Suspended Leeds Rhinos forward Zane Tetevano reveals his new ‘mindset’ and ‘approach’

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ZANE TETEVANO has promised a different mindset and more relaxed approach when he completes his latest ban.

The forward has three games left to serve of a five-match suspension following his red card at St Helens last month, for a high tackle on former Leeds team-mate Konrad Hurrell.

Tetevano was also sent-off for a late hit in his third game for Leeds, a Challenge Cup defeat at Saints in April last year. He served four games for that and was suspended for three matches later in the campaign, over a ‘reckless high tackle’ in a win at Wigan Warriors.

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The current layoff is his third of 2022. He received a two-match penalty notice after being sin-binned for a shoulder charge during the defeat at Salford Red Devils in March and a similar punishment following a late hit on a passer when Leeds drew at home to Huddersfield Giants the following month.

Zane Tetevano in training for Leeds Rhinos. Picture: Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos/ Tetevano in training for Leeds Rhinos. Picture: Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos/
Zane Tetevano in training for Leeds Rhinos. Picture: Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos/

“I think the mindset is probably going to change a little bit, in regards to the way I play,” Tetevano said. “It is a hard one, you want to compete well, but there has got to be some changes made.

“I know what they are going to look like, which is definitely going to help the team and keep me on the field.

“It is a contact sport, but obviously there’s rules you have to abide to.

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“I have had discussions about how I am going to approach things.

Leeds Rhinos' Zane Tetevano. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.Leeds Rhinos' Zane Tetevano. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Leeds Rhinos' Zane Tetevano. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

“I am probably going to be a bit more relaxed in the way I approach things and the competitive side of things.

“You have got another 12 men on the field with you, so you are not alone, you aren’t always trying to make big tackles and big plays, you have got a team that helps you with that.

“I am going to just taper it off a bit and just do what I need to do in the right way.”

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Tetevano is training fully with the team and said: “It’s quite clear what my next few weeks look like, it is just getting the boys prepared and training well.

“It is definitely hard times, this one has definitely hit the hardest.

“It hasn’t put me in a good position, but I am still turning up to training, with good energy.

“I am still being as professional as I have always been, that hasn’t changed.

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“I am just preparing the guys for every week’s game and doing my best in that regard.”

He added: “I do everything [in training], but on the other side – when we have another 13-man squad we compete against.

“I am following the same schedule and competing at training so the boys are 100 per cent ready to go for the weekend.

“That’s my game plan, to make sure our team is ready to rock and roll and it gives me time to help out the young lads as well.”

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Youngsters Sam Walters, Morgan Gannon and Jarrod O’Connor have all impressed this season and Tetevano said: “It has given them an opportunity.

“They are going to be the Leeds Rhinos of the next 10-plus years.”

Away from Rhinos, Tetevano – who has been capped by New Zealand and Cook Islands – has decided on who he wants to represent at this year’s World Cup.

“I am going to play for the Cookies,” he confirmed. “I have definitely put my hand up for that. It might be my last World Cup, depending how the body goes.

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“It’s an exciting time at the end of the year, but first and foremost, it has been good to have a bit of change around the club.

“Rohan [Smith, Rhinos’ coach] has done a great job, there’s different systems and it has been hopeful.

“The [last two results] have shown a bit of what the Rhinos are all about.

“Within the group our mentality is strong and everyone’s thriving off Rohan’s expertise and coaching. It suits the style of play of our players so it’s good to see.”

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