VIDEO – Hooker Brad Dwyer adamant Leeds Rhinos still control their Super League destiny

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THERE IS more pressure on Leeds Rhinos than other teams in the relegation battle, hooker Brad Dwyer reckons, but he insists getting out of danger is in their own hands.

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Dwyer scored the first of Rhinos’ two tries in last Friday’s 36-10 defeat at Betfred Super League leaders St Helens.

That was Leeds’ second successive defeat and the healthy position they seemed to be in after winning back-to-back games against London Broncos and Wakefield Trinity has turned sour.

Three straight wins have lifted London into 10th place and Rhinos are now second from bottom in the table, ahead of Hull KR only on points difference, with 10 games remaining.

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Brad Dwyer in action against St Helens. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Brad Dwyer in action against St Helens. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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A first relegation in the club’s 129-year history is a growing possibility and interim-coach Richard Agar admitted the R-word was mentioned for the first time in the changing rooms after the game three days ago.

Asked if the players are concerned about the prospect of dropping into the Championship, Dwyer admitted: “I think we’d be naive to think we’re not.”

He pointed out: “There’s six teams around us that are all in the same situation.

We are not naive to the situation we are in, but the fact of it is it’s all in our hands.

Brad Dwyer

“I just think it’s the magnitude of our club, that everyone thinks ‘Leeds Rhinos are going to get relegated’ so there’s a bit more pressure on us.

“When we get a win no-one really looks, but when London and Hull KR are winning everyone starts jumping around.

“We are not naive to the situation we are in, but the fact of it is it’s all in our hands.”

The damage was done in the first four minutes at Saints when Leeds conceded two converted tries before they had been in possession of the ball.

Brad Dwyer scoring Rhinos' first try at Saints last week. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Brad Dwyer scoring Rhinos' first try at Saints last week. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

It was a similar story in the last five, but Rhinos matched the hosts for most of the rest of the game.

“All the way through this season we have competed with most teams,” Dwyer insisted.

“If anything, we have been our own worst enemies.

“We have got ourselves in a situation which isn’t great, but if you put yourselves in a situation, it means you can get yourselves out of it. That’s what we have got to do now.

“It is crunch time and we have got to start delivering as individuals.”

Seven of Rhinos’ remaining fixtures are at home, beginning with Sunday’s visit of Catalans Dragons. They have still to play relegation rivals Hull KR on their own turf and travel to London and Huddersfield Giants, who are also fighting for their top-flight lives.

Luke Briscoe scoring Rhinos' second try at Saints. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Luke Briscoe scoring Rhinos' second try at Saints. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Form at Emerald Headingley will be crucial, but Dwyer insisted: “We have got to take it week by week.

“The long turnaround will give us the best preparation, but two weeks ago when we beat London and Wakey and we were in with a chance of beating Wigan we thought we were in a good spot. It has all changed within a week. London have had a good win, Hull KR have and that’s just the way it is.

“Fortunately, it’s in our own hands. We’ve just got to focus on ourselves and we have got to deliver.”

Rhinos have scored just five tries in their last three games, but – despite the six conceded at Saints – have looked stronger close to their line than earlier in the season.

But errors in their own half and penalties continue to put them under unnecessary pressure and Dwyer said: “At times we are great in D (defence), but the thing is we are doing too much of it.

“A great team like St Helens are hard to deal with anyway, but if you are giving them five or six sets extra in a game you are not helping yourselves.

“That’s down to us. One week it’s our kicking game and the next it’s stupid errors. We have got to have a bit more respect for the ball and clean that up.”

Tom Briscoe is wrapped up by the St Helens defence. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Tom Briscoe is wrapped up by the St Helens defence. PIC: Bruce Rollinson