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Sinfield bemoans ‘cruel’ finish as Leeds’ winless run goes on

UK Sport | Published:

The Rhinos remain three points adrift of opponents Wakefield.

Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield felt his team showed they are not ready to win after they were forced to settle for a 20-20 draw against Wakefield.

The Rhinos have not tasted victory in Super League since late April and Trinity extended their winless run to nine games after staging a late fightback.

The result boosted Wakefield’s hopes of avoiding the bottom four and pushed champions Leeds closer to a second fight for survival in the Qualifiers in three years.

It was a mixed return to Headingley for seven-time Grand Final winner Sinfield, but he insisted the Rhinos could take the positives into two must-win matches.

“It’s a point lost,” he said. “But there are some real positives from tonight.

“We’re just not quite ready to win yet. I don’t think the boys got what they deserved in the end.

“It’s cruel at times but hopefully they’ll keep believing and I feel that after that showing we are on track and we can fix this up.

“We’ll be better for tonight. I know some people are thinking we didn’t get the win and it was desperate tonight, but mathematically it’s still possible.

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“It’s testing for us at the minute, but we’ll come through it.

“I’ve mentioned quite a bit about the spirit and values of the Rhinos and they showed me tonight they want to grab hold of some of that again. That’ll ensure we become a force again.”

Failure to beat Widnes next week would leave Leeds battling to secure their Super League status less than a year on from lifting their eighth title but Sinfield is not concerned about the threat of relegation.

“I’m concerned about Friday and playing well,” he said. “Big picture stuff I feel we’re on track.

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“If we show the same effort we have done tonight I’ve no real issues.”

Wakefield remain three points clear of the ninth-placed Rhinos after Kyle Wood’s try and a penalty from Ryan Hampshire wiped out Leeds’ 20-12 lead.

Trinity head coach Chris Chester was relieved to keep the Rhinos at arm’s length.

“That second-half performance is what we’re all about – all character and lots of belief,” he said.

“I’m very happy with the point and it obviously puts us back into sixth spot.

“I couldn’t be prouder of them tonight. It’s a very tough place to come and both teams knew exactly what was at stake. I would have taken the point before the game.

“But we haven’t done enough yet. We need to be a little bit better against Hull. It’s obviously made it difficult for Leeds.

“We knew how important this game was and I’m very proud of everyone involved.”

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