Shaun Wane says he always expected Leeds to return to form
Rhinos back after turbulent 2016 and third in the table
- Wane knows that Wigan will have to perform to get the win at Headingley
Ahead of Wigan’s visit to Leeds tomorrow Shaun Wane says he knew the Rhinos would come good after a rocky spell in 2016.
The Rhinos won the treble in 2015 picking up all three trophies on offer as they said farewell to Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai.
Less than a year on and Brian McDermott’s outfit finished the regular season in ninth place meaning they had to secure their Super League status via the qualifiers.
After sailing through the Super 8s with a 100% win record the Rhinos currently sit third in the table having won five of their opening seven games.
Speaking ahead of the game, Wane said: “Last year will have hurt them, three players left who had played a lot of games for them so that left a big hole in their roster and they struggled with that but they’ve still some really good players there. Danny McGuire knows his way around, Rob Burrow and Ryan Hall, all very good players.
“I always knew they’d come back and we’d see the real Leeds. Now they’re playing with a lot of confidence and they’re hard to beat, especially at Headingley.”
Wane has been swotting up on his opponents and knows that they will be a test for his side.
“We need to be squeaky clean and make sure we don’t give them good field position.” He said.
“I watched their game against Huddersfield and they troubled them a lot with their second-phase offload game. That’s not how we play so it’s hard for our players to deal with but we’ve dealt with it before and we need to do it again. It’s just all about concentrating in defence.”
Oliver Gildart looks set to return this week after a shoulder injury and Wane is happy to see the Wigan number four back in the squad.
“He’s played a lot of games and he’s been consistently good for us” said Wane.
“I think we’ve missed him a bit. The young kids have done a great job whilst they’ve been but Gilly has made that position his own so it will be good to have him back.”