STUNNED Leeds Rhinos back-row James Donaldson has questioned his own side’s desire to defend after their “shocking” loss at Hull KR.
Leeds remain bottom of Super League following Thursday’s shambolic 45-26 defeat at KCOM Craven Park.
Konrad Hurrell scored four tries but the big-spending visitors - who have now lost eight of their 10 games so far - were consistently unable to protect their own line given some feeble tackling.
“It is just shocking,” said Donaldson.
“We started the game shocking and we just seemed to lose momentum straight away.
“We didn't want to dig in, dig our heels in and work hard for each other and I think it got us. It's defence. We can score points - you can see that - but every time our attitude in defence is just shocking.”
Asked how do you put your finger on why that is, the 27-year-old replied: “It's attitude. “Everything is just attitude. Your attitude to defence. Your attitude to attack.
“Everyone wants to score the tries but do you want to put the work in and do the defence?”
Leeds thought they had turned their season around after a Golden Point extra-time win against Castleford Tigers the previous week ended a five-game losing sequence.
But after Thursday’s embarrassing show, Donaldson conceded: “It's just ruined it all really.
“We'd been working hard to start building every week and then to come up with that, you know, it is shocking.
“We started off the second half a bit better but the back end it all caught up with us.”
The former Bradford Bulls player was one of Leeds’ better performers having come on for his first appearance back at Rovers, the club he served for four years before a surprise release last autumn.
“Yeah, I felt I made a difference when I came on in the middle (loose forward),” he said.
“And then obviously someone got injured and I went to back-row. I don't think I was as effective there.
“I was enjoying myself in the middle at the time but I’ve got to look at my own game as well and see where I can improve.”
Leeds host League 1 Workington Town in the Challenge Cup on Thursday which will be extra special for Donaldson.
He is a Cumbrian who hails from Whitehaven - the big derby foes of Leon Pryce’s side.
“Yeah, it’s the old rivals but I'm just looking forward to getting out there and trying to build again, doing the little things right,” said Donaldson.
“I am excited to go against Workington. It is a big game for us to get some confidence.
“But 100 per cent they'll be fancying it and they'll come with some attitude.
“We're going to have to put our shoulder pads on and get ready to do the hard work.”