Rhyse Martin: Leeds Rhinos' season set for take-off says goal-kicking forward

Leeds Rhinos will be “flying” in a couple of weeks’ time, goal-kicking second-rower Rhyse Martin reckons.

By Peter Smith
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 4:45 pm

Martin believes interim-coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan has instilled “a real togetherness” in the squad and, despite the 26-0 scoreline, Rhinos’ performance in last week’s defeat by St Helens was a step in the right direction.

The Papua New Guinea international also insisted he is enjoying his rugby and that is helping him cope with the loss of his father two months ago.

Leeds, who don’t have a game this week, have lost seven of their eight competitive matches this year and are second from bottom in Betfred Super League.

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Rhinos will kick on says Rhyse Martin. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Poor form prompted coach Richard Agar to resign two weeks ago, with Jones-Buchanan - who was one of his assistants - taking over on a temporary basis.

Assessing Rhinos’ situation, Martin said “We need to find some confidence, that’s a big part of it.”

He stressed: “We can feel it in camp, the vibe in camp is very positive.

“Jonesy has been massive, he’s getting a real togetherness into the group.

Rhyse Martin. Picture by Tony Johnson.

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“When we start finding some wins, that confidence will start to come.

“I think another week or two and we will be flying.”

Martin reckons a two-week build up from the Saints defeat to visit of Huddersfield Giants on April 14 gives Rhinos a “good opportunity now to really refine some of the smaller things on the field”. He said: “Attack-wise, there’s a few things we need to keep working on.

Rhyse Martin. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

“Defensively, I think [last Friday] was probably the best we’ve been all year.

“When they were coming out of yardage I thought our defence was quite solid so we’ve got to keep building on those principles we are working really hard on at the moment.”

Saints scored five tries in the game five days ago, but three of those came in the final 25 minutes and Rhinos trailed only 8-0 at the break.

Martin said: “Getting beaten 26-0 is never good, but I think it was that last 15 minutes that made it look ugly.

“For a big period of that game, we were right in it.

“I really think we were starting to win that battle through the middle.

“But we just couldn’t put any points on the board.

“I think if we’d got one or two tries there, it would have been a totally different game, but we couldn’t find those tries, Saints found that bit of extra energy and they were scoring points on us.

“It was a tough one, but I think a step in the right direction.”

Martin joined Rhinos from Canterbury Bulldogs three years ago and is out of contract at the end of this season.

He signed a one-year deal last September but, asked about his future beyond that, he insisted he has “no idea, I haven’t even thought about it”.

Martin was granted compassionate leave earlier this season following the sudden death of his father.

“Personally, I’ve gone through a pretty tough period,” he said.

“Playing footy, I am just enjoying it.

“It has been tough, but I think it will only get better.

“I am enjoying being at the club, I am enjoying every minute I get out on the field.

“The good stuff will come and it’ll make it even sweeter.”

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