Hoffman wary of Rhinos charge

Australian champions Melbourne Storm are expecting to face a Leeds Rhinos team at their explosive best when the two sides meet in the Gillette World Club Challenge at Elland Road on Sunday week.

The Engage Super League champions have made a stuttering start to their title defence in 2010 but Melbourne enforcer Ryan Hoffman has no doubts that the Rhinos will be primed and ready for the War of the Rugby League Worlds on February 28.

And, having tasted defeat in the 2008 World Club Challenge between the same two sides, the 26-year-old forward is determined to avoid a repeat and take the trophy back home to Australia.

“Leeds really build up for the big games and it was the same two years ago. I think they had a slow start to the Super League season but they’re going to be at their best for the World Club Challenge,” he said.

“We’re under no illusions just how good this Leeds side is. To be the No 1 team in England for the past three years definitely shows their quality.

“It was very close two years ago and a very good game of football, too – you don’t really like losing games like that, especially when there’s a trophy involved.

“A World Club Challenge win is one of the few thing this team hasn’t achieved, so that’s definitely something we’re going to aim for on this trip.

“I think it’s a great chance to show where we really are at the start of the season. After the World Club Challenge we’ll go back and it will be a week before the start of the NRL season. It’s going to be a great mark to show where we are and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Hoffman, a key member of Australia’s victorious Gillette Four nations campaign last year, was named in Melbourne Storm’s Team of the Decade and believes the Storm’s consistency holds the key to their success.

“We’re very confident in that we know what we do well and we try and stick to that. I think that’s probably been our strength in the last couple of years is being able to stick to what we do well on a consistent basis,” he said.

“With the 2010 team it’s very different team from the past couple of years so we’re definitely going to try emulate the same sort of working in those systems that the other teams have done.”

Tickets for the Gillette World Club Challenge at Elland Road, Leeds on Sunday February 28 (6.30) are now available with prices starting from £20, or £10 concessions.

To purchase tickets from the RFL Ticket Office please visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or call 0844 856 11 13.

Tickets are also available from the Leeds Rhinos Ticket Office at Headingley Carnegie Stadium or by calling 0871 423 13 15.

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