Desire to continue improving is McGuire’s driving force

Danny McGuire
Danny McGuire
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DANNY McGUIRE insists he still wants to improve as a player and, after his master class versus Hull FC, unfortunately for bemused opponents he is doing just that.

The former England half-back will be 33 later this year and it would be easy to suggest that his best days are behind him,

However, after scoring two trademark tries, creating two more and generally causing havoc in his 350th game for the club on Thursday, there is evidence he is actually getting better.

McGuire was as sharp and dynamic as ever in a blistering second half in which unbeaten Leeds recovered from a 12-0 interval deficit to win 43-12.

“You never get sick of it,” he said, when asked about his latest milestone in a career that has yielded six Super League titles and sees him as the competition’s greatest try-scorer.

“I’m just pretty honoured to be playing with such a great club, such good players, team-mates and friends. I class myself as lucky and hopefully there’s a few more games in me yet.

“Just enjoying it is the key. If you’re doing that you want to keep improving and there’s pressure on from your coach and team-mates to play well. There’s people underneath, too, like Sutty (Liam Sutcliffe) who push you to play well and I just want to do my bit for the team.”

Like the majority of his colleagues, McGuire had been somewhat erratic in the first period when jittery Leeds, who have won all four games so far, struggled too often to hold onto the ball.

“It was just one of those days,” he recalled.

“Personally as well I was a bit shaky with a few mistakes and obviously Hull played really well and didn’t really give us a chance.

“But in the second half I was really happy with how we performed. We stuck at it, showed a lot of character to get back in the game, and to score more than 40 points on a good team after the break is pretty impressive.

“We scored some really good tries and I don’t think we’ve been that clinical for a long time.

“We didn’t make many mistakes, maybe one or two dropped balls, and were very disciplined and good defensively too.

“Our middle boys were really strong.”

McGuire raced in for their first try just 36 seconds into the second half after supporting a coruscating break from Brad Singleton, the 22-year-old prop who seems to get better with each game he plays for Rhinos.

McGuire sent him over shortly afterwards, too, and he said: “Singo did really well. It’s a big year for him and I tipped him to really star this season.

“I think he’s going to improve as the season goes on. He’s still maturing into his role in the team and, as a prop forward, it takes a few years to find your feet but he’s doing a really good job.”

Leeds’s 100 per cent start will be tested to the hilt when they head to Warrington Wolves on Friday.

“It’s another tough one,” admitted McGuire, who has scored five tries in the West Yorkshire club’s opening four fixtures.

“They are probably a bit up and down currently, but it’s always hard there and we’ve not got the best record at that ground.

“It’s another big challenge so we’ll lick our wounds, rest up and get ready for another big week.”