Hall: Leeds have faced down 2016’s demons

Leeds winger Ryan Hall believes that Brian McDermott’s Rhinos learned some useful lessons in 2016.

The team faltered after hitting the treble-winning heights of 2015, and were forced to play for their Super League future in the Qualifiers section of the Super Eights.

Hall felt that a lot of lessons learned were very different to those the Rhinos had absorbed in previous seasons, when the emphasis had been slightly different.

“It’s hard to quantify with words, really, because so much went on,” he told Love Rugby League.

“There’s an old saying, that you only found out what your team mates are truly like when they’re at the bottom, when they’ve got no hype about them.

“We certainly saw quite a bit of that ourselves last year. If you’ve had a bad game, there’s no hiding from it.

“You see the true nature of your team mates come out. So we now know what everyone looks like and how bad we can be.

“On that flipside of that, we learned what not to do.

“Instead of banging on about the best ways to get the best one or two per centers, we’ve now learned what not to do as well.”

“It was certainly a difficult year for myself and the majority of people here,” he acknowledged.

Coming off last year, Hall thinks that preparations for the new season have had a slightly different feel to previous years, when the Rhinos were following up success.

“It was certainly a difficult year for myself and the majority of people here,” he acknowledged.

“Simply because, being at Leeds, we’re used to beingin the top half of the table, and challenging for silverware.

“It was a different battle last year. When we entered the Middle Eights it was a battle for survival in Super League.

“We discovered our form towards the back end. Even though we were playing sides from the Championship and the lower half of Super League in the Middle Eights, we were playing some sort of rugby there that was worthy of being in the Super Eights.”

But Hall also believes that the Rhinos have shown in the past how they can cope with being labelled underdogs.

It is probably something that the players prefer, too.

“Every year at Leeds, I don’t think we’re ever favourites,” he said.

“We know that we’re always talked about as contenders, but I don’t think we’ve ever been out and out favourites.

“Certainly, I can remember, if I cast my mind back to 2011, we finished fifth in the league, and in the semi-finals, we played Warrington away.

“Warrington were head and shoulders above everyone that season. So, rightly, the bookies had written us off.

“That’s how I would describe it now – everyone had written us off, but we went quietly about our business and the rest is history now.

“So we know what to do in those situations because we’ve been there before.

“It’s a bit of longer game this one, in that we’ve got to play out a full season like that.

“But I think that everyone likes that side of things too.”






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