Brad Dwyer has revealed the impact of playing four games in ten days having just recovered from Covid-19 – and insists it won’t affect his role in Leeds’ play-off shoot-out with Catalans.
The Rhinos hooker featured in every game of his side’s recent gruelling run, having overcome a positive virus test not long before.
Dwyer admits he has noticed a difference in especially his recovery, but is now fully focused on taking on the Dragons on Friday.
He explained: “Four games in ten days is difficult – it’s tough on the body.
“The toughest game I had was on the back of the first Wakefield game.
“I didn’t think I was going to be able to back up again for the last game.
“The fact that it was Wakefield away usually makes it that bit more difficult, but it probably made it easier that the field was a bit heavy and slowed the game up.
“It was a bit like a Championship game to be fair, which made it a bit easier, plus everyone else was in the same boat and had played quite a few games.
“We trained on Friday and I said I missed just going every two days and playing rugby, not having to train.”
On the additional issue of contracting the virus, Dwyer added: “I certainly saw a difference after Covid.
“I wasn’t recovering from games, and lungs and fitness wise, I felt a bit off.
“Whether that was through Covid, or from just missing two weeks training sat on the couch isolating, I’m not sure.
“It definitely impacted me when I came back and I was still suffering headaches from Covid last week, the same headaches.
“What probably evened the playing field out for me was that everyone else was playing so many games in such a short time – it probably made everyone else feel as bad as I did.”
Now Dwyer and the Rhinos are preparing to face a Catalans side that in contrast, will have played just once in 34 days by Friday’s kick-off.
But he insists that Leeds are wary of the challenge ahead as they look to complete the double.
“It’s probably not ideal for them (not to have played much), just like it’s not ideal for us to have played so many,” Dwyer added.
“So many situations aren’t ideal at the moment.
“But we’re 80 minutes off a semi-final, which simplifies everything, and I’m sure that’s what they’re thinking too.
“They’ve got threats all over the park, so we’ve just got to look after the ball and tire them out.
“If we can do that it puts us in a good position to play some rugby.
“It will be a massive battle up the middle, and if we can control that it limits how much Tomkins, Maloney and Drinkwater can do on the back of that, Folau as well.
“We need to look after the ball and win the energy battle.”
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