Sinfield looking for shot in the arm to deny Wolves hat-trick

Leeds Rhinos' Kevin Sinfield.
Leeds Rhinos' Kevin Sinfield.
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LEEDS captain Kevin Sinfield knows Warrington Wolves are more than capable of inflicting a third successive defeat on the Super League leaders.

Warrington make a quick return to Headingley tonight after suffering a shock Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Hull KR there on Saturday.

Leeds, who reached Wembley themselves with a stunning win against St Helens, are expected to get their Super 8s fixtures up and running with a victory.

However, Sinfield is mindful of what the wounded Wolves, coached by former Rhinos chief Tony Smith, can still produce, especially as they are the only side to beat the West Yorkshire club twice this term.

“I didn’t watch the semi-final, so I am not really aware of how well or how indifferent they played,” said the stand-off.

“But I have to say that possibly Warrington’s two best performances this year have been against Leeds home and away.

“They clearly like playing us and, so, with it being the start of the new competition and us being at home, it would be great for us to get the two points.

“It’s an important game and what they did to Cas a couple of weeks ago (a 44-6 win at Wheldon Road) is what we have to prepare for.

“People will talk about revenge missions, but it’s not that at all.

“I have great respect for Tony (Smith) and his team and I think they are a great club.

“But it would be great for us to start the Super 8s with two points and it’d give us a real shot in the arm moving forward in this competition.”

Leeds are already almost certain to qualify for the semi-finals but they also want to secure top spot for the first time since 2009 as it not only cements a home play-offs tie but brings a guaranteed World Club Series spot for 2016.

Furthermore, Sinfield believes they can raise the bar even higher from that win over Saints, the opening 20 minutes of which Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott described as the best yet under his reign.

“The challenge for us is to be really good, somewhere like we were last Friday, and, hopefully, improve on that as we go forward,” added the former England captain.

“Wembley will certainly take a back-burner now while we attempt to do as well in these next three games.

“They are all important for us, with two home games to start us up – against Warrington and Wigan – and then the tough away trip to Hull.”

Prop Brad Singleton has committed his immediate future to Leeds Rhinos by signing a new four-year contract.

Singleton, 22, has missed only two games this year and coach Brian McDermott declared himself “very pleased that brad had decided to continue his progression at Leeds”.

Warrington are set to hand a debut to Chris Sandow, the high-profile Australian stand-off who arrived last week from Parramatta Eels. He will bolster their attacking and kicking game which was particularly poor in defeat to Hull KR.