Leeds have come a long way since round one, insists Dave Furner

Leeds coach Dave Furner insists his side continue to improve every week, despite results not going their way.

The Rhinos fell short to a 27-22 defeat against current League Leaders’ Shield winners St Helens on Friday evening.

Leeds have lost against Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors so far, with their only win coming against Salford Red Devils.

“It was a tremendous effort from Leeds, we’ve come a fair way [from round one against Warrington],” Furner said.

“We showed a lot of character and the players need to keep their heads held high. Fans need to be proud of their team because they showed tremendous amount of fight.

“We are getting better and as a coach, that’s what I look for. From the first game to now, we are looking a better team each week and that’s with the connections too. The players are working hard.

“Leeds Rhinos fans should be very proud of that team. I was proud of a lot of areas in our game but there just certain lapses which we can’t afford to do. One to 17 went out and played for each other which was good to see.”

Leeds play their first game of the campaign at home next Friday against Wakefield Trinity, with the Emerald Headingley Stadium having undergone redevelopments over the off-season.

“The stadium is not complete yet, but it is a tremendous stadium,” Furner added.

“We knew we were going to be away from home for the first four weeks, so we knew what we were in for. I wanted to see what sort of mettle this team has got, individually and collectively.

“We have come up against two Grand Finalists and the league leaders so far, which has given me a really good chance to assess what we’ve got.”

Furner confirmed Stevie Ward (knee) and Jack Walker (hamstring) have both picked up injuries from their defeat at Saints, and the pair will be assessed further in the coming days.

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