HARD WORK in training is beginning to pay off, Leeds Rhinos’ marquee centre Konrad Hurrell reckons, but he insists they have to keep their foot on the pedal in games and at training.
The 10-0 victory at Wakefield Trinity five days ago was Rhinos’ second successive win and only the fourth time in 17 Betfred Super League games they have restricted the opposition to fewer than 20 points.
Leeds’ tough-tackling performance was a far cry from some of their feeble defensive efforts earlier in the season and Hurrell is hopeful they have turned a corner, though this Friday’s visit of Wigan Warriors may give them a better indication.
“It has been a tough period for us, but in-house it has been good,” insisted the Tongan international.
“Everyone’s putting their hand up to do the hard yards and just work our way out of this hole we are in.
“We have been pulling together and working hard and it was good to get the win.”
Victories breed confidence, but Hurrell insisted it takes more than that to turn a season around.
“At this stage it’s not about confidence,” he said.
“Just having confidence is not enough; it is about having the motivation to play for the jersey, die for the jersey - play for the club and work hard for the bloke who’s next to you.
“That’s what we have been talking about and there’s only us who can do that.
Just having confidence is not enough; it is about having the motivation to play for the jersey, die for the jersey - play for the club and work hard for the bloke who’s next to you.Konrad Hurrell
“We have to work our way out of it and that showed [last week].
“It is all about working hard for each other.
“It’s about making the tackle and backing up your mate if he misses a tackle.
“That is really important for us.”
Going into the round 18 visit of Wigan, Rhinos remain 10th in Super League, only two points clear of bottom club London Broncos who stunned leaders St Helens last Sunday.
But, looking up the table, Leeds are just two points adrift of Wigan, Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils and a further two behind sixth-placed Wakefield Trinity, so a win this week could prove to have a major bearing on their overall season.
For Hurrell, the most crucial thing is building on last Friday’s positive effort and maintaining the spirit shown.
“This year we haven’t had back-to-back games so we have got to back it up this week,” he stressed.
“We need to do it for ourselves in-house, but we haven’t done so good at home so we need to give something back to our fans.
“Wigan have been struggling a bit, but they have been showing some form the last couple of weeks so we have got to back it up and hopefully get another win.”
Hurrell’s return to the side gave Rhinos a shot in the arm last week and he confirmed he came through unscathed.
It was his first Super League game for almost two months, since suffering a hamstring injury in the home win over Huddersfield Giants.
He made an attempted comeback in Leeds’ Coral Challenge Cup defeat at Bradford Bulls, but the problem flared up again and he missed another two games.
“It is good to be back, especially with a good win like last week,” he said.
“It was sweet and I was stoked with the win.
“It has been a long time, so I was just glad to be in there, putting the jersey on and getting the win.
“It has been 2-0 to Wakefield this year and we couldn’t afford to lose that one.”