LEEDS RHINOS are prepared to do “whatever it takes” to get their season back on track this evening, forward Brett Ferres says.
The situation is desperate for Rhinos who have lost their last eight Betfred Super League games, the second worst league run in the club’s history.
With only three rounds remaining in the regular campaign they are ninth in the table and will drop a place if they lose at home to Wakefield Trinity tonight and improving Hull KR beat bottom club Widnes Vikings tomorrow.
Wakefield will guarantee their place in the Super-8s if they win tonight and virtually condemn Rhinos to the bottom-four with two games remaining in the regular season.
Huddersfield Giants’ 20-12 win over Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons’ 22-22 draw at Warrington Wolves last night lifted both four points clear of Leeds.
But if Rhinos win they will move to within a point of Trinity who have dropped to eighth.
But Ferres insisted rather than focusing on the league situation Rhinos simply have to find a way to break what has become a losing habit.
“The ownership’s on us now,” said the former England man, who made 41 appearances for Wakefield in 2007-8.
“We need to get points – we can’t look around at what everyone else is doing, we just need to go out there and get results.
“Every day’s a bit of a learning day, with a new coaching regime coming in, but we just need to go out and get a result, whatever it takes.”
Rhinos have conceded 88 points and scored only 18 in their last two matches, including a 42-10 drubbing at another of Ferres’ previous clubs, Castleford Tigers, five days ago.
They led in the first half and were only 16-10 adrift at the break and Ferres recalled: “We were good in patches, but obviously we fell away quite quickly at the end.
“We did too much defence in the first half and that sapped our energy.
“We didn’t control the ruck at all and looked really sloppy in the second half and that really bit us.
“Castleford got a roll on and started playing some decent footy and just went through us too easily.”
Rhinos did scramble well in defence during the opening 40 minutes and Ferres added: “It was a good job, or it could have been 60!
“It was disappointing after we started quite well. We did look all right in patches, but it’s just not good enough for where we’re at and what we need to do at the minute.”
Rhinos won 28-26 at Mobile Rocket Stadium, Belle Vue, in April, but Trinity have beaten St Helens and Wigan this season and most of their 11 defeats have been close.
“They are a good side,” Ferres warned.
“But it’s about us. We can’t wait and look and see what they are doing, we need to go out and get that first win.
“We scored early last week, but we just fell away. We should have kept pressing and kept our foot on their throat and kept going at them. It is certainly all about us this week.”
Ferres reckons if they can get one win Rhinos’ season will turn around.
“Collectively we believe in what we’re doing,” he insisted.
“It’s probably one of those situations when we’ll get one win and it will follow on and we’ll keep winning, but we just can’t seem to get over the line and secure one in 80 minutes.
“There are signs we are going to do all right, but we just need that win.”
Tonight is Rhinos’ first home game since former captain Kevin Sinfield returned to the club as director of rugby, with James Lowes becoming first-team coach.
Ferres, who joined Rhinos from Huddersfield Giants the season after Sinfield’s final game as a player, said: “He is a class addition.
“It was probably a shame he left the club originally. It would have been nice to have him around.
“He has done everything on the pitch as a player and he’s a leader in himself.
“He captained Leeds for years and years and it’s great to have him around.
“He knows the game inside out and he knows what he wants and he commands respect as well.
“He brings a lot of professionalism on and off the field.
“With Jimmy back as well they will install some different things, Chev [Walker] has stepped up and it’s nice to see Rob Burrow around the place helping out.
“We’ve got a bit of a dream team there, some great players who’ve done it all in the game and are fresh out of playing so their ideas and what they want to do are good.
“It’s just a matter now of us going out there and doing it.”