Brad Dwyer: Leeds Rhinos' pack is 'best I've played in'

Livewire hooker Brad Dwyer says Leeds Rhinos’ current pack is the best he has played in.

By Peter Smith
Thursday, 17th June 2021, 11:45 am

The former Warrington Wolves man, who joined Rhinos in 2018, is ever-present so far this season, scoring five tries in nine appearances.

While Rhinos have struggled for much of the campaign, managing only 90 points in seven league matches before last month’s 60-6 romp at Castleford Tigers, their big men in the middle of the field, Mikolaj Oledzki, Zane Tetevano and Matt Prior, have impressed.

And Dwyer reckons if they can maintain their form, Rhinos will climb the table once they return to the field following their current Covid shutdown.

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Brad Dwyer. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

“It’s the best pack I have played in,” Dwyer said.

“Mikolaj has taken it to a new level, he has got confidence in himself that he can play at this level and do big minutes.

“That’s the same for anyone in the middle, you have to go and experience it and I think Mikolaj has done that now.

“His confidence is sky high and I think that’s great for him.

“The influence Zane and Matt are going to have on Mik is going to really help him out.”

Tetevano has made a big impression since returning from suspension and Cameron Smith could feature in next week’s game at Salford Red Devils following a hamstring injury.

Dwyer added: “Obviously we missed Zane for four weeks and we are missing Cam.

“Cam adds a lot to us in a different way and it will be good to get everyone firing and to get Cam back, but it is a great middle to play in.”

Rhinos have not played since beating Tigers 20 days ago and Saturday’s scheduled fixture at Catalans Dragons has been postponed, after eight players contracted coronavirus and another six were ordered to isolate.

The win at the Jungle was only Rhinos’ third in eight Betfred Super League matches and reflecting on the season so far, Dwyer admitted: “We’ve had a lot of reasons why our performances or results have been like they have.”

He said: “We were disappointed with the Hull KR game and in every game there’s been stuff we’ve not been happy with, but the tough stuff, the D [defence] in the middle, has been really good.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries and we wanted them to come back, but that doesn’t fix things straight up.

“They needed them to bed in and get back to playing the style of rugby we wanted and I think we showed that against Cas.

“There’s valid reasons for why we are where we are, but we have got to start showing what we can do and hopefully we can back the performance against Cas up.”

He added: “We just need to build on the Cas game and put a stamp on the comp’, to show we are probably not sitting where we should be.

“We’ve had a lot thrown at us, with Covid and injuries and things like that, but results have got to start coming now.”

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