Warrington finished the regular season in fourth place, 11 points better off than Leeds, and will go into Sunday’s game as strong favourites.
“It’s going to be a really tough game,” warned Myler.
“They are a quality side with a lot of threat, but it’s a 50-50; it’s a knockout competition and we’re going into it with confidence.
“We really want to have a good crack at it, everyone’s champing at the bit to get playing and we can’t wait. It would be great to get to Wembley, but we know Warrington are a quality team and we have to be right on our mettle.”
After two tight league clashes Myler reckons there’s not much between the sides despite Warrington’s better league form.
“We’ve just got to turn up and put a good performance in across the board,” he added.
“It is going to take a full 17-man performance to get the win.
“That’s what we’re going to try and do.”
Rhinos, who won only one of their final 10 league matches, will be in for a long afternoon if they play the way they did against Salford, but Myler insisted: “I think we are heading in the right direction.”
He added: “Last week was a bit of a blip, but everyone’s feeling confident.
“Everyone’s got over that result last week and we’re moving forward now.
“We just want to crack on. We are on the right path and heading in the right direction and we will come out on the other side.
“It’s a learning curve and at the moment we’re not performing for 80 minutes every week.
“We’ve got to do that this week.”
Rhinos finished ninth in Super League and will go from the semi-final into a battle for top-flight survival in the Qualifiers.
Qualifiers fixtures will be confirmed tomorrow, but Rhinos know they will have home games against Hull Kingston Rovers, Salford, Toronto Wolfpack and Toulouse Olympique and trips to Widnes Vikings, London Broncos and Halifax.
Myler was a member of the Catalans Dragons side which beat Leigh Centurions in last year’s million pound game.
He concluded: “There’s some good sides – but we’re confident.
“We are going in the right direction, we will get this week out of the way and then have a really good crack at that and focus on that.
“We are going to really rip in.”