Richie Myler: Leeds Rhinos need to dig deep as Salford Red Devils clash begins Super League fixture pile-up

Leeds Rhinos need to be “adaptable and ready to switch on” as they go from one extreme to another, Richie Myler says.

By Peter Smith
Saturday, 26th June 2021, 4:45 am

Tomorrow’s rearranged game at Salford Red Devils comes one day short of a month since Rhinos last played.

In that time two matches and 10 days of training have been called off because of a Covid outbreak, five players drafted into international duty and director of rugby Kevin Sinfield has announced his departure.

Rhinos did not have enough players to fulfil the fixture at Salford on its original date, yesterday, but the switch to Sunday means only Zane Tetevano and Liam Sutcliffe are definitely missing from the team which crushed Castleford Tigers 60-6 last time out.

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Richie Myler goes over for a try in Leeds' win at Castle4ford a month ago. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

But it also means Rhinos will be playing four times in 13 days, with a home clash against Leigh Centurions on Thursday followed by a Monday trip to Warrington Wolves and then the visit of Catalans Dragons that Friday.

That schedule will stretch Rhinos’ resources to the limit and Myler insisted they have to do whatever it takes to get through.

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“That was said last year when we played four games in 10 days.

“Brad Dwyer played every game and that mentality is, unfortunately, going to have to happen again.

“We are going to have to go through a process where we’re going to be playing on short turnarounds and it’s a case of us all pulling together, patching ourselves back up and going again.

“That is going to be the biggest test, the games are going to come that fast you’re not really going to be able to prep’.”

Myler added: “Normally, you’d play a game, review it, know what you did well and didn’t do well, rest up and prepare for the next one.

“Unfortunately, with games being backlogged and jam-packed in, it’s a case of play one day, ice baths the next few days and then play again.

“It’s the nature of the beast at the moment.”

More - Inside Rugby League: Something special still being built by Leeds RhinosCoach Richard Agar won’t be able to finalise his lineup until today’s last training session, at the earliest, but - after so long without a match - Myler stressed: “It has been good to have a game to prepare for.”

He said: “It gives you a bit of structure to your week.

“The last two weeks, we have been in a bit of limbo, there’s no real focus apart from keeping fit and keeping yourself going.

“It has been weird.

“We had our first day back in on Monday, which was a light session, to get your body moving again and get some skills in.

“We were preparing to play Friday, but physically, we didn’t have enough players.”

To name a 21-man squad, Agar had to include five players from England or Combined Nations duty and others who only complete their return to play protocol, following Covid, today.

Myler conceded: “A two-day turnaround is pretty quick, considering how intense our game is and it was an international fixture.

But he pledged: “Our focus is we just want to play - our last outing was against Castleford and we put in a really strong performance.

“We were trying to build some momentum from that and it [having no game the following two weeks] deflated us a bit because we were starting to see the reward for our efforts, for what we’ve been working on in training.

“It hadn’t been transferring into a game, but it all came together in that Cas game and we saw the results of it.

“We were hoping to build on that and then Covid hit and threw everything into a bit of disarray.”

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