FRUSTRATED Kallum Watkins admits faltering Leeds Rhinos are heading into the “unknown” tonight as the League Leaders’ Shield is finally decided.
His side had long been favourites to finish top, having been leaders for much of 2015 only to see their hopes placed in jeopardy after losing their last three games.
Leeds will still prosper if they win at Huddersfield Giants in their final Super 8s game this evening but their hosts are on a five-match winning run and could still lift the trophy themselves with Wigan Warriors also in the mix.
“That adds a bit more spice to it and it’s what’s great about our sport,” said England centre Watkins.
At least the possibility of Rhinos finishing as low as fourth was removed when Saints lost to Warrington last night.
“There’s a bit of the unknown. Whoever wins the League Leaders’ it will give them great confidence going into the semi-final next week.
“It’s very interesting and very exciting times for everyone involved.”
After lifting the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup at Wembley, struggling Leeds – the most dominant and stylish team in the competition beforehand – have yet to pick up another win.
However, Watkins says their problems are simple enough to cure.
“It think it’s the small stuff – communication in defence and little things like that – that aren’t going to plan,” he said.
“Certainly, this year we’ve been playing very well, very consistently and you don’t become a bad team.
“But the little things are what we need to do better.
“We came off a great win at Wembley and we needed to kick on from there.
“In terms of our form, it hasn’t been great, but we have got every belief and confidence we can get that back.
“We aren’t a bad team, we are just not in form.
“We have got to get that back going into the semi-final and, hopefully, the Grand Final.
“We are working hard on what we need to do to get back playing with a bit more confidence and, hopefully, we’ll come up with a great performance at Huddersfield.
“It is going to be tough; Giants are the form team at the moment and they are playing really well.
“But we’d be disappointed not to finish in the top-two and know how important a home semi is.”