HUDDERSFIELD Giants coach Simon Woolford “butted heads” with Kruise Leeming for a time, but his England Knights hooker now realises why.
The 23-year-old is one of Super League’s form players so far, illustrated by his two tries against Hull KR last Friday and a man-of-the-match display in the club’s other win at Wigan Warriors.
It was no surprise to see him retained in the Knights squad this week, but Woolford conceded, when he first took over last May, things had been different.
“Kruise had a decision to make,” explained the Australian ahead of Sunday’s trip to London Broncos.
“He was one player I knew a little bit about; he was a nine with plenty of ability, but hadn’t quite reached that potential yet.
“There was a game against Hull KR last year where we put him back to the bench the week after.
“I’m sure Kruise thought we were picking on him, but there were some things we had to make Kruise aware of, that he needed to improve to make sure that he started to realise that potential that everyone saw in him.
“His discipline wasn’t great; he gave away three or four penalties in the first 20 minutes of that match and was the second most penalised player in Super League,
“It was important for us we told Kruise what he needed to hear – not what we wanted to hear.
“It was hard for him – we butted heads early on – but he understands now and I think he looks back and sees the great improvements he’s made in his game.
It was hard for him – we butted heads early on – but he understands now and I think he looks back and sees the great improvements he’s made in his game.Huddersfield Giants head coach, Simon Woolford
“Now he’s one of those players that’s always looking for feedback. It’s not a matter of me going to him; he comes to us.
“He’s been fantastic and it’s a credit how he’s been able to turn it around.”
Former Hull FC centre Nick Rawsthorne has joined York City Knights from Toronto Wolfpack on a month’s loan.