Ward: Saints clash the perfect opportunity for Leeds

Stevie Ward believes Leeds can reassert their quality when they take on table-toppers St Helens tonight.

The Rhinos have struggled for form in recent weeks and have dropped down the seventh in Super League, seven points adrift of the top four.

Their task couldn’t be any more difficult on Friday, as they welcome a St Helens side six points clear at the top of the table and in red-hot form.

However, Ward insists the fixture provides the Rhinos with an opportunity to showcase their qualities and silence their doubters.

“You want to test yourselves and we’ve not been coming up trumps lately in the league,” he said.

“We want to remind ourselves what we can do and it’s probably a good opponent to come to Headingley and face the task together.

“They’re going really well. Some of their players are really performing and there’s a good resilience to them. These are the nights you play for. We’re relishing it, we’re excited.”

Ward, who was not included in England’s squad for the mid-season Test with Denver this week, admitted that their recent form has been difficult to accept, but he’s adamant there is no reason for panic, despite being closer to the bottom four than the top four.

“It’s not nice and we’ve been here before,” he said.

“I guess it’s tough with the injury situation and we’re not picking up points where we want to be. But we’ve been here before and it’s not always singing and dancing. You’ve got to go through some of this stuff as well to get to the other side.

“There’s no panic. You have an eye on the injury list but also you have an eye on what you want on the field. There’s just constant work to keep going with and keep improving.

“I don’t even look at the table, I don’t see how it helps. Looking at all that, you can think about too much stuff, too many factors. You can only focus on what you need to do on game day.”