"It's do or die" - Ablett

pic

20th September 2013

Leeds Rhinos forward Carl Ablett is hoping sudden death football can again bring out the best in his side as they look to get back on track for a third successive Grand Final triumph.

The Rhinos needed a second chance after losing 40-20 to Warrington Wolves in their opening Super League play-off tie and the 27-year-old second rower is confident they can make the most of it when they host St Helens in the second preliminary semi-final on Friday night.

"This time of year seems to bring out the best in us," Ablett said.

"It just seems to work. We don't change how we train or change our mentality.

"The play-off games are intense and if you look through our squad we've got some good experience there that can guide us through big games."

Leeds coach Brian McDermott described his team's loss to the Wolves as a "dark day" but Ablett is confident they can learn the lessons from it.

"I can't wait to get back out there, coming off a pretty bad performance from us," he said.

"We were really disappointed with how we played. That was probably our worst defensive performance of the season.

"Hopefully we've learned a few lessons. It was one game. If you look at the games before that, we've been pretty good. We know we don't have to change a million things, we just have to change some attitudes and come up with a better performance.

"It's do or die on Friday and everybody has got to bring their best performance."

Leeds will be favourites but will not underestimate a Saints side who have won seven of their last eight matches and have won on their last three visits to Headingley.

"They've been impressive," admitted Ablett.

"They've gone under the radar but they've built up some momentum. I'm not surprised they're doing that with James Roby back."

The return of England hooker Roby has restored St Helens to near full strength and half-back Lance Hohaia says that has been the key to their late-season burst.

"We've come a long way since the start of the year," he said.

"We've had some ups and downs with injuries and missed some key guys but, at this stage of the year, you want to build momentum and we've got that at the moment.

"I think everyone understands their roles fairly well now and it's showing in our performances on the field."

"It's do or die" - Ablett 2013.superleague.co.uk
challenge cup