HAVING unexpectedly been forced to wait for some action, Leeds Rhinos’ Richie Myler believes his side will now be even better prepared to face Hull FC on Thursday night.
The Super League champions had a blank weekend after Friday’s home game with Catalans Dragons was postponed due to the adverse weather.
It was particularly vexing for Myler – it would have been the scrum-half’s first meeting with the French club since leaving them last autumn – but after a busy start to the new season the delay may have come as a blessing in disguise.
Leeds, of course, ventured to Australia last month to face Melbourne Storm in the World Club Challenge and, having lost there, also fell at Widnes Vikings upon their return from the quick-turnaround trip.
Brian McDermott’s side are, therefore, keen to get back up and running and Myler told The Yorkshire Post: “It probably is good timing (having a break).
“We’ll have a few blokes back this week, too, which will be good and we’re looking to get back to winning ways.
“It was frustrating, though. I was looking forward to playing Catalans, but we all would have probably frozen to death if we had have played.
“We’ll just have to wait until later in the season now.”
One of the issues that led to Friday’s game being called off was Leeds-Bradford Airport being temporarily shut, which would have proven problematic for the visiting French side.
Regular flying was commonplace for Myler during his two years in Perpignan so he is well-tuned with the itinerary issues.
“I didn’t mind – it was never an issue for me,” he recalled.
“(Australian half-back) Luke Walsh, on the other hand, hates it. He has a real fear of flying.
“I used to sit behind him and shake up his chair. He used to really hate it when there was only a few of us travelling and they’d put us on one of those really small, tiny planes.
“We used to get a private chartered plane the day before a game so that was another reason they had to call it off early for Friday.
We have to be on our game to get it right against them and it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to. I’ve settled in well here now and I’m really enjoying it.Leeds Rhinos’ Richie Myler
“We’re preparing for Hull now, though, who are a very talented side with quality throughout the line-up.
“They put in a good performance to beat Warrington on Friday, but we’re after the two points here, especially with it being our first game back at Headingley.”
Hull did beat the freezing conditions to defeat another of Myler’s erstwhile teams 21-12 and they are expected to be strengthened by the return of mercurial half-back Albert Kelly after concussion.
His partnership with Marc Sneyd has reaped dividends in recent times and Myler admitted: “They have a good combination.
“They complement each other well and ask a lot of questions of you in different ways.
“We have to be on our game to get it right against them and it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.
“I’ve settled in well here now and I’m really enjoying it. We’ve such a talented bunch of players, it makes it a pleasure to be playing here.”
Leeds are back at Headingley for the first time this season although the famous ground’s major redevelopment is still ongoing.
Myler, 27, said: “We trained there (Sunday) and it was a bit weird with the stadium still being built.
“I didn’t realise just how big the South Stand is going to be. It’s absolutely massive.
“It will be a great atmosphere and it’ll be interesting to see how it all fits come Thursday.”
Meanwhile, as a new ambassador, Myler yesterday helped promote the Active Beyond Cancer programme, which starts in May.
It is part of the club and Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s continued partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research that sees the organisations work together to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and help those already diagnosed live better.
Over the past 12 months Yorkshire Cancer Research and Leeds Rhinos Foundation have worked together to offer the cancer rehabilitation programme. The new partnership will see the charities continue to provide this free course for cancer patients at venues across Leeds.
Myler explained: “I was looking to become an ambassador for a charity when I joined Leeds and this is a bit closer to home for me as a couple of people in my family have been affected by cancer.
“I wanted to get involved and when this chance came up I didn’t hesitate.
“When you think one in two people suffer from the disease, that is really scary especially when you’ve a family of four.
“It’s very humbling to be involved and it was great to get started with the launch event.”
Hull prop Liam Watts has received a three-game ban for his red card against Warrington.
He misses Thursday’s game as well as the trip to Salford Red Devils and home fixture versus Catalans Dragons, but his first match back is the Good Friday derby at Hull KR on March 30.
Warrington half-back Declan Patton must answer to an independent operational rules tribunal given the severity of the grade D high tackle on Hull’s Bureta Faraimo that saw him sent-off.
He could be banned for up to five games depending on today’s outcome.
Warrington’s Sitaleki Akauola was also suspended by the match review panel for a grade B dangerous contact in the same game.
Huddersfield Giants second-row Daniel Smith received a one-match ban for a grade B dangerous contact in their loss at Wakefield Trinity.