IT IS looking like the only way Leeds Rhinos can finish top of Super League this season, is if the table is turned upside down.
Cruel maybe, but the shell-shocked Rhinos players have stopped looking at the league table – last season’s treble winners are bottom with just three wins from 17 rounds – to avoid getting depressed.
It’s a fall from grace nobody at Headingley could have predicted – even taking into account the loss of key players like Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield over the winter.
Prop Brad Singleton admits all Leeds can do now is try and stop the rot, and restore some pride at the bruised Headingley club.
Last week’s 24-12 loss to Catalans Dragons at least showed glimpses of a return to form for Leeds.
Singleton, though, was forced to watch that game from the stands as he served a one-match ban for fighting with Warrington’s Ashton Sims.
“It’s not nice watching from the sides, especially when we didn’t get the win like we wanted,” said Singleton.
“It’s difficult to watch. That’s the first time in a while I have been out, with the ban, and it’s not a nice thing to do.
“It was a good effort, I think the defence was a bit better. There are things we can build on.
“It’s all about performances, we just need to take one game as it comes. We need to leave the pitch with our heads held high.
“We could have done that against Catalans, but each performance we just need to go for those two points.
“For the time being, we are not looking at the table every week, otherwise you get yourself down.
“We just need to look at our opponents and what we can do to beat them.
“It’s tough times at the minute, but we are all in it together.”
On a personal level, Singleton has been happy with his own form, but it counts for little when your team loses.
“It’s tough to look at your own form as you are not leaving the game with two points,” the 23-year-old said.
“Because of where we are at in the table.
“It makes you reflect on the negative sides, but personally I don’t think I have been going too bad.
“Against Wigan and Warrington I felt pretty strong.
“Going forward, I want to take the good points from those games and take it into the Salford game.”
Rhinos have a chance of dragging Salford Red Devils into trouble tomorrow night, when the two clubs meet at Headingley.
Third-from-bottom Salford are only four points better off than Leeds, after their six-point deduction for breaching the league’s salary cap.
But Singleton is refusing to take the visitors lightly.
“Salford have done well this season, they have got quality, and the team spirit looks better,” he said.
“They are playing all-for-one, and that’s showing, they are up there in Super League and it will be a tough ask.
“But we are confident we can get a result.”
Leeds Rhinos: Watkins, Moon, McGuire, Burrow, Galloway, Falloon, Jones-Buchanan, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Garbutt, Keinhorst, Achurch, Mullally, Walters, Handley, Ferres, Briscoe, Cuthbertson.
Salford Red Devils: Bibby, Carney, Dobson, Flanagan, Griffin, Hauraki, Jones, Joseph, Kopczak, Krasniqi, Lannon, Lui, Murdoch, O’Brien, Sa’u, Tomkins, Vidot, J Walne, Walne.
Referee: Chris Kendall.
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.