Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds Rhinos defeat at Huddersfield and their re-match in the Challenge Cup tomorrow.
After last Friday we are heading down the long and winding road to the middle-eights. Huddersfield were the better side and deserved the victory.
There were plenty of missed opportunities in the first half to get points on the board. Liam Sutcliffe’s failure to pass to his right after breaking the Huddersfield line in first half summed up our season so far.
Jordan Lilley is improving every game and was leading the team around the pitch. Jimmy Keinhorst had another great game at centre, he is tackling anything that is near him.
Ashton Golding did have a very tough game dealing with the high ball; I will give him a pass as it was against the best kicker in Super League.
Mitch Garbutt did lead the line well and made lots of metres. At times this year I have given a pass to Kallum Watkins because he has not been getting any good ball, last Friday he does not deserve it. He was dropping balls left, right and centre and is looking completely different to the player he has been in the past few seasons.
I would love to question Brian McDermott on why Jordan Baldwinson is not getting a chance even with us being down to the bare bones. It’s not like Keith Galloway or Mitch Achurch are pulling up any trees at the moment.
The same defensive lapses happen and our continuing inability to score points after good chances have been really hampering us at the moment.
Congratulations to Cameron Smith who made his debut last Friday and he did not look out of place.
On to this week and the beginning of our defence of the Challenge Cup with another trip to Huddersfield. One of these days we will get a Championship club away like others have had in recent years.
Hopefully we should have some bodies back for this one in some important positions. We were not far away last week and I reckon this will be a very close match. I want us to progress in the Cup, however I would prefer to see us not in the middle-eights as that would be a huge distraction if we are to have a Cup run this year.
Perhaps one instance of poor decision-making cost Leeds a valuable two points on Friday evening, and it’s acts like these that are starting to sum up our season.
When Liam Sutcliffe broke the line at 8-4 he had to choose to go on his outside to Kallum Watkins or Luke Briscoe who would have had a walk-in. This would have sent Leeds into the break with a ten point advantage which I don’t feel would have been overturned by the Giants.
I suppose the pleasing factor is that Leeds are now starting to look like a team that has a line break in them.
Moreover, Leeds have an instant chance to put things right with a swift return to the John Smith’s Stadium tonight, this time in a Challenge Cup tie.
I perceive a mixed mentality amongst our fans ahead of our cup campaign. Some think that we should take a dive and focus on league form.
However, some like myself, believe Leeds are a club that should be contesting for trophies – and given our start to 2016, retaining the Challenge Cup again is certainly our best chance of silverware.
Hopefully, Leeds can learn from the lessons of the previous 13 games and with some returning players, progress towards being only two more good performances and wins from a return to Wembley.
Another week, another loss for Leeds who currently sit bottom of the Super League table after 13 rounds. Leeds’ performance was average at best and was a step back from the performance against Saints.
Again the youngsters stood out, specifically Jordan Lilley and they will all greatly benefit from these experiences.
Last month every round was a must-win fixture, although having only gained two points the season is looking bleak. One area we may have hope is in the Challenge Cup, Leeds have usually been able perform well in one off matches.
Unsurprisingly, Leeds were drawn away to Huddersfield and it’ll be interesting to see if we can improve on last week’s average performance.
It was a huge disappointment to lose against Huddersfield after leading with just seven minutes remaining. Another narrow defeat but, if Rhinos had managed to win the seven games they have lost by eight points or less this season then they would currently be in top spot. The margins are so small in this game.
The only way is up as we find ourselves rock bottom of the league.
The table doesn’t lie and unfortunately it puts us where we deserve to be.
However I don’t think we are the worst team in the Super League.
To compete against Huddersfield with so many first team players out shows we do have a bright future but it’s the here and now where the problem lies.
We showed some grit and determination in defence but again let in soft tries off the back of conceding penalties. The first quarter of the game was poor with too many handling errors and were lucky to only be 4-0 down.
We showed glimpses of what we can do with ball in hand but ultimately it wasn’t to be.
Plenty of encouraging signs but still a lot to work on. Ultimately, too many errors and a shaky defence mean we’re bottom of the table with only ten rounds of the regular season to go. A break from the league tomorrow and our first Challenge Cup match – hopefully it’s our week.