Cummins previews Leeds Rhinos

Cummins previews Leeds Rhinos widnesvikings.co.uk
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18th July 2018

Francis Cummins has looked ahead to his return to former club Leeds Rhinos on Friday night, whilst speaking about the narrow defeat to Hull Kingston Rovers last weekend.

The Vikings Interim Head Coach spoke to the media ahead of the clash at the Emerald Headingley Stadium, and told of his frustration at the Vikings ending up on the wrong side of the scoreline in a game that was there for the taking.

“There’s times when, just as we get a bit of rhythm to our game, we find a way to halt us a little bit,” he said.

“We looked like a team that were told by the referee that it was ‘next try wins’, and I was trying to get us to calm down and stick to what we practiced. 

“When we looked back at the game, there were things that we did really well but we never really gave ourselves a chance.

"I’m not a pure ‘completion’ coach. I think there is times when you can complete low as long as you’ve kept the other side under pressure, but we didn’t do that. 

“We’ve improved massively as a team in the last five weeks, it’s 1-on-1 situations where we’ve been let down in moments, and that’s where we are at the moment.”

The Interim Head Coach gave an update on the current injury situation following the Rovers fixture, a game that saw Stefan Marsh and Tom Olbison taken from the field. Franny then spoke of his happiness at welcoming Chris Dean back into the fold ahead of the Super 8s, The Qualifiers. 

“Stefan is the more serious injury coming out of the game,” he said.

“He’s going to see a specialist in the coming days. We’re hoping for the best but we’re looking at a few weeks with Stef. 

“Tom (Olbison) took a knock during the game, but he’s fine to be involved.”

“Chris Dean is very close to being back involved, and has completed everything with his rehab. At the end of this week, he’ll have done a week at full contact. He’ll go and see a specialist to get the green light for the coming weeks, and it’ll be like a new signing for us. 

"He’s looking really good in training and he’s looking fit. He was going really well for us at the start of the year, and was in-form on that right edge with Joey (Mellor), so hopefully we can see him next week or the one after.“

The Vikings head to the Emerald Headingley Stadium looking to complete a Super League double over the current Champions following the Club’s 23-6 success on home soil. 

For Francis it is a return to a place where he played throughout his entire career. The Vikings Interim Head Coach, however, won’t have any split loyalties on Friday night, and wants the Vikings to keep the pressure on Kevin Sinfield’s side. 

“I’m looking forward to it, and going back to the ever-changing Headingley,” he said.

“I think I’ll only recognise the pitch and the Western Terrace, but I’m looking forward to making sure we keep that tension on that team. 

“That tension from a home crowd can affect a team massively, and our job is to make sure that we start well and put all the pressure on them. Nobody expects us to do anything, but I know that we can. 

“I know we’re getting better, we’ve got to cut a few things out of our game. There’s no task that you can’t achieve, you have just got to keep believing.”

 

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