Sinfield - Rhinos are ready
Kevin Sinfield is not underestimating the size of the task his Rhinos face when they take on Melbourne, live on Sky Sports.
Last Updated: 28/02/08 3:59pm
Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield is not underestimating the size of the task his Rhinos face when they take on Melbourne Storm on Friday night.
The reigning champions from Super League and the NRL go head-to-head at Elland Road in the World Club Challenge, live on Sky Sports 1.
In recent years the side from the northern hemisphere has dominated the event, winning six of the last seven, all on home soil.
However, Sinfield has rejected any suggestions that the Storm will fail to fire in the cold weather, insisting playing in the cold hardly suits the Rhinos anyway.
"They've been head and shoulders the best team in Australia for the last two years and they've brought 11 of their Grand Final-winning side over with them," he said.
"I think they are used to wet conditions anyway. Melbourne is quite a wet city and, if you look at our side, a warm-weather track would probably suit us with some of the players we've got.
"Whoever performs best on the day will win and we're ready for it."
Sinfield admits the prospect of playing in the World Club Challenge has been in his mind since the start of pre-season training.
The Rhinos certainly seem to be peaking at the right time, winning their first four Super League contests to sit clear at the top of the table.
"One of the great things about winning the Grand Final is to have a crack at this game," he said. "It's a chance to win another trophy. It's an added bonus.
"It makes it a bit more special in the dark mornings in pre-season when you are running up hills and being sick. This has been the thing that has got most of us through.
"I think it's important to have some sort of focal point in pre-season. We've had some great preparation with the four really tough Super League games and a great trip to America.
"We feel we're improving every week - that's the key thing. We know we need to be at our best on Friday and we know we need to improve a bit more."
It will be the second time Leeds have had the chance to be crowned the top team in the world after they lifted the trophy in 2005.
Sinfield was also captain on that night, helping the Rhinos record a 39-32 win over Canterbury Bulldogs at Elland Road.
Now the Great Britain international is hoping history will repeat itself at the same venue this week.
"In 2005 it was a real special occasion to play in a massive final in Leeds and that will stick with me forever.
"To have the chance to do it twice is something we hopefully can grab. But we know what a tough ask it's going to be."