Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) team will once again have the chance to showcase their talents in front of thousands of rugby league fans when they face Castleford Tigers PDRL in a special exhibition match at The Jungle tomorrow night.
The sides will take to the field for a 10-minute game during half-time of the Betfred Super League game between Castleford and Leeds. In addition, the West Yorkshire rivals will also square off in a 13-a-side game of Touch and Pass on the Tigers’ training pitch- which is adjacent to the main stadium- to entertain supporters before the deciding fixture of The Clash.
Rhinos came away 22-6 winners when they faced the Tigers at last month’s PDRL league festival in Wigan, as Dan Roberts’ side extended their magnificent unbeaten start to the 2019 season. Whilst there might not be league points on offer tomorrow, Roberts says it is important that his side still put on a good show for the supporters in attendance.
“It’s very important to perform well against Castleford as we obviously want to keep the momentum going and do the Rhinos fans watching us proud,” said the player-coach.
“So far this season has gone really well, and I’ve been impressed with how the lads have got going. We’ve got a very close-knit bond and we all work hard for each other. The winning streak has come as a little bit of a surprise, as I knew we had the ability and team to do well but we’ve played some quality opposition and even when we’ve been low on numbers, like in Wigan, we’ve managed to dig deep and grind out the wins.”
One man who has been leading the charge for the Rhinos PDRL team in 2019 is Tom Kaye. The forward, and younger brother of former Rhinos hooker Ben Kaye, has put in a string of impressive performances to help his side to four wins from their first four league fixtures.
However, Kaye is quick to point out that the impact of the PDRL game goes far beyond the results achieved on the field.
“It’s great to be winning, but for me what’s most important is for us all to be developing our skills to improve performances and confidence both on and off the pitch,” said Kaye.
“We’re growing as individuals, and I have a few goals to put the unsung heroes in for a try like Ben Rawley and Tom Sheridan, because those lads put 110% in every week and would go absolutely mental if they crossed the line.”
On tomorrow night’s games, Kaye commented: “It gives us a real opportunity to show that we’re just as skilful, passionate and determined as the professionals. We’ve got some great lads in the squad who are taking every game this season seriously.
“We have plenty of confidence at the minute and winning on Friday will give us even more momentum going into next week’s PDRL league festival.”
Follow us on Twitter @RugbyLeeds for updates from all of Leeds Rhinos Foundation PDRL team’s matches in 2019.