Upbeat Leeds raring to go after weekend off, says Alex Mellor

2nd February 2020, Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds, England; Betfred Super League, Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC : Alex Mellor (11) of Leeds Rhinos in action during the game

Alex Mellor says the Leeds squad will be raring to go for their game against Hull KR on Friday.

The Rhinos saw their fixture at Mellor’s former club Huddersfield postponed last Sunday due to Storm Ciara, meaning a long 12 days out of action since their round one defeat to Hull FC, when they were comfortably beating 30-4.

Mellor, 25, made his competitive debut for Richard Agar’s side in the loss to the Black and Whites, admits that the players are determined to right the wrongs of that day. 

He said: “We’re buzzing [to play again]. There’s not too much of a hangover from Hull FC but we know there is a lot of things we can fix up on and we’re more confident than anything.

“We know we didn’t perform too well against Hull FC and we’ve now got a chance against another Hull side, at home again which a place we want to make a fortress, so for us it’s a really big chance to put them demons to bed. 

“We know where we went wrong, there are some specific areas, I don’t think the injury to Koni [Konrad Hurrell] helped, it meant our middles had to do some long minutes, but we’ll raring to go for Hull KR”. 

The former Bradford forward was complimentary towards this week’s opposition having seen them in action in the Humberside derby, but reckons he knows what Leeds must do if they are to pick up their first win of the season. 

He added: “I watched their game against Hull FC and I was really impressed by them. 

“That’s a good Hull FC team, who I don’t think performed as well as they did against us, but KR put up a really good fight.

 “It was a really youthful squad but they’ve got a couple of really good, experienced players in there and obviously they were very depleted by injuries, so I think if we can match their enthusiasm and their vigour then we’ll go a long way to winning it. 

“If we add a bit of smarts in there and a bit of game planning, then we’ll be just fine I think.”

The back rower is also aware of how important a victory could be this week after suggestions that Leeds are set for another struggle at the bottom of the table this year.

The eight-time Grand Final winners have had to fight off the threat of relegation in three of the last four seasons and some fans voiced their concerns over what 2020 held for the club following the demoralising thrashing on the opening weekend. 

However, Mellor insists that the mood within the camp is still upbeat.

“We’re confident, but it [winning] gives the fans a little bit of peace of mind that they’re supporting a good team this year. 

“We want to be better than Leeds were last year and I think the Hull FC result might have brought back some bad memories and we might have some fans thinking in a little bit of a negative way. 

“We just want to turn those negative thoughts into positive thoughts from the external point looking in. From the internal point we’re pretty confident and we’re sure that we won’t have that season again.”

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