Shooting star Liam Sutcliffe could sum up Leeds Rhinos’ performance in their defeat at Warrington Wolves with just three words: not good enough.
Leeds were comprehensively out-played as they slumped to a third defeat of the season and second in their last three First Utility Super League matches.
The damage was done in the first half as Warrington ran in three unanswered tries to open a big lead and though Rhinos made more of a fight of it in the second 40, they never looked like getting back in the game.
Reflecting on Leeds’ biggest defeat of the campaign so far, Sutcliffe said: ”Obviously going in at half-time 18-0 down in a game like that is never a good situation to be in, but we were confident we would be able to come out and put things right.
“We just didn’t manage to do it. They seemed a lot faster than us – we seemed to get slowed down at the play-the-ball and they seemed to get fast play-the-balls and get a bit of a roll on.
“If you have to defend that much against a team like Warrington it is always going to take it out of you.
“They have got a lot of play-makers. They had Stefan Ratchford and Chris Bridge in the halves and then they brought on Richie Myler, who is always a handful. Then they had Micky Higham and Michael Monaghan and every time they had a play-the-ball ball they seemed to get out of dummy-half.
“We knew they were going to do that, we spoke about it in the week, but we didn’t manage to stop them doing it. Every time Leeds play Warrington it is always a game like that. Even if Warrington aren’t in good form they are going to raise their game against us.
“We were prepared for it all week, but we just weren’t good enough. As a team we didn’t play well.
“We were all below the level we expected before the game, so this week we are looking for a big turnaround.”
Leeds will get a break from league action on Friday when they play host to Leigh Centurions in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
It should be a golden opportunity to get back on track, but Leigh have a 100 per cent record in competitive matches this term and will travel to Headingley Carnegie sniffing an upset.
“They are going to be no mugs,” Sutcliffe said.
“They are going to come to Headingley looking to turn us over, so we have got to be prepared to put the hard work in this week, to make sure we put right what we did wrong last Friday.
“We want to get to Wembley this year and we want to win the trophy, but we are expecting a tough game.”