IF anyone asks about the intensity of the current Super League schedule, Ryan Hall simply points them in the direction of his former Leeds Rhinos and England colleague Jamie Peacock, who played on until past his 38th birthday.
Clubs are set for a ‘second Easter’ as most play tonight and again on Bank Holiday Monday as part of a new introduction to the calendar in 2017.
That’s half the battle – if you can tell your body it’s not hurting, it’s not.Leeds Rhinos’ Ryan Hall.
Leeds and Leigh have it toughest as they face each other next Friday, too, making it three games in eight days.
But prolific Rhinos winger Hall maintains it is mainly mentally challenging and insisted: “That’s half the battle – if you can tell your body it’s not hurting, it’s not.
“If you ever listened to JP (Peacock), that’s what he told himself every day of the week.
“Your mind’s your strongest thing and once you’ve got that right you’ve cracked it. You are physically tired, but you’ve just got to tell yourself you’re not.
“That’s where the backroom staff come in because you need external prompting that way as well.”
Leeds, traditionally, have fared well over Easter and will be looking to do the same now although Hall knows ideally they need a win against Warrington tonight to set them off.
“The first game is important,” said the 29 year-old, just four shy of 250 career tries.
“You need to be efficient, you don’t want to be giving away too much possession and poor in the first game because it sets you back for the second.
“I think we did that well last time so, hopefully, we can play well against Warrington, be efficient in what we do and have some energy left for Widnes.”
Leeds are in need of a response, too, as they seek to hold onto a top-four spot, having become the latest victims of leaders Castleford Tigers, losing 29-18 at Magic Weekend.
They were level 6-6 at the break before coming undone and Hall insisted: “I thought we pressed self-destruct. We knew what not to do and went out and did it. Castleford are very good at scoring points when you give them the ball and we did that.
“We knocked on in our half quite often and they got on our line. They took full advantage.
“They had to be good to score the tries but if you look at the rest of the game, for 60 minutes I thought we were really good. We looked like a champion side.”