HUDDERSFIELD Giants hooker Kruise Leeming has reminded his side that their destiny is now in their own hands.
The West Yorkshire club were bottom of Super League earlier this year but have won six of their last seven outings to crucially rise up into eighth spot.
He’s been really good. He’s really diligent in what he does and always has a fine comb through everything. It’s good for us nines as we need those little subtleties and details around the play-the-ball and he’s been good for us in that way.Kruise Leeming
They face a tough contest against second-placed Wigan Warriors tonight but, having swept aside Challenge Cup holders Hull FC last week, remain confident they can now avoid the dreaded Qualifiers.
Leeming – who has narrowly failed in his bid to be fit in time after missing last week’s win over Hull with a shoulder injury – said: “Getting some consistency has been a massive focus for us these last six or seven weeks. We need to win most, if not all, of the games remaining to make sure we’re in the top eight but with us winning last week it is in our hands now.
“We’re not waiting on others. If we win the last three we’re out of there and that’s the target.
“But it’ll be a big game against Wigan; I don’t think I’ve ever played against them and it’s been an easy match.
“They are always tough, physical and prepared so we have to be on our game.”
Leeming, the 22-year-old who is in the running to tour Papua New Guinea with England Knights, believes his own game has improved since Simon Woolford’s arrival.
The Australian head coach was a hooker himself during his playing career, proving a legendary figure at Canberra Raiders before switching to St George Illawarra.
Leeming admitted: “He’s been really good. He’s really diligent in what he does and always has a fine comb through everything. It’s good for us nines as we need those little subtleties and details around the play-the-ball and he’s been good for us in that way.”
Meanwhile, the RFL revealed it lost more than £2m last year when it paid out a significant six-figure sum to facilitate the exit of chief executive Nigel Wood and chief commercial officer Roger Draper.
It is the first time it has suffered a deficit since 2001 with Wood – who took over in 2007 – helping deliver 14 successive years of profit before quitting in January when Draper also left.
Part of the budgeted loss is down to ‘accounting practice’ after they revalued one of their assets – Odsal Stadium – and saw it reduced by almost £400,000.
There were also no home international games last year and the cost of sending two teams to the World Cup in Australia but the governing body says it is “budgeted to return its planned significant surplus in 2018.”
Elsewhere, Castleford Tigers have signed Bradford Bulls hooker Reiss Butterworth on loan until the end of the season while ex-Hull KR prop James Green has moved the other way in a similar deal.