IT is doubtful anyone has played at both Cougar Park, Keighley and Melbourne Storm’s AAMI Stadium in the space of 13 days, but Leeds Rhinos’ match-winning stand-in Jimmy Keinhorst has that opportunity.
Keinhorst was added to Leeds’s travelling squad for next Friday’s World Club Challenge after scoring a hat-trick in the 20-11 win over Hull KR at Elland Road two days ago.
He had captained a young Rhinos team when they were beaten 50-12 at Keighley the previous Sunday and was only called into the 17 to play Rovers after stand-off Joel Moon pulled out with a leg injury.
Keinhorst, who can play at both centre and in the second-row, was one of Leeds’s few stand-outs during their disappointing 2016 season, but a serious hand injury limited him to only 16 appearances last year.
He admitted he did not expect to make the journey Down Under, but is now determined to make the most of his chance. Moon is expected to be fit to face Storm, but with six forwards unavailable through injury, Keinhorst is likely to take a place in the 17.
Reflecting on events of the past few days, Keinhorst – who was at centre against Rovers, with Liam Sutcliffe switching to No 6 – said: “We will see how the team recovers, go there and have a real go at them.
“It is all about recovery now and getting right for Friday.
“These opportunities don’t come around too often so we will give it our best shot.
“Melbourne are considered the best team in the world at the moment, but we believe in each other and we believe we can go there and do a job.”
Leeds will need to improve on their error-ridden performance against Hull KR, though their defence appears to be in good shape.
Keinhorst admitted: “We didn’t adapt well to the conditions at the start, so to get ourselves back in the contest and get the win was good for us.
“They started the game better than us and played the conditions far better.
“They were in it for the full 80 and it was a tough game.
“Credit to them, they pushed us all the way, but we stayed in the contest.
“We were down a couple of subs in the second half, which made it tough, but it was a good effort by the boys.”
Anthony Mullally sustained a fractured finger against Hull KR, ruling him out of the trip Down Under. He is one of five front-rows on the casualty list, but Moon has made the journey and Josh Walters was a late addition to the travelling squad.