Leeds Rhinos Jury: Leeds peaking at the right time ahead of crucial clash with Hull

Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow.
Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow.
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Our YEP Jury look ahead to the Rhinos’ Super League semi-final clash with Hull FC.

SAM GREAVES

The professional win over Huddersfield Giants last week was the perfect way to gear up for tomorrow’s semi-final with Hull FC.

Leeds were able to overcome the Giants without taking too much out of the tank, while still putting on a decent attacking display and showing a mean defence for the second successive game.

That will benefit us ahead of the huge clash with Hull FC, who will be in a determined mood as they look to reach Old Trafford for the first time since 2006.

This will be the fifth meeting with Lee Radford’s side in 2017, so the two sides know each other very well and I hope the Rhinos can use their knowledge of the ‘Airlie Birds’ to develop a game plan which allows them to perform considerably better than they did in the Challenge Cup semi-final against the same opposition.

Our experienced players will have to guide us through what will be a seriously difficult challenge against a team with a good recent record in the big games.

CHRIS HARKIN

Bring on Hull FC tomorrow night.

Last Friday’s match against Huddersfield Giants was another good performance from the boys and fingers crossed we look like we are peaking in true Rhinos style at just the right time of the season.

Our defence looks like it has cranked up a few notches over the last couple of weeks and our attack, led by our departing skipper is clicking well with tries coming from all over the field.

Hull will be a huge threat tomorrow, a side that’s big and physical across the field and our boys will need to front up to match them.

I believe if we can do that then we will go on and win the game.

Tomorrow will be the last time we see Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow run out at Headingley for Leeds.

It has been a huge privilege to see the pair of them work their magic and light up the ground over the years.

Fingers crossed they have a bit more magic left for us in the play-off.

GAVIN MILLER

The match against Huddersfield Giants was pretty much as expected.

A fairly routine victory against a team with nothing to play for.

The first half again wasn’t pretty but a few good tries and Danny McGuire rolling back the years glossed over just how uninspiring the victory actually was.

I really hope that the coach has a plan for tomorrow’s semi-final against Hull.

I’m really hoping that we will be inspired and enthused and pull out a performance befitting of the club and cement our place in the Grand Final.

Brian McDermott has almost always been a ‘win when it matters’ kind of coach, much to the dismay of our regular season games, so I’m expecting a victory tomorrow night at Headingley.

We have the 17 to beat Hull, we have the inspiration of two more departing legends, like 2015 and this may well carry us over the line.

I’m hoping for the best possible outcome from the two semi-finals – a Leeds Rhinos versus St Helens Grand Final at Old Trafford!

ABIGALE KEWIN

With a final flourish the Super-8s came to an end. Finishing with a comfortable win over a dejected looking Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos face the end of the season with their heads held high.

The Super-8s have been a testing ground for Leeds, one they can leave with confidence after booking a home semi-final against Hull FC at Headingley tomorrow.

It’s an advantage the Rhinos will surely need against a determined Hull FC team.

Missing out on last year’s Grand Final and coming off the back of a strong win against league leaders Castleford, the team will be formidable.

Fans can expect a close game, the two teams having both missed out last year will be keen to secure that place at Old Trafford.

Leeds will be looking for the same run of good form they’ve experienced the past couple of weeks, and if they can keep scoring that way then they may pip Hull to the post.

It will also be the last time Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire turn out for Leeds at Headingley, so a victory would be the best send off.

JOHN SUTCLIFFE

With nothing really to play for last week, expectations of a classic game were not high; Leeds though seemed to always have enough to see off Huddersfield Giants and scored some good tries in the process.

On the plus side, was the defensive effort, since half-time in the game at Castleford, Leeds have only conceded three tries.

On the negative side, another injury to Brett Delaney and the absence again of Brett Ferris gives cause for concern.

We welcome Hull to Headingley tomorrow in what promises to be a hard-fought semi-final, the success or failure of the season could be encapsulated in this game. Leeds should have learned from their experience in the Challenge Cup semi-final and know what to expect this time.

Hull, on their day can be very good, but providing Leeds maintain their good defensive form and prevent the Black and Whites from getting forward momentum and then use their class and experience, it should be a home win and onto Manchester for the final in just over a week’s time.

IAIN SHARP

With the Huddersfield Giants ‘dead rubber’ safely negotiated last Friday, attention now turns to what the pundits call ‘the business end of the season’ and knock out football – it’s elimination or glory tomorrow night.

Boosted by their Challenge Cup win, turning Leeds over en-route, Hull FC will be motivated by the sniff of a domestic ‘double’.

My big fear is simple, that Brian McDermott’s one dimensional game plan is once again deployed in another crucial game, with a likely outcome similar to the one seen last July.

If we attempt the five drives up the middle routine against the big Hull pack, hoping they roll over, then we can all look forward to watching ‘Strictly’ from the comforts of our own homes in the first weekend of October.

If Leeds fail to win at Headingley tomorrow, then there needs to be a long hard look at some of the tactics deployed in big games and the question needs to be asked if the right personnel are in place to take us back to where this club should rightfully be.

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