LEEDS RHINOS backed up their impressive display against Catalans Dragons with a comfortable derby win over Wakefield Trinity.
Here are five talking points from a performance which suggested Rhinos are heading in the right direction.
1: Rhinos’ attack, at last, is beginning to click. They have scored 84 points in their past two games which is not spectacular, but is a significant improvement from 51 in their previous four.
There is a long way to go, but for the first time in more than a year Leeds are starting to look like a threat with ball in hand near the opposition’s line.
2: Danny McGuire’s return and the switch of Joel Moon from centre into the halves is a factor, but hooker Matt Parcell has been a key part of Rhinos’ improved form in the past two games. The Aussie looks like a class act and is showing he has skill and craft to go with pace. It is still early days for him in Super League and at Leeds, but he is likely to get even better with more game time and as conditions improve.
3: Parcell is bringing the best out of prop Adam Cuthbertson, who – remarkably and possibly worryingly – is Leeds’ top try scorer with four.
Cuthbertson was a sensation in 2015, dropped away, along with all his team-mates last year, but seems to have found his feet again.
He is getting good big minutes and making good use of them, which is handy with so many forwards unavailable.
4: Goal kicking has been a problem for Leeds since Kevin Sinfield’s departure. He was called in by coach Brian McDermott to offer some advice to Rhinos’ kickers last week and it obviously paid off. Ashton Golding, who continues to impress at full-back, landed seven from seven, after Liam Sutcliffe’s nine from nine against Catalans.
5: Friday’s trip to Huddersfield Giants is huge for Leeds. A win would make it three successive wins and five out of seven, which is probably better than anyone expected at the start of the year.
Giants have been Rhinos’ recent bogey team and beat them three times last year at John Smith’s Stadium, but if Leeds can claim the points it will make anything they can get out of Wigan next week a bonus.