Leeds forward Adam Cuthbertson jokes he is quitting with a 100 per cent record as a coach but is serious about prolonging his Super League playing career as he prepares to make his 100th appearance for the Rhinos.
The 33-year-old Australian’s desire to get into coaching coincided with the launch of a women’s team at Headingley and he enjoyed a successful debut as Leeds defeated Bradford 32-16 in the opening game of the Women’s Super League on Sunday.
“I was looking at getting into coaching,” Cuthbertson said. “I’m 33 now and I want to give back to the club.
“I was going to help Rob Burrow out with the Under-19s but then the opportunity for the girls’ coaching gig came up and the next thing I knew, I was head coach.
“It all fell into place. I was lucky with the timing.”
There were also wins for St Helens and Wigan on the opening weekend of the women’s league, but it was the Rhinos’ victory over the reigning champions in a match that followed the League 1 clash at Odsal between Bradford and Coventry that caught the eye.
“I quit,” he quipped. “Knock off the premiers, I’m done
“Seriously the game itself was really exciting, two clubs displaying a lot of skill, effort and desire. It’s exciting for the game going forward.
“There was about 3,500 there at the start of the game and then it rained but they all they got into it. It was a good standard of rugby and it’s great for women’s sport.”
Cuthbertson coaches in his spare time as he helps the Rhinos defend their men’s Super League title.
He made his comeback from a broken hand in Friday’s last-gasp 9-8 home defeat by Wigan and is hoping he can help them return to winning ways when he brings up a century of matches for the club at Hull on Thursday.
“I had it pencilled in against Catalans before I was injured,” Cuthbertson said. “It’s exciting, hopefully the boys will get up for me and we can get a win and I can have a good memory of it!
“We need to bounce back after Friday. I think that last five minutes will sit with us for a while. Come the end of the year, we’ll still be thinking about that.
“It won’t be a bad lesson for us to be fair. When you get to the bigger matches, you can take the positives from it.
“If we have that in the back of our heads come the back of the year it will help us to instil a better game plan and execute better come the last 10 minutes of games.”
Cuthbertson, who made the move to Super League three years ago after playing in the NRL for Manly, Cronulla, St George Illawarra and Newcastle Knights, is among a host of Leeds players out of contract at the end of the season but is hoping for a new deal.
“I’d love to stay,” he said. “I’m looking to play well, first and foremost for myself and the team and, if anything comes of it in terms of contract talks, then it’s a massive plus.”