Kevin Sinfield says he now has full picture at Leeds, and there are no easy answers

Kevin Sinfield says he now appreciates the size of his task after watching Leeds go down 42-10 to Castleford in his first game in charge.

Sinfield, the most successful captain in the club’s history, has returned to the Rhinos as director of rugby following the sacking of Brian McDermott, but there was no fairytale start to his reign as his side suffered an eighth successive Super League defeat.

Leeds led 10-4 after 17 minutes thanks to two tries from winger Tom Briscoe but trailed 16-10 at the break and impressive half-back Jake Trueman sealed their fate with two tries in 10 minutes as the Tigers scored 38 unanswered points.

“I have enjoyed last two days,” Sinfield said. “I didn’t enjoy the last 80 minutes if I’m honest but I’ve got the full picture now, I know exactly where we’re at.

“Previously I’ve been looking at it as an outsider, now I’m in the middle and I’m right in there with them.

“We started to change some small things over the last couple of days and we’ll continue to do that.”

With Huddersfield Giants and Catalans Dragons, the two teams immediately above them, both winning over the weekend and Hull KR below them moving to within two points, the reigning champions face a nervous end to the regular season as they seek to avoid a place in the Qualifiers 8s.

“My focus is now Wakefield (on Friday),” Sinfield added. “I don’t want the lads looking at the league table, I certainly won’t be looking at it.

“There are no easy answers, the answer to most of these things is hard work and making some sacrifices.

1:53 Highlights of Castleford's victory over the Rhinos

“I knew it was a big job, otherwise Brian would probably still be here.

“Personnel-wise, we’ve got who we’ve got and I believe there is enough talent in that group to make a fist of things, at least until the end of year.

“But there’s some stuff off the field that we need to change. I don’t want to say too much, we just need to make some small changes to how we operate and hopefully they will add up to some big changes on the field.”

Castleford’s third win of the season over their neighbours lifts them up to third place in the table, to the delight of coach Daryl Powell.

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“Leading up to game it was all about Leeds and what happened there,” Powell said. “We had to focus on us and make sure the story tomorrow was about us.

“The conditions were really awkward – it was pretty hot – and we were 10-4 down. It took a lot of composure from the boys to get us out of it but I thought in the second half we were very good.”

Trueman clinched the victory with two solo tries before getting forward Jesse Sene-Lefao over for the first of his two.

“He had probably his worst game last week at Catalans and the way he responded to that today was phenomenal,” Powell said.