Rugby League: Leeds shift priorities against pace-setters

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The Independent Online
GRAHAM MURRAY, the coach of the Challenge Cup winners, Leeds, will attempt to refocus his players after the weekend's triumph at Wembley, and remind them that the greater prize of the Double is now a distinct possibility. In order to achieve that feat Leeds must tonight overcome the Super League leaders, St Helens.

The Rhinos, back in training following Saturday's 52-16 win over London Broncos, face Ellery Hanley's Saints, who have won all seven of their Super League matches so far. A visit to Knowsley Road just two days after bringing back the Cup to Yorkshire will test Murray's powers of motivation as well as the players ability to recover from an emotionally and physically sapping final.

Gary Hetherington, Leeds' chief executive, admitted: "It's important to recognise that the season is only a third of the way through."

St Helens were beaten by the Rhinos in the Cup but can count Wigan among their scalps this season and have not lost at home since Leeds' last visit to Knowsley Road a year ago.

Kevin Iro, the former Leeds centre who has scored four tries in eight appearancesthis season, misses tonight's fixture with an ankle injury sustained in the 30-10 win at Hull eight days ago. But Paul Newlove, who has missed three of the last four games with a thigh injury, returns while the stand-off Tommy Martyn, who missed the Hull victory with a shoulder injury, faces a late fitness check.

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