Marathon man Brad Dwyer admits he is missing non-stop rugby league – but knows an overdue break will give Leeds the best chance of completing the double.
Dwyer played in all four matches during the Rhinos’ gruelling 10 day run recently, having featured in their Challenge Cup final win over Salford. What made the hooker’s feat even more remarkable is that he had only just recovered from Covid-19.
Richard Agar’s side will have had the relative luxury of almost two weeks without playing when they face Catalans in Friday’s elimination play-off – and Dwyer admits it has been welcomed. The 27-year-old said: “I really enjoyed the challenge of going straight into the next game.
“I didn’t know what day it was at one point, but I had the bit between my teeth – it wasn’t ideal but I thought why can’t we do this? I’m feeling good after a couple of days off, and the break probably couldn’t have come at a better time for us.
“We’d slipped off some of the stuff we were so good at at the start of the year, when we were winning games off effort and guts.”
Asked about the impact of his own Covid diagnosis, Dwyer responded: “I certainly saw a difference after having it. I wasn’t recovering from games, and lungs and fitness wise I felt a bit off.
“Whether that was through Covid or from just missing two weeks training sat on the couch isolating I’m not sure. But it definitely impacted me when I came back and I was still suffering headaches from Covid last week, the same headaches.
“What evened the playing field out for me was that everyone else was playing so many games in such a short time – it probably made everyone else feel as bad as I did.”
Now a rested Dwyer is focusing on the challenge of the Dragons – who in contrast will have played just once in 34 days by Friday.
He added: “It’s probably not ideal for them, just like it’s not ideal for us to have played so many games. Anyone could pick excuses up or moan about anything.
“At the end of the day we’re 80 minutes off a semi-final, which simplifies everything, and I’m sure that’s what they’re thinking. They’ve got threats all over the park – we’ve just got to look after the ball and tire them out.
“It will be a massive battle up the middle, and if we can control that, it limits how much Tomkins, Maloney and Drinkwater can do.”
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