Leeds Rhinos skipper Kevin Sinfield insists his side are not getting carried away after comfortably taking down Wigan last week to return to the summit of Super League.
The Rhinos, Grand Final winners five times in the last seven years, have won nine and drawn one of their 11 matches in the league this season. Their defence has been superb, conceding just 94 points, and their attack has been equally impressive. Indeed, it’s hard to find fault, but Sinfield isn’t yet convinced.
“I wouldn’t say we are flying,” Sinfield told the Yorkshire Post.
“We know where we’re at and there’s certainly some areas we need to improve in. We have got a couple of key people missing at the moment, but I thought Clarky [Chris Clarkson] did a great job for us on Friday [filling in as a makeshift hooker], our pack really stood up again and our outside-backs kept doing what they’ve been doing all year.
“Wigan are a good side and they had a few missing as well, so we are not going to get carried away, at all. We recognise we are in for a real tough month.
“You look back at Easter and St Helens in the Cup and if you look at our fixtures this month, there’s some really difficult games and it is really going to test our squad.
“On Friday, our fans were fantastic again, they really got behind us and I hope they really enjoyed the game again.
“We were delighted with the two points, but we have been in this position before and come away with nothing, so it is important we keep working hard and keep showing the sort of attitude we’ve had this year.
“If we can continue with that, we will see what happens a bit later on.”
Sinfield thinks improvements need to be made. He added: “Very much so. We are all after the perfect game, whether we will ever get there I am not sure.
“There’s some things we would like to fix up, for example the tries we conceded near our line. We’ve not had that all year and that’s an area we will pay a lot of attention to over the next couple of weeks – especially going into Thursday [against Castleford].
“Defensively, we have made some massive strides, but it’s important to keep building on that and keep working hard for each other.
“I think our front-up defence has improved, but certainly our scramble and our willingness to work for each other and our attitude and desire to cover up for each other has been key for us.
“It shows how close the group is and hopefully we can keep building. There were some huge efforts again on Friday. Our big men were fantastic again – JP [Jamie Peacock] and Kylie [Leuluai] were outstanding.
“It is really nice to put an 80 minutes together like that and come off knowing you have done a really good job against a quality team.”
Sinfield, alongside Clarkson as previously mentioned, played part of Friday’s game at number nine due to Rob Burrow and Paul Aiton being out injured. He said: “You can’t replace Rob or Paulie – it is an art form playing dummy-half.
“I have filled in that role from time to time, but the guys who’ve done it throughout their careers become magicians in there. Myself and Clarky are makeshift hookers, but it shows the spirit we have that guys are prepared to put their hand up and sacrifice themselves to go and do a particular role.”