Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC: YEP jury predictions

Kallum Watkins.

Kallum Watkins.

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The YEP jury have their say ahead of Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC.

CHRISTINE KIDD

Magic Weekend is a great concept and something I’m sure many other sports will be jealous of.

To see supporters of all teams mingling together and having such a good time is magic in itself. There was plenty to do outside the stadium to keep fans of all ages happy.

The atmosphere between the fans was very friendly, but that definitely didn’t carry over to the Leeds v Wigan game!

Everyone knew whatever team Wigan put on the field they would fight hard to win the game on Saturday. Shaun Wane doesn’t like to lose any games no matter which players take to the field.

Leeds were second-best for a lot of the game and at times seemed to lack ideas of how to get through an enthusiastic Wigan defence. They were the more determined team from the start and never allowed the Rhinos to play the game their way.

The Wigan players were in the Rhinos’ faces all the time, never giving Leeds an inch. Unfortunately Leeds got distracted by this and the extras that went with it.

They didn’t start concentrating on their own game until it was too late. Wigan were stronger and faster than the Rhinos for most of the game and although Leeds nearly pipped it at the death they were beaten by the more enthusiastic team on the day.

While we as fans may complain about the tactics that Wigan employed the RFL have decided that no further action needs to be taken against anyone involved in the game. As supporters we just have to take this on the chin and move on to the next game. The players need to learn a lesson from what happened on Saturday and match Wigan toe-for-toe next time they play them.

My guess is that Kallum Watkins and Tom Briscoe will return to the starting line up for Friday’s game against Hull FC. This will improve our back line; we definitely missed Watkins against Wigan. He makes such a big difference both in attack and defence.

Will Brian McDermott give a Super League debut to hooker Robbie Ward? This could be the game to give him his chance. He has been pretty impressive playing for the under 19s, but only McDermott will know if he’s ready to make the move up to Super League. Hull don’t seem to be having too good a time of it lately. Gareth Ellis plays his heart out every game but his team-mates seem to be lacking something.

The only team they have managed to beat in their last five games is London Broncos. They are desperate for a win but I can’t see that happening at Headingley.

GAVIN MILLER

One team came to Etihad Stadium to play rugby league and one team didn’t.

Shaun Wane’s game plan was clear: disrupt Leeds, stop them playing, wind them up, late tackles, high shots, slow down the play the ball, stop their momentum at all costs. It was effective, it worked. Brian McDermott’s game plan was less obvious.

Leeds’ injury crisis around the hooking role needs looking at. The impact it has on the team goes further than who slots in acting-half, it resonates across the field. Chris Clarkson at 9 adds nothing other than Kevin Sinfield not being there means Leeds have a kicking game. Sinfield at 9 means we lose our kicking game.

The solution has to be Sinfield plays at 9 from the start and the coach has to trust Liam Sutcliffe to play 80 minutes in the halves. Sutcliffe and McGuire then have the chance to impose themselves on the game and both can kick.

The team needs the balance Paul Aiton gave it earlier in the season for the backline to be effective. Similarly, the rotation of wingers has to stop. Ben Jones-Bishop is leaving, he’s not the future. Ryan Hall and Tom Briscoe must play every week when fit to do so.

McDermott was out-coached on Saturday, making far too many positional changes throughout the game, a lack of cohesion in crucial positions and questionable game time for some players.

I had hoped those days were gone.

ADAM ANDERSON

It was a very disappointing 60 minutes versus Wigan on Saturday. The last 20 minutes we kicked on, but it wasn’t enough.

I hope Brian McDermott has realised we need a hooker now and brings in Robbie Ward for tomorrow night’s game against Hull FC. Also hoping Watkins and Briscoe are back.

MATTY FOWLER

2014 has to have been the best Magic Weekend we have ever had and I, for one, hope that talk it maybe the last is a little premature.

Great games, great weather and a great atmosphere p what more could the Rugby Football League ask for?

Leeds Rhinos having beaten Wigan only two weeks ago went into the game as favourites, but it was the Warriors who came away with the win.

Wigan were lucky to finish the game with all 13 players on the pitch after an action-packed first half which saw three players sin-binned and another two who, on another day, could also have seen Red Hall.

This week should see Leeds get back to winning ways.

MATTY WILCOCK

it’s said you learn more about yourself in defeat.

Leeds will have – hopefully – learnt some valuable lessons for when we meet Wigan again. No issues with the result as our attack and defence were a little off at vital times.

We move on and get ready for a wounded Hull. We need to bounce back quickly.

IAN SHARP

A sell-out Magic Weekend, and almost a win for London – the crowd gave them a great cheer off the pitch.

Salford is five minutes away, where were their fans?

Leaving Tom Briscoe out was a big call and looked like it didn’t work. BJB had a poor game, as we seemed to as a team in the first half.

It was a better second half, but too late. It would have been unfair to rob the better team of a win. The only thing wrong was yet again the price of beer, water and food. That has to change for next year so fans are allowed to bring food and water in – we will always buy a beer!

I don’t want to be portrayed as a stereotypical Yorkshireman – but £4.20 for a John Smith’s!

Matt Parcell.  PIC: Tony Johnson

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