Leeds Rhinos: YEP Jury give their verdicts

Our YEP Jury have their say on the defeat at Salford and the challenge ahead against Hull FC.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th April 2016, 4:55 am
Liam Sutcliffe.
Liam Sutcliffe.


Another week, another defeat. It’s like Groundhog Day with the same defensive failings and no attacking threat. Oh and yet more players added to the injury list!

The season is in real danger of being over before May with the fixtures to come. I’m finding it hard to find anything positive to say. We have not lost away to Salford since the early 90s and with the team we put out we should have continued this run. Two defensive lapses cost us easy tries and yet again left ourselves too much to do.

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The brief fight-back in the last quarter of the game showed some of what we can do but was too little too late. We look devoid of attacking ideas especially near the try line with poor last-tackle options.

I can’t understand McDermott’s thinking of putting Liam Sutcliffe in the centres over Carl Ablett. I’d rather he played at loose forward and took some of the pressure off him. I’d also like to see Danny McGuire and Jordan Lilley at 6 and 7 with Rob Burrow being used as an impact player off the bench.

They say that defence wins games, that’s true but without scoring points at the other end we’ve no chance. We average 15 points a game so far this season which is far below what a team of this standard should be scoring.

It shows in the fact we are losing games by a converted try or less. We have pace in our back line which is not being used enough, especially Watkins who looks starved of the ball at times.

If nothing else comes of this season, we’ve managed to give plenty of game time to our younger players who will benefit in the long term for the experience. Seeing that we are still producing good players from our youth system should see us right in the coming seasons as it did 10-15 years ago.

We return to Headingley tomorrow against Hull who are in good form.

The game is also on television so hopefully this gives the players extra motivation to turn up and show us the real Leeds team we know and love.

We are down on luck and players and I feel we are due a change in fortune – perhaps it may be this week!


It’s obvious that injuries to key attacking players are not making our current situation any better, but we still have enough talent in the current team to warrant better performances and definitely more tries.

But tries are something that just aren’t coming easily for us this season. We’ve struggled to look convincing in attack all year, even with the likes of Tom Briscoe, Ryan Hall and Joel Moon on the field.

Brian McDermott insists it’s not a confidence issue but I think confidence, or lack thereof, has had a massive part to play in games, like the Salford one last week – a game we could, and should, have won.

It’s most noticeable when we’re close to getting over the line; we’re at a loss as to what to do if we can’t immediately find a way through and tend to either lose the ball or simply run out of tackles.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game at home to Hull FC, that’s another must-win game which we could easily end up losing! After a bit of a dip, Hull have had some cracking results recently and are now in third, so we could be in for a bit of a tough time.

A quick start to the game is needed, if we can achieve that we might be in with a shout. Let’s make use of the home advantage and show the boys we’re still behind them in our numbers.


Leeds had 24 consecutive tackles in the first half at Salford but could not find a way across the try line – they just don’t seem to know how to score or even create chances this season.

Apart from an explosive 20 minute spell at the start of the Saints game we seem devoid of ideas.

With the lowest number of points scored this season, and worryingly also the team with the most points against too, no wonder we are languishing near the bottom of the Super League table.

With Hull tomorrow then St Helens the following week, points are going to be hard to come by.

I wish I had the optimism of Brian McDermott – a top-eight finish is looking a LONG way off.


Another week, another loss for Leeds who pitifully fell to Salford last Saturday. Again, struggling to score and conceding soft tries put the game out of reach. Tomorrow, Leeds host an in-form Hull FC. The Rhinos don’t look capable of winning, and losing would almost cement our bottom four place.


Turning up for five minutes in attack last Saturday at Salford Red Devils was just not good enough.

I don’t like them using the Boxing Day floods as a excuse especially as I have been affected by it at work myself. You just have to keep calm and carry on!

I still can’t believe Kallum Watkins’ try was disallowed for being held up when he was sliding on the ground.

At least we scored a try unlike others last weekend. Salford deserved the victory and now we are back at home to Hull tomorrow night. Their recruitment has been very impressive, they are in form at moment.

It’s a very tough game and we need to start getting two points on the board or else we will be in the middle-eights.


2016 is becoming very repetitive for Leeds – getting punished weekly for not transforming territory and possession into points. Amendments need to be made but they aren’t at the moment and to make things worse there’s two more injured ahead of a visit from in-form Hull FC tomorrow night.