THE YEP jury has its say ahead of Salford City Reds v Leeds Rhinos.
What a game we got to see last Thursday, it had everything that you would ask for from two of the top sides this season. Both teams brought blood and guts to the field.
I was very shocked to see Josh Walters and Liam Sutcliffe were not playing for the first team as I think they have been stand-outs in recent weeks.
We looked very good at times when we had the ball, we are free flowing and getting the ball about, however, there is still a lot of work that needs to be put in if we are to be playing at Wembley or Old Trafford.
We need to start using Kallum Watkins more, the kid is full of talent which is not being used.
Kylie Leuluai is rolling back the years every week and definitely worthy of another season at least at the minute.
Castleford are definitely the real deal this season, they are full of class players. Michael Shenton is showing class that he never showed in a St Helens shirt, Daryl Clark is a superb talent, which has brought attention from Warrington where he will be playing next season. He is my bet for Man of Steel this year and in my opinion, Castleford should be club of the year and Daryl Powell should be coach of the year.
I definitely think that the draw was the right result on Thursday, but hopefully we can crack on and get the win we desperately need versus in-form Salford Red Devils tomorrow night.
Having Kevin Sinfield banned for two games will be tough, but we can overcome that loss as Liam Sutcliffe can come on and show why he is a future half-back for Leeds.
I feel that Sinfield was very lucky with his ban, but when you look back at his illustrious career, where he has never been called up to the disciplinary panel in 500 plus games, that’s probably why it’s two games. It will be a massive boost having him back for semi-final weekend, where I’m sure he will be hungry for action.
It was very sad to see Bradford Bulls joining London Broncos in the Championship next season having been relegated this season.
It’s hard to think that in 2005 they were Super League champions. It comes to show how owners have run the club recently and hopefully the new owner gets behind them and gets them straight back up.
It will be interesting to see who we play on Good Friday weekend and who we call our main derby for 2015, my money is on Huddersfield, due to the rivalry between Wakefield and Castleford, which I cannot see changing.
Well I predicted a classic last week and we certainly got one. It was a frantic game played at play-off pace, which will do both teams the power of good for their up-and-coming Challenge Cup semi-finals.
The only downside for me was our lack of composure at the end. We had a chance to snatch the win but we messed up the drop goal. We certainly need to start finding that winning touch in tight games now. There is no doubt we will be involved in some nail-biters before the season is out and our composure must improve.
One thing no-one would have predicted was Kev’s moment of madness. It was shocking only in the sense that it was Sinfield doing the headbutt. He will be bitterly disappointed with himself and he probably deserves the two-game ban but the hysteria it caused on social media did make me chuckle. It’s his first ever red card and to have more than two games out for that would have been harsh. Barrie McDermott would probably be embarrassed to even call it a headbutt.
This week we head to Salford and they are finally stringing together a little bit of form, albeit against average opposition. I think it will be a tough encounter but one we must win if we have any chance of finishing top. We need to build on last week’s performance and more importantly build for the Challenge Cup in two weeks’ time.
Kevin Sinfield’s sending off against Castleford didn’t help the Rhinos cause and they were lucky to come away with a point. Leeds need to keep improving their performances to remain near the top of the table. Salford are looking a better team with every match they play and could cause the Rhinos problems tomorrow.
This week I wanted to know if it was my imagination or do wingers score fewer tries under Brian McDermott? We are all agreed our back line is superb, but do they see the ball? Here are the results.
Under Tony Smith in 72 per cent of games his wingers scored tries.
Under Brian McClennan 75 per cent of his games saw wingers score, yet under Brian McDermott in only 68 per cent of games do his wingers score (considering his backs, that’s quite remarkable).
There’s more, Ryan Hall in isolation scored in 90 per cent of games under Bluey yet his strike rate has dropped to a mere 76 per cent under McDermott.
Quite a drop you’d say?
Anyone for any more one-up rugby?
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way straight up, a JP drop goal! Never been a fan of Thursday or Monday night rugby, one, you’ve got to work Friday and two, if you lose it always seems ages to the next game.
But last Thursday’s was a belter, only spoiled by the inept refereeing.
Is Ben Thaler the worst ref in the league? Forward passes missed, offsides missed and Cas getting away with slowing down the ruck to a crawl. Moon’s scoop pass to Abett for his first try was world class.
Mags was again great, as were all the squad.
The RFL has to sort out this inconsistent refereeing, which is ruining our great game at the moment.