Rhinos ready for battle - McGuire
Leeds Rhinos’ record-breaking half-back Danny McGuire is determined to help prolong the Stobart Super League champions’ season.
The prolific McGuire is just back from injury and, having been forced to miss out on the Rhinos' Challenge Cup final at Wembley, is desperately hoping to play a part in the retention of their Super League crown at Old Trafford.
Leeds will put their title on the line in Perpignan tomorrow when they face Catalan Dragons in the first preliminary semi-final at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
McGuire, who was out for five weeks with a knee injury, has already made his mark in the play-offs, scoring his 200th try in last Saturday's 42-20 win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats that saw him overtake former team-mate Keith Senior as the most prolific tryscorer in Super League history – but he still has some unfinished business.
"It was obviously nice to get my 200th try," he said. "I was stuck on 199 for a while, the same as Keith, and it was nice to keep it in the Rhinos family as well.
"I can put it to bed now. Obviously it was really good for me personally but to be part of the win for the boys that took us through to the next round was the really pleasing thing.
"When I found out it was going to be six weeks with the injury, I was determined to get back and have a say in the season.
"It was frustrating watching the boys get beaten at Wembley knowing you couldn't have any impact on the game, but I worked my hardest to get back and I've a chance to finish the season with the lads and do some good things.
"I don't want this season to finish yet. I still think there is plenty in us. Obviously it's going to be tough going over to France but I think good teams adapt to tough challenges."
Last year Leeds became the first team to win the Grand Final from fifth and are hoping history will repeat itself – though McGuire admits the task is probably more difficult this time.
"It probably would be a bigger achievement," he said. "Last year was really special but we've started a new chapter.
"Obviously we finished in the same position so people will be doing a bit of a comparison but we are going to have to win two very tough away games to get to the final.
"It will be a big challenge but I think we've got the players in this team that step up when it gets tough, as we've shown over the years.
"I think potentially we're in a good place and we're feeling pretty confident."