Headingley Carnegie Insight

In this weeks edition of Headingley Carnegie Insight, Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott looks ahead to this Friday’s Play off elimination clash at Huddersfield, kick off 8pm.

WILL YOUR WIN AT HUDDERSFIELD IN THE FINAL GAME OF THE REGULAR SEASON HAVE ANY BEARING THIS WEEK?

This week is a completely new challenge for us from our visit there a fortnight ago. Huddersfield will have plenty of reasons for a big performance, not least bouncing back from last week’s loss at Warrington. We will be preparing for the Giants best performance of the season and we will need to match that on Friday night. We are both playing knock out rugby now and you know that if you do not turn up on the day that your season will be over come Friday night.

We know that once Phil Bentham blows his whistle at kick off we are going to face a very determined, tenacious and physical Huddersfield side regardless of the results for either team last weekend.

ARE YOUR TEAM IN GOOD SPIRITS?

The win over Hull has certainly helped with our preparations this week. Some of the things that we planned to do worked well for us and we will look to build on that this week. We have put together a good run of form in recent weeks, the Quins game apart, and that does help at this time of year. It does give the guys a spring in their step when they come into training on Monday morning but we have not forgotten the fundamentals that have put us in this position.

Our preparation has been good this week and our senior players are leading the way, which is how it should be at this time of year.

HOW IS YOUR TEAM SHAPING UP?

Unfortunately we will be without Carl Ablett and Kallum Watkins for this big game which is a real shame for them and the team. Both are not far off being fully fit but just not ready for a game that will be as physical as any other this season and probably up a few notches on what has gone on before.

However, we are delighted to have Ryan Bailey available. Ryan has been outstanding for us this year and has really focused on his game this season. I thought our front rowers did a great job for us last week against Hull and they will need to replicate that again on Friday.