Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds Rhinos vcitory over Wigan and the tough trip to Catalan Dragons
So, after the previous week’s performance I was looking forward to seeing if we could improve, taking on Wigan at home. The game didn’t disappoint.
Right from the off we looked stronger defensively and had more momentum and movement than we’ve had in previous games.
Wigan put the points on the board first, but we soon answered with an outstanding try from Adam Cuthbertson. He has proven to be a great asset to the side. Being our only signing this year, he has fitted into the side really well. He took player of the match and deservedly so.
Brad Singleton and Ash Handley both had a great game, seeing them add points before half-time.
Wigan made it tough for us in parts and looked strong. However, they made a series of errors giving away plenty of penalties. They even had Liam Farrell sin binned.
In the second half we remained dominant and Liam Sutcliffe and Rob Burrow both went over to score.
We had moments of great play and seemed to have more energy than I saw earlier on in the season. Danny McGuire did a really good job at leading the team and was constantly talking to the players to keep them going.
There were moments in the game where referee Richard Silverwood seemed to loose his grip on the game, and made some questionable calls for both sides. It was credit to both teams to keep fighting and continuing on.
It was good to see Zak Hardaker back in the team. Whether he should have been picked depends on who you speak to, as opinion varies. But, he worked really hard and showed his off-field antics hadn’t affected his ability to perform. It will be interesting to see what happens with the internal investigation.
I’m not saying this game was perfect; we still had moments of complete lack of concentration which allowed Wigan to score. We need to stay alert and on the ball for the full 80 minutes, not switch off when we’re ahead.
As the mantra goes, ‘every minute matters.’
Looking to our next game away against Catalans Dragons, I would want us to build on the success of the game against Wigan, keeping the ball moving and pushing defensively. I’m sure it’ll be a great game, and hopefully a win.
Well what to expect this week? Last week’s started as anticipated; both teams strong on defence but as in previous weeks our attack was a bit stuttering.
After some reasonable early pressure which we were unable to convert into points, Wigan scored the opening try against the run of play, then extended their lead to eight points with a penalty. Our attack then sparked into life with 16 points from some very entertaining play. The first was scored by the impressive Adam Cuthbertson, who is getting better every game, super sub Singleton continued his rich vein of form and young Ash Handley rounded off the first-half scoring. Unfortunately Liam Sutcliffe could convert only two tries. The third quarter was scoreless as both sides made several handling errors and, as Wigan became more frustrated, they started conceding penalties, giving easy metres to us. Eventually we broke their defence down and scored two further tries through a cheeky Rob Burrow effort and a piece of magic from Liam Sutcliffe.
To keep any team scoreless for 40 minutes takes some doing, but it is even more pleasing against Wigan. We’re still not firing on all cylinders but we coped without three of our more experienced players. The youngsters who came in did not let us down, which looks promising for the future.
It started out with us blowing a couple of excellent chances to score, then Wigan then went ahead against the run of play.
You can clearly see the way that we are trying to play, so I have no worries at all. And the defence has certainly seen a huge improvement from our earlier games.
We will only improve and become stronger as the season progresses. We don’t want to be playing at our maximum yet, just keep building towards it.
So now on to the trip to Catalans. I feel we can score a fair few points with their suspect defence.
If we keep to the game plan and we stay composed and disciplined, because they will no doubt try to unsettle us, then I can only see a fairly comfortable win for us!
Great result for Leeds. As we know, Wigan are a tough, physical side and we dug deep and got the job done.
Adam Cuthbertson was outstanding, he must have covered every inch of grass.
He’s been a great signing for Leeds. Same again this week, please.
The disappointment of losing to Warrington was quickly forgotten with a satisfying win against a Wigan side whose tactics didn’t have the desired effect.
Despite falling behind, three quick tries ensured we led at the break, before securing our fifth win in six games and reducing St Helens’ lead at the top of the table to two points with two further tries and a penalty in the second half.
Adam Cuthbertson, who is quickly becoming a fans’ favourite, and a returning Zak Hardaker were very impressive on the night.
Another tough game this week in the south of France with that hostile Catalans crowd.
Despite that, the Rhinos will make it three consecutive wins in France by a 14-point margin.
Good performance, bumper crowd; the scoreline didn’t reflect our dominance!
Adam Cuthbertson was again outstanding – signing of the season?
Next up Catalans, the toughest of away games. It would be superb to back up the Wigan win with a victory in Perpignan.