Leeds Rhinos: The YEP jury has its say

Adam Cuthbertson. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Adam Cuthbertson. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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The YEP jurors look back on the Rhinos’ most recent victory over Wakefield Trinity and assess the side’s prospects for Leeds’ next encounter – with ‘bogey side’ Huddersfield Giants.

SAM GREAVES

Matt Parcell. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Matt Parcell. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

The Rhinos had to back up the win over Catalans with another over Wakefield last week and they did it with some ease.

Personally, I don’t think either side were particularly great on the night, but even so, Leeds were clearly the better team and made their superiority count by taking their chances and defending well for the most part.

And, even though we weren’t at our best, it was very pleasing to get the two points in a game that we should do without any drama.

The Australian trio of Matt Parcell, Adam Cuthbertson and Mitch Garbutt was where the game was won, in my opinion.

Mitch Garbutt. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Mitch Garbutt. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

The speed and quick-mindedness of the hooker alongside the brawn and desire to keep the ball alive of the forwards proved too much for the opposition’s defence to deal with, and once Trinity had tired the Rhinos reaped the rewards.

At least one of the players mentioned played a part in each of the six tries Leeds scored, with Parcell and Cuthbertson scoring one apiece, so they deserve all the plaudits they have received.

Leeds now have four wins from six games, which is possibly a better record than some may have expected ahead of the season. The start, although far from perfect, has been huge for the club and more so for Brian McDermott, whose job now seems a whole lot safer after last season and the result at Castleford. Next up is Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium, a fixture that Leeds came out second best in three times in 2016.

Giants have struggled again thus far this year, winning just two of their opening six games and currently sitting eighth in the table. But their draw with champions Wigan on Sunday has steadied the ship slightly after two heavy defeats.

That makes this game much harder to call, but a win and a solid display is still a must tomorrow. There has been improvement in recent weeks but there is still room for much more, and we could also do with heading into the clash with Wigan Warriors in good form and with confidence if we are to have any chance against one of Super League’s early front-runners.

ABIGALE KEWIN

I, like the rest of the Rhinos fans, breathed a massive sigh of relief after Friday’s game. It felt like they’d really taken on board the good qualities from the previous week’s game and built on them.

It was truly great to see. At a time when teams are struggling to achieve their first win, Leeds are gaining momentum on the back of multiple wins. Leeds are playing exciting rugby at the moment and it’s a joy to watch players enjoying themselves.

If we look forward to Friday’s game against Huddersfield, I see another game we have a good chance of winning – if we keep up this form.

The fourth team in Super League to spend time in the middle-eights last season, Leeds should be up for quashing rumours of back-to-back middle-eight finishes.

JOHN SUTCLIFFE

A Leeds Rhinos side which is playing with confidence is always a sight to behold, a sight which has not been a regular occurrence for some time now.

But in the last fortnight, we have enjoyed a resurgence. Next up our nemesis, Huddersfield. If we show grit, determination and flair, we should win.

CHRIS HARKIN

Whisper it quietly, but Leeds Rhinos are starting to look like a top side again – strong and willing in defence with an attack that is finally starting to click.

Friday saw a another awful night for rugby, but the boys put in a top display.

The return of a bulky looking Brett Ferres made for a good sight and Matty Parcell is looking a very astute signing.

His link-up with Cuthbo (Adam Cuthbertson) is proving very fruitful and he also has a good eye for the line – 3/1 anytime-try, thank you very much!

Friday sees us at Huddersfield Giants, which is a bit of bogey ground for us, but I will travel there full of confidence.

A win there would really set up the home clash with Wigan.

IAIN SHARP

Beating Wakefield was another decent performance with the experiment of Joel Moon shuffled into the halves, leaving Jordan Lilley on loan.

Huddersfield have been a bogey team for Leeds in recent years, but are struggling to adjust from the loss of their top players.

LAUREN KERRY

Another step in the right direction. The Rhinos once again improved against a below par Wakefield side.

From the word go, Rhinos looked hungrier and more enthusiastic in attack and defence. On numerous occasions Rhinos drove the Wakefield players back, allowing a platform to be built.

Mitch Garbutt made a massive impact on his return from injury and provided an out-ball. Matt Parcell is slowly becoming a star, his quick play-the-ball is allowing the Rhinos attack to click … finally.

Special mention must go to Ashton Golding whose kicking was immaculate.

The Giants will provide another stiff test, not only as the Rhinos bogey team but after a brilliant result against Wigan. Rhinos must kick for territory well as we all know Danny Brough is the master of getting his team on the front foot. The battle of the half-backs will be key in this fixture.

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