HEADINGLEY CARNEGIE INSIGHT

In this weeks edition of Headingley Carnegie Insight Tony Smith looks ahead to the Rhinos Powergen Challenge Cup Fifth Round tie against Rochdale at Headingley Carnegie.

In this weeks edition of Headingley Carnegie Insight Tony Smith looks ahead to the Rhinos Powergen Challenge Cup Fifth Round tie against Rochdale at Headingley Carnegie this Friday, kick off 8pm. HOW BIG A THREAT WILL ROCHDALE BE? Despite a defeat at Halifax last week they have started the season well and will be full of confidence coming here. Darren Abram has spoken this week about his players having a great opportunity to show what they can do and we have to be alert to that danger. The Challenge Cup is a great chance for players from the National Divisions to pit themselves against Super League players and we know from the tough game we faced at Leigh in the last round that that brings different challenges for ourselves. We are pleased to be playing at home and know we will have to be up to the task from the start of the game. HOW HAVE THE PLAYERS RESPONDED TO LAST WEEKS DEFEAT? We were obviously disappointed with last weeks result against Hull, especially as it was at home, as we pride ourselves on our record at Headingley Carnegie. We were particularly disappointed with our start to the game and that is something we are looking to improve on. We found some urgency at the start of the second half with some energy and desire but we need to find that energy early in the game. However, every team will have a patch during the season when everything clicks into place and they are capable of beating anyone in the competition. In recent weeks Warrington and Hull have been running red hot as they have shown with their wins over ourselves and Bradford. Hull played almost error free rugby last week and got their rewards for it, they will be hoping they can maintain that right through until October. We reviewed our campaign last season and recognised that we needed to make sure we were in the best possible shape at the end of the season and hopefully we can build up over the course of the year to peak when it is necessary. WILL YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES THIS WEEK? We are delighted to have our captain back available. Kevin has made an excellent recovery and has really looked after himself since the injury. I know he is keen to get back out playing and it has been good to have him back involved this week. Unfortunately, as Kevin comes back we also lose Richard Mathers with his knee injury. It is a cruel blow for Richard and everyone feels for him. Richard has been improving all the time, especially in defence where he has done a lot of work this season. He was in great form before the injury and hopefully he will make a full recovery and at 22 will go on to have a long, successful career despite this set back. We are also able to give Jamie Peacock, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Gareth Ellis a rest after they have picked knocks during the first half of the season and it will give them a chance to freshen up.