Hall buoyed by McGuire's likely return
Leeds Rhinos winger Ryan Hall is excited over the prospect of team-mate Danny McGuire returning for the Stobart Super League play-offs, arguing it could be just the tonic the team need if they are to retain their crown.
The champions have won just one of four matches during half-back McGuire’s absence with a knee injury but they are hoping to have him back for Saturday night’s sudden-death tie against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at Headingley.
“Danny’s a great player,” Hall said. “I’m not going to beat around the bush, he will add to any side.
“He’s a great attacking player and not bad defensively so it’s going to be a real boost for us, maybe just the boost that we need to win this.”
Leeds will go into their elimination play-off on the back of a disappointing performance that culminated in a 48-24 defeat at Huddersfield Giants on Sunday, but Hall admits it could have been worse.
Catalan Dragons’ win over Bradford Bulls 24 hours earlier had ensured that the Rhinos would once more finish fifth regardless of their result at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“Putting a positive slant on things, I’m glad it happened when it did,” Hall said.
“It was a bit of a relief really because, if it happened in the next four weeks, it would be curtains. It was one of those performances you’re glad to get out of the way.”
Leeds, of course, know how to win the title from fifth spot and Hall admits last year’s experience could yet stand them in good stead, although he insists the Rhinos will not be taking their first-round opponents lightly.
“We can’t rely on doing the same but we can learn from it,” he said. “It’s going to be useful because it is a carbon copy from last year.
“We reached the Challenge Cup final, finished fifth and got to win four games to win the Grand Final and that’s what we’re going to try and do.
“Wakefield are the form team, they are the only team in the play-offs to have won seven in a row, so that definitely shows they are a capable side and deserve to be in top eight.
“They’re going to be dangerous and, if we don’t take them 100% seriously, it’s going to be curtains for us.
“It is pressure rugby but sometimes, when your backs are against the wall, good things happen and hopefully they will happen again.”
Hall was yesterday named in the Super League Dream - the solitary Yorkshire representative.