Headingley Insight: Leeds v Castleford
In this week's edition of Headingley Carnegie Insight, Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott looks ahead to the Rhinos clash with Castleford Tigers at Headingley Carnegie, kick off 3pm.by NRL
In this week's edition of Headingley Carnegie Insight, Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott looks ahead to the Rhinos clash with Castleford Tigers at Headingley Carnegie, kick off 3pm.
HOW IS YOUR SQUAD AFTER THE EXERTIONS OF LAST WEEKEND?
We are in pretty good shape. The guys who backed up from the internationals on Saturday did a great job but we have had to manage them carefully this week. The attitude from the squad has been to get on with the job in hand and I have been pleased with how this week has gone. Unfortunately we have lost Jamie Peacock this week, which is a blow. He took a bang to his knee towards the end on Monday and there is some bruising there so we will not risk him this week but I am pretty confident he will be back next week to play at London. On the flip side, we have got Kallum Watkins back fit and available. I know it has been a frustrating time for Kallum but the operation he had was a clear out so nothing too serious and there are no concerns about him coming back this week.
WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING FROM CASTLEFORD?
I think they will be very similar to Wakefield on Monday night in their approach. They will be well rested and have had a fortnight to prepare for this game. Obviously a lot of the focus around their game goes on Rangi Chase but I think that makes Danny Orr and Ryan McGoldrick even more dangerous players. Rangi is obviously a big player for them but if you only look at him that gives time and space for others to go forward. I rate Craig Huby very highly and I think he has been performing particularly well for them recently. I expect them to start big and come at us early on and we need to make sure that we are ready for that.
HOW DO YOU REFLECT ON LAST MONDAY'S WIN?
No one at this club will ever be content with conceding 40 points in a game but when we have looked back on the game, I don't think enough credit has been given to how Wakefield performed. They obviously felt that they could catch us because of the players we had backing up from Saturday and they showed a lot of energy in their performance. They are a talented side who have been causing plenty of teams problems this season and, given all those circumstances, we were pleased to get the win. The players don't need me to tell them that our defensive work was not where we want it to be but we continue to work hard to fix those things up and hopefully we can take the good aspects from Monday's game forward into Sunday's match.
IS THIS A DIFFICULT TIME OF YEAR WITH SPECULATION AROUND THE SQUAD FOR NEXT SEASON?
We have got a very experienced squad here at the Rhinos who know what the game is all about. Speculation about signings is part of the modern game now. Obviously we have announced that Brent Webb is leaving at the end of the season and that creates a vacancy within our squad. I thought Zak Hardaker did well at full back on Monday night and he will only improve with more gametime and practise in that position. Having said that Ben Jones-Bishop is an accomplished full back who has played quite a bit of Super League games there for ourselves and during his season at Quins, Kallum Watkins has also played a bit there and I would not mind seeing Ryan Hall have a run there with his specific skill set. I have heard about the link with Tim Moltzen in the press and he is someone who is on a list but there are plenty of names on that list of available players and there is just as much chance of him not signing for us as there is of him coming to Leeds.
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