Recalled star Andrew Dunemann today saluted his Leeds Rhinos half-back rivals â€" and vowed he is determined to keep his place in the starting 13.
Recalled star Andrew Dunemann today saluted his Leeds Rhinos half-back rivals - and vowed he is determined to keep his place in the starting 13. Dunemann will make his first start of the season in tonight's Tetley's Super League clash with Wigan Warriors at Headingley, swapping his place on the bench with Rob Burrow. "It is good to be starting," said Dunemann. "We probably need to turn things around a bit in the halves and be a bit more authoritative. "We have looked a bit rudderless at times and that's including when I have been on there. We need to be better at that. "I have never really started off the bench so far throughout my whole career, so it has been pretty tough just knowing how to stay focused until you get on. "You don't know if you're going to get on in the fifth minute or the 75th. That has been tough, but I think Rob and Danny (McGuire] have been playing very well and they deserve to have been starting. "In the first few games we played I thought they were outstanding, so fair dues to them. I think (coach] Tony Smith is just after a bit more direction around the field, hence getting the chance. "I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed when I wasn't in the starting side at the start of the season. "I'm not really looking back, but I thought last year I had a pretty good season, though I probably fell away a bit towards the end. "I was disappointed but I think Tony's decision was vindicated by the way the other two have played; they have been very good." Tonight's game is a golden opportunity for Dunemann to cement his place in the first 13, but it is also a crucial fixture for Rhinos as they bid to bounce back from last weekend's Powergen Challenge Cup exit at St Helens. "It was very disappointing to get knocked out so early," said Dunemann. "But Super League is still there to play for. This is just one game and there are 25 to go after tonight. "It is a big game but it is not the be-all and end-all. We just need to get the performance right and do what we've trained to do, which we didn't do last week." Dunemann said Rhinos will not be lulled into a false sense of security by Wigan's injury problems. "We played them when they had a lot of injuries last year too and the young blokes who came in probably played better than the older blokes," he said. "It doesn't matter who they get out on the field, when they pull on a Wigan jersey they seem to raise their game. "It is a massive occasion playing Wigan, especially for Australians because when you were growing up in the 1980s you were watching them win everything and they were by far the best team in the world. "To play against them is really good. They are always a dangerous side and we owe them one after getting knocked out in the play-offs last year. "We need to put things right, but we have got to concentrate on our own performance. It is up to us. "If we play well there's no side in the comp that can beat us. It's just a matter of playing well and getting it right and if we do that I think we will win."
Papua New Guinea Head Coach Adrian Lam was at Headingley Carnegie on Monday night to watch the Rhinos clash with St Helens as he checked out the venue where the Kumuls will take on World Champions New Zealand on Friday 8th November. Make sure you are there to see this exciting clash by visiting www.rlwc2013.com to book your ticket
We received a lovely email this morning from the dad of a family who attended the St Helens game on Monday night that we would like to share with you because it shows the unique atmosphere you help create here on match nights at Headingley Carnegie.