Leeds Rhinos fans give their verdict after the side’s Ladbroke’s Challenge Cup quarter-final triumph over Hull FC.
Dianne Hall: I said last week that I thought this game would be a game too far for us, given our injuries – but I was happy to be proved wrong!
We showed that we are not going to let our Challenge Cup trophy go without a fight.
I am running out of superlatives to describe Sir Kev (Kevin Sinfield), but, on Friday night, he really was magnificent as he steered his troops to yet another semi-final.
Everyone played their part and I don’t think Hull really worried us at any point in the game. Young Ash Handley did tremendously well to withstand a lot of Hull pressure, and he will have gained a lot of confidence from his performance. He has come in for a lot of criticism of late and I hope people will get off his back now.
The conditions caused a lot of problems but we seemed to handle the slippery ball better than them. The game plan of kicking into Hull’s territory and forcing them to return from deep in their half, aided by a much improved defence, caused Hull to tire and make numerous unforced errors. All three of our tries were well-worked team efforts, with some good support play and clever passing for Joel Moon, Kallum Watkins and Zak Hardaker to finish off superbly.
Added to this, the unusual sight of a Rhinos team kicking penalties rather than running the ball meant that the game slowly but surely moved out of Hull’s reach. The only blot on an otherwise near-perfect game was the consolation try and goal scored by Hull in the dying minutes.
The semi-final draw has thrown up a mouth-watering clash with our seemingly constant knockout competition rivals Saints.
The game is a long way off for this Friday’s game to have any bearing, but I bet that won’t stop the speculation between now and semi-final time.
I hope that we continue to build on our last two performances and show the rest of the Super League that the Rhinos are back in business. A win on Friday will go a long way to securing top spot in the league and we should start seeing the return of some of our injured players.
Commiserations to Liam Sutcliffe on his season-ending injury, especially as he was having such a good year.
Jamie Smith: A mixed week off the field which started with Australian forward Mitch Garbutt signing and Liam Sutcliffe unfortunately being ruled out for the rest of the season, ended with us reaching another Challenge Cup semi-final thanks to impressive all-round display at Hull.
Over recent weeks we have been strong in attack, but I, like many others, have been praying for a convincing display in defence – and we certainly got that.
Hull struggled to break our resilient defensive line and that helped set a platform for what we created in attack.
Zak Hardaker was impressive once again, but Kevin Sinfield was the star of the show as he tormented the home side all night long.
And his pass for Kallum Watkins’ try was quality.
The only down side on the night were the ugly scenes in the home end towards the end of the game. Regardless of which fan base it is, that kind of behaviour isn’t welcome in rugby league.
An absolutely massive game tomorrow as we take on St Helens with the battle for top spot intensifying once again.
Saints will be out to avenge the hammering we gave them earlier in the season, but these are the kind of games we thrive on and our lead at the top of Super League will be extended as we claim a close, hard-fought victory.
Anne Bosanquet: The game against Hull was end-to-end stuff and the rain didn’t dampen the atmosphere.
Despite injury concerns, the team pulled together for a convincing win.
This week we face St Helens at Headingley Carnegie – and it’s sure to be a tough encounter.
Jon Winter: Another semi-final for Leeds Rhinos after a clinical performance against Hull!
We played the game as if it were a play-off game – fewer mistakes, our defence was great, and man of the match Kevin Sinfield’s kicking game was top drawer.
I feared for us getting the result when the teams were announced; missing Adam Cuthbertson and Danny McGuire, but we turned in one of our most clinical performances of the season.
Sinfield’s pass to Kallum Watkins is one of my favourite moments of the season so far.
Next up is a huge couple of weeks starting with a game at home to Saints. Win this and it would put us three ahead of them and strengthen our position at the top.
Graham Poulter: THAT WAS an impressive performance from Leeds in attack, but more importantly than in previous outings, a very determined defensive display. There was a desire to stop Hull from scoring, apart from a lack of concentration towards the end of the game. Same again against Saints please!
Craig Tarbotton: I expected a tough physical battle against Hull after what went on in the previous game, but this match didn’t live up to expectations.
Leeds got the job done though as we went back to basics and got through our sets and took points at every opportunity.
Sir Kev (Kevin Sinfield) controlled the game in wet conditions and, as usual, his kicking game played a key part in victory.
Joel Moon looked dangerous all game as he opened the scoring after superbly collecting his own high kick and crashing over the line.
Jimmy Keinhorst was another stand-out player, putting in another great shift in the second row.
Saints up next, it’ll be tough but we will win by eight.