Zane Tetevano hopes history will repeat itself after he scored his first try for Leeds Rhinos.
The New Zealand international forward, who made the scoresheet in the Rhinos’ 46-10 win at Leigh, hadn’t touched down since Sydney Roosters’ 32-6 home victory over Penrith Panthers in June 2018.
That year, the Roosters went on to claim the first of successive NRL titles, with Tetevano helping them beat Melbourne Storm 21-6 in the Grand Final (he also played in the 2019 World Club Challenge win over Wigan at the DW Stadium).
Now Leeds, whose were last Super League champions in 2017, are aiming to secure a play-off spot, and they boosted their bid further by beating Huddersfield 18-12 on Thursday.
And Tetevano, who featured for Penrith in last year’s NRL Grand Final defeat by Melbourne before moving to Emerald Headingley on a three-year deal, knows the next three fixtures – away to Wigan on Wednesday and Wakefield the following Monday, August 30, and against Magic Weekend opponents Hull at St James’ Park, Newcastle on Saturday, September 4 – are the key to extending the season beyond mid-September.
“I was pleased to get over for my first try in a few years, but the other boys did the hard work,” said the 30-year-old prop or loose-forward, who has made three appearances for New Zealand, two of them against the Great Britain tourists in 2019, after playing five times for the Cook Islands.
“The main thing is getting those wins, and this next block of three matches gives us a chance to do that.
“It’s a tight ladder, and with three rounds in quick succession, plenty can change, so we have to be right on our game.”
Leeds fear centre Konrad Hurrell, who has been linked with St Helens, and halfback Luke Gale could miss the rest of this season through injury.
Powerful Tongan Hurrell, who is out of contract this year, has a foot problem while Gale has a damaged knee.
Second rower Alex Mellor (knee), prop Mikolaj Oledzki (foot) and centre Liam Sutcliffe (knee) have all been ruled out until 2022, while fullback Jack Walker has missed the whole of this campaign because of a foot injury.
But centre Jack Broadbent is ahead of schedule in his recovery from an ankle injury and could return this year.
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