Kruise Leeming says Leeds Rhinos haven't given up on winning Super League title

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Tired, but triumphant, Leeds Rhinos’ Kruise Leeming insists he is in good shape after getting through two games in three days.

Leeming was a substitute for Combined Nations All Stars in their victory over England on Friday night and played the full 80 minutes when Rhinos won 38-12 at Salford Red Devils two days later.

He was out of position in that game, switching from hooker to stand-off, but scored one of Rhinos’ seven tries as they returned to Betfred Super League action after a four-week layoff.

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Rhinos’ two previous games were postponed following an outbreak of coronavirus among the squad and Leeming was unable to train with his teammates ahead of the trip to Salford, because of his international commitments.

Kruise Leeming gives Rhinos' fans a thumb's up after the win at Salford. Picture by Steve Riding.Kruise Leeming gives Rhinos' fans a thumb's up after the win at Salford. Picture by Steve Riding.
Kruise Leeming gives Rhinos' fans a thumb's up after the win at Salford. Picture by Steve Riding.

Being reduced to 12 men after 15 minutes and then 11 for a spell in the second half added to the workload, but Leeming was happy with the way he came through.

“I am a bit tired, but two wins in three days makes it all the better,” Leeming said.

“I am buzzing, it was a scrappy game - with a couple of sendings-off - but we needed to get the win and we look forward to playing Leigh [on Thursday] now.

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“We just need to keep winning and try to get in that top-four or top-six, which we are very capable of doing, if not winning the comp’. We haven’t given up on that yet.”

Luke Gale, Mikolaj Oledzki and Matt Prior also backed up from the mid-season Test and Leeming admitted it was a big effort from all four.

He said: “That’s what we want to do for this team, that’s the spirit we’ve all got.

“We don’t want to let anybody else down, it is a good feeling and a good spirit throughout the team.”

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Sunday’s game was the second time this season Leeming has played in the halves, following the one-point defeat away to his previous club at the start of May.

He was at scrum-half that afternoon, alongside Liam Sutcliffe, but partnered Luke Gale against Salford.

“It is a bit different for me, I am not used to it,” he reflected.

“In terms of fitness and everything, I felt fine.

“Towards the back end I was feeling it a little bit, but I was all right.

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“I had to play out of position for the team and I was more than happy to do it.”

Leeming scored a try in the second half, after having provided the pass for the second of Richie Myler’s two tries just before the break, but said his mistake which led to Salford’s first touchdown took the edge off his individual performance.

“I threw that interception, which wasn’t great and it put a dampener on my game for a bit,” said the England Knights man.

“If I hadn’t done that, I’d have thought I played pretty well, defended well and attacked well.

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“It was nice playing with Galey and Dog [hooker Brad Dwyer], because they controlled it and helped me a lot.

“It was good and when you’ve got Rhyse Martin outside you, who’s playing really well at the moment, it makes my job a lot easier.

“But if I hadn’t thrown that interception I’d have been happier with the way I went.”

Leeming now faces the prospect of playing again at home to Leigh Centurions on Thursday, at Warrington Wolves four days later and in the following Friday’s Emerald Heaidngley tussle with Catalans Dragons.

He said: “We just got again, don’t we.

“We are warriors, that’s what it’s all about.”

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