Our YEP Jury have their say on the defeat at Catalans Dragons and tomorrow’s home clash with Huddersfield Giants.
I’d like to be writing about a Leeds victory at Catalans, unfortunately again it’s another defeat. It was more encouraging at times but extremely frustrating too. We would gain a foothold in the game and then either let in an easy try through soft defence or give away needless penalties to relieve the pressure.
I can’t fault the effort and the fighting spirit to get within four points but we are giving ourselves far too much to do.
Positives from the game include some good flowing attacking play from the backs and Jordan Lilley continuing to impress week after week.
Liam Sutcliffe seems to be getting match fit and more confident on his return from injury and in Brett Ferres and Brett Delaney we have strong hard working second-rowers who never stop trying.
I do question Brian McDermott’s use of our bench at times during this game. We struggled to cope with Catalans’ big pack yet kept two of our bigger forwards on the bench until well into the second half. I’m not blaming the referee for our defeat but do question the “charge down” call late in the first half which should have been a knock on and more pressure on their line.
I don’t think we have become a bad team since last season.
Yes, we are missing the obvious trio but that was always going to be the case. We are struggling with injuries to key individuals but on paper should have the squad to cope. We have no real leader, someone with game management experience to grab hold of the game taking the team forward.
On to this week and the Giants at home. A team similar to us struggling with injuries and still to register their first win also.
Who would have thought this round four game would be a bottom two clash?! We should be too strong for them at home if we can put in an 80 minute performance. We need to cut out the indiscipline and basic mistakes. We have attacking threats and pace in our backs if the forwards can lay the platform to allow Burrow and the two young halves to play.
It’s time to get the season up and running.
Bottom of the league, seven first-team players injured, one suspended and without doubt low on confidence – it was always going to be a difficult task to come back from Perpignan with two points and unfortunately we find ourselves still looking for our first win in 2016.
While I believe our younger players are doing a great job, I think we lack leadership on the field and can’t seem to find the same cohesion which saw us do so well last year. Hopefully, as our senior players begin to return and a regular team is able to gel, things will start to change and we will look more like winning a game! As always, determination and effort is there but that doesn’t always result in points, which is what we desperately need at the moment.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game and beyond, we could be in for a tough few weeks.
I wouldn’t read too much into Huddersfield’s loss to Widnes last week, they’re another team who always seem to up their game when they play us.
Having said this, we beat them twice at Headingley last year, as well as THAT Super 8s win which saw us bring home the League Leaders Shield, so I feel we should try use that going into tomorrow’s encounter.
I’m going to be optimistic this week and dare to predict a Rhinos win by two scores.
Zut Alors!! – It was a tense finish to the match at Perpignan.
It looked as if the Rhinos might nick a draw or even their first win of the season against a much changed Catalans side. It was a more heartening performance by the whole Leeds team, and great to see more than one or two tries being scored in the same match.
It’s a solid platform for Leeds to build on going forward. Brian McDermott will hopefully have a stronger squad to select from tomorrow evening, at home against the injury-plagued Huddersfield Giants, who are also looking for their first win of the season.
If JJB is fit then his experience and leadership on the field will be a huge boost for Leeds.
After last week’s loss, Leeds are on the edge of a crisis and desperately need two points tomorrow. They performed well in patches against Catalans but need to tighten their defence, and up their intensity if they want to beat an admittedly depleted Huddersfield. I’ll back Leeds by 18.
IT WAS a good effort from the lads in Perpignan especially in the second half when the heavens opened.
I thought after Catalans scored two early second-half tries we would crack and go down to another heavy defeat. That was not the case, which is a good sign as the lads will get there.
We are really struggling with leadership on the pitch at the moment, not surprising with the players we have missing due to injury.
Onto the bottom of the league clash tomorrow night. Huddersfield like ourselves have had a tough start to the season, their injury crisis is really bad especially at half-back.
This is the perfect opportunity for us to get our first victory of the season.
It has taken three and a half games, but Leeds finally found some attacking finesse in the second half of Saturday evening’s game in Perpignan. Unfortunately, this was not enough and some individual errors proved costly. Hopefully our first points will come this weekend against struggling Huddersfield Giants.