Leeds Rhinos: YEP Jury give their verdicts

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Our YEP Jury have their say on the defeat to St Helens and the challenge ahead at Catalans Dragons.

JON WINTER

Ashton Golding.

Ashton Golding.

It was always going to be a tall order for Leeds to beat Saints a week after such a high point from winning the Challenge Cup.

With the late losses of Burrow, Hardaker and Watkins, it couldn’t have been much more difficult.

Leeds seemed to lack their usual “zip” and were making uncharacteristic mistakes, especially within our own 20 metres.

Our kicking game was pretty poor all evening, whereas Luke Walsh had all the time in the world to pinpoint his kicks. Saints looked like a team who were desperate for the win and seemed to be more energised than we were but I’m surprised with how limited their playing style has become.

Ashton Golding did well at full-back, faced an onslaught of high kicks and Keinhorst did well at centre, crossing for a well worked try in the first half. Garbutt again impressed with some powerful runs especially in the second half.

It’s a trip to Catalans up next, Leeds have had a good record over them recently and we will need to keep up that record if we want to make sure of a top placed finish.

Hopefully we will have Hardaker and Watkins back in the side and back to their best. Catalans now have nothing to play for and with a few players missing themselves, I’m confident Leeds can get the win.

GRAHAM POULTER

I’M NOT going to make excuses as to why we lost against St Helens, I’m just going to focus on the reasons why we lost the game and there are many.

Firstly, the players were tired and low on energy as I expected them to be after our magnificent win at Wembley last week.

A cup final takes so much out of a team, it’s both draining emotionally and physically.

Secondly, we made numerous errors both with and without the ball and gave away dumb penalty after dumb penalty, again fatigue took its toll on the players as the game wore on.

Our old bad habits came to the forefront of our game and we allowed our standards to drop.

So, I’m not going to be harsh on the players as we were also without a few injured players, so let’s put it behind us, it’s gone, we can’t change it.

So now on to the game against Catalans Dragons on Saturday. We must stay composed, keep our discipline as Catalans will be out to rattle our cages.

We can’t afford to have any players out suspended along with those already out injured.

We should have more than enough ability to beat them at their place.

The only thing that could derail us is if we lose any more key players through serious injury.

JAMIE SMITH

After the elation of winning the Challenge Cup final at Wembley, we were brought back down to earth as we suffered our first defeat in the Super-8s.

Losing some key players to injury during the week was a blow, but silly mistakes throughout the game were to prove costly as St Helens took full advantage, eventually coming away as deserved winners to help keep the race for top spot wide open.

A trip away to Catalans Dragons on Saturday is next on the cards in what is always a tough game for any visiting team.

With us already having claimed a win there this season, a second victory is a must to ensure that Wigan stay at least two points behind in second place.

CRAIG TARBOTTON

We lost to the better side last Friday, we had a few key players out injured and Saints took their chances.

There’s no need to panic though as we regroup and head to Catalan.

Two points, and the League Leaders Shield is as good as ours.

DIANNE HALL

The first five minutes set the tone for this game with aggressive tactics from St Helens and errors by us, not to mention the man in the middle!

I thought that we recovered well from our shaky start and was happy to go in at the half-time interval trailing by just two points.

We seemed to run out of steam in the second half when a series of harsh penalties and dubious decisions went against us.

I thought that Ash Golding played with confidence and Jordan Lilley didn’t let us down for the short time that he was involved.

A tricky trip to Catalans Dragons is next up for Leeds and I am confident that we will be back to winning ways come Saturday evening.

ANNE BOSANQUET

So the high of the Challenge Cup final at Wembley is followed by the loss against Saints at home.

Saints came out with a better attack and we made silly errors.

I’m hoping this isn’t a sign for the last few games this season.

Liam Sutcliffe.

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