LEEDS RHINOS’ Liam Sutcliffe knows only too well the size of the task ahead of them this evening.
For all the club has enjoyed seven Super League titles in the last 13 years while tonight’s opponents Wakefield Trinity have not lifted a championship since 1968, this West Yorkshire derby currently has growing gravitas.
Wakefield are unbeaten since April 23 and will take their visitors’ third spot if they win yet again at Belle Vue.
Versatile back Sutcliffe said: “It is going to be a big one, especially how they’ve been performing lately.
“They’ve won their last seven games, which is really good.
“They are up there in the top-four with us so it will be a tough game.”
Rhinos are aiming to complete a league double following their 38-14 win when the sides met at Headingley in March.
That was Trinity’s heaviest loss of the year so far, but they have won 10 of their 13 games since and Sutcliffe warned: “That was a long time ago.
“They have improved a lot since then and so have we. We have trained really hard this week, we’ve previewed them and we’ll be ready.”
Rhinos have had a full week’s break after a run of three games in eight days.
“It’s always tough playing three times in a week – on your body and mentally as well,” Sutcliffe admitted.
“At least we’ve had a bit longer this week to prepare and get our bodies right again.
“Everyone was sore and tired after last week. Everyone was shattered, but we’ve had quite a long turnaround this week and we’ve been able to pick ourselves back up.
“We will be ready to go.
“We know we’ve still got a fair bit of improvement in us and things we can work on towards the end of the year.
“But it’s a good spot to be in, third place.
“Hopefully, we can keep that position and keep climbing the table.
“We will be going for top spot, but there is a long way to go.”