Leeds coach Brian McDermott has insisted his side will treat their Challenge Cup tie with part-time side Doncaster on Friday like a Super League game: adding that they will give Garry Thornton’s Dons the respect they deserve.
The Rhinos are overwhelming favourites to progress to the last 16 of the cup on Friday night, when they face a Dons side currently sitting seventh in the League 1 table.
However, McDermott has promised the in-form Rhinos will give the Dons their full respect.
“I remember as a young fella, playing what is perceived to be a far bigger and a far better team and genuinely believing I could beat the opposition,” he said.
“I think that’s where Doncaster will be; I think they’ll believe they can beat us and they’ll have a strategy where if they get certain things in place, they’ll believe they can beat us but we’ve got to beat the snot out of them.
“We’ve got to treat this game as if it’s a Super League game, and the Challenge Cup is something we’d really like to progress in.
“In the Qualifiers last year, we played Batley and John Kear went on record saying the Rhinos needed to be proud of how they handled the occasion of playing Batley.
“We’ve got a similar attitude towards Doncaster; we want to give the day the respect it deserves but it just means some of that will include us bashing them. But we respect the players that play the game and we respect the club.”
However, McDermott warned his side are heading into the game confident with their recent exploits following back-to-back wins over Easter.
He said: “We want to get as many points as we can as quick as we can [in the league]. But the way we’re playing at the moment is more significant: it gives us confidence.
“Against Hull [on Good Friday] we were great and in the first half against Widnes, we executed well. We’re building and we’ve been pretty good defensively so far in the main – albeit with a one-game blip.”
McDermott is expected to hand a debut to Polish-born prop Mikolaj Oledzki, and he said of the youngster: “Mikolaj has been playing really well at Bradford. Geoff Toovey was impressed with the time he spent with him and he’s been waiting for his chance – but we’re sure he’ll do a good job for us.”