Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos: Every game is now a Cup final, claims Brett Ferres

THE ‘R’ word may be on the lips of fans and the media, but Leeds Rhinos’ players are not discussing the possibility of losing their Super League status, insists former England forward Brett Ferres.

Brett Ferres: Adopting siege mentality.
Brett Ferres: Adopting siege mentality.

Leeds, the eight-time champions whose latest Grand Final triumph came only two seasons ago, have six games left to pull clear of danger, beginning with a ‘four-pointer’ at eighth-placed Huddersfield Giants this evening.

Only points difference separates Leeds from the teams below them, Hull KR and London Broncos, and if Rhinos lose and other results go against them they could be bottom of the ladder by the end of this weekend.

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The next two months will be the most crucial in the club’s history, but Ferres stressed: “We aren’t really talking about relegation.”

He said: “If you concentrate too much on that, you get tied up in it a bit.

“There’s plenty of opportunities to get out of it, with six games left.

“There’s plenty there to go at so, week-in, week-out we just need to keep knocking them off.

“On paper, we have got a great side and a great squad, we just aren’t getting results.”

Even so, Ferres admits Leeds – who will overtake Giants if they manage to win by eight or more points – are now playing a form of knock-out rugby.

“It is a bit of a cup final, siege mentality for us,” added the 33-year-old, who joined Leeds from Huddersfield ahead of the 2016 season.

“We need to win every game now.

“We are treating every game as a final, then we’ll move on to the next one.”

Rhinos seemed to have turned the corner when they won back-to-back games against Catalans Dragons and Castleford Tigers, but successive defeats by Hull KR and Hull FC – two weeks ago – dragged them back into danger.

Ferres stressed: “It is a big game, but it has been for the last three weeks.

“We have missed a couple of opportunities to get some points on the table. We had last weekend off, we are refreshed and we’ve had some good training days in there so we’re looking forward to the challenge ahead.”