Sinfield: We’re miles ahead of last year

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield believes that his squad are in a better position than last year heading into Sunday’s World Club Challenge against Melbourne Storm.

The game which has been billed as “The War of the Rugby League Worlds” sees the two best club sides go head to head and despite a stuttering start to the Engage Super League season, Sinfield believes that the Rhinos will be determined to make up for last year’s 28-20 defeat to Manly Sea Eagles.

Speaking to the Official Gillette World Club Challenge match day magazine, Sinfield said: “Even though the first few games of the season haven’t been our best performances, I still think we’re miles ahead of where we were this time last year.

“Manly fully deserved it last year. We were desperately disappointed – more disappointed than we expected to be looking back.”

Sinfield has pinpointed Australian Internationals Billy Slater and Cameron Smith as the Storm’s main threats and believes that the Rhinos’ kicking game could prove pivotal in the destination of the Gillette World Club Challenge trophy.

“Kicking is more and more important in the game. Billy Slater at full-back for them is obviously very dangerous and finding grass around him is very difficult at times because he moves across it very quickly and he is so dangerous.” said Sinfield.

“Thankfully, there’s not just me but Rob (Burrow), Danny (McGuire), Webby (Brent Webb), Danny Buderus and Matt Diskin can all kick. Hopefully we can juggle it around and try to shock them a little bit.”

Sinfield was the main difference between the two sides when they met in the 2008 World Club Challenge scoring seven points in the 11-4 win, but insists that the victory will give the Headingley outfit no added advantage heading into Sunday’s game.

The England International said: “We’ve probably got better strength in depth than we did two years ago but that doesn’t mean anything – we’ve got it all to do on the night. We’ve got to make sure we are on the top of our game.

“Where we are at as a team and the strength we’ve got – that does fill me with confidence. Overall, Elland Road is a decent ground for us over the past few years. It is a special place for us. We have some good memories there and we’d like to get a few more.”

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