Our YEP Jury have their say on last week’s victory over Leigh and the challenge ahead against Salford tomorrow.
A win is a win. The Rhinos were extremely scrappy against Leigh who were well up for their first home game back in the big time.
But for the interventions of arguably last year’s best player Jimmy Keinhorst, the Rhinos could have been on the end of another defeat.
Jimmy’s tackle on Atelea Vea proved to be a match winning intervention. Going into the game against Salford the Rhinos’ defence looks much improved on last year and the forwards will look again to take it to the Red Devils up the middle – Carl Ablett, Stevie Ward and Adam Cuthberson all leading the line brilliantly.
However, the Rhinos defending of last tackle plays will need to be better with Salford introducing Todd Carney. He will look to get Salford on the front foot and turn the Rhinos around.
A massive boost for Leeds again against Leigh was the performance of Ashton Goulding who again looked more than assured in defence and his growing confidence will surely spark the attack sooner than later.
The Rhinos attack was again rusty against Leigh gave up far too much easy ball and will need to be sharper against the Devils who themselves have come off the back of a good win against Huddersfield.
Danny McGuire seemed to be feeling his way into the game, not doing too much in the way of sparking the rusty Rhinos but getting an important hour under his belt. His partnership with Matt Parcell did show some signs of promise and that’s one to look out for against the Devils with a full week of training under their belts.
A conundrum for coach Brian McDermott is what to do with Liam Sutcliffe. He had a much better game on Friday and when he switched to No13 looked more than at home there, much more so than he has ever looked at half-back. It’s obvious to say Rhinos need to finish more sets and finish them better, McGuire, Rob Burrow and Parcell will be the key men against the Red Devils tomorrow.
The scoreboard may not have reflected the quality of the Rhinos play on Friday, but it was nice to pick up the first win of the season.
We gave Leigh a true Super League welcome, showing the fellow Middle Eight team that they’ll need to step their game up to keep up with the big boys. The metres were well made in attacking sets and the goal line defense was brilliantly executed.
That being said, the team still seems to be suffering from last play indecision, similar to last year. The way that Leeds dominated the whole game should’ve meant a knockout win, instead of scraping through. The scoreboard really didn’t reflect the overall feel of the game sadly.
We turn now to our own first home game of the season. On the surface, Salford should be another team I’d hope the Rhinos would have little trouble beating.
Yet, they strike me as a dark horse this year.
They’re a team who can complete sets and score tries – something we haven’t seen much of from Leeds thus far in the season.
We’ve got real potential in the squad.
I’m expecting the players to step up their game for the fans, building on this first win.
It’s a chance for key attacking players to wow and set a few records straight.
Most Leeds fans will take a win in any shape or form at the moment and that includes the ugly, attritional victory away to Leigh.
Game management last week was sometimes poor, with too much ball spilled early in the tackle count meaning that the defence was forced into overtime. Consequently, the errors meant Leeds couldn’t apply scoreboard pressure against a near-Championship side reduced to 12 men and thus, failed to put the contest beyond doubt long before the last quarter rearguard action.Let’s hope the Leigh victory gives a fillip to battered Loiner confidence and the momentum to beat the enigma that is Salford tomorrow. I suspect they will provide a sterner test than Leigh could muster seven days ago.
A win is a win! A patchy display from our boys but it showed some good defence once again to grind it out in the end. I can’t wait for us to be back home tomorrow, hopefully the South Stand will get behind the boys and we can make it two out of three against a decent Salford outfit.
Leeds supporters had mixed feelings following the game against Leigh last Friday, happy to have won but concerned about the dismal second-half display.
Leeds were soon struggling to cope with a buoyant Leigh, but the resolve and determination that was shown against Saints the previous week was again apparent, and they managed to get to the break in front. However, the second half was a different story. Time after time Leeds lost possession gifting the home team valuable yards and when Rob Burrow went off, the attacking ideas seemed to vanish. The coach needs to decide on what his half-back pairing will be as the constant swapping and changing does not allow any meaningful partnership to develop.
It was good to see that Leeds had the ‘grit’ to hold on for the win last week, but the performance was far from impressive. Defensively it was fine, but another sloppy attacking display made it more difficult than it needed to be. This has to change if the Rhinos are to overcome Salford tomorrow.