Key talking points from Leeds Rhinos’ 27-22 defeat at St Helens

LEEDS RHINOS suffered a third defeat in four Betfred Super League games when they lost 27-22 at St Helens. Here are five talking points.

Sunday, 24th February 2019, 12:55 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th February 2019, 12:57 pm
Mark Percival is held by Brettt Ferres and Konrad Hurrell.

1: Do Leeds look like a team who will win something this term? Realistically, no, but 2019 was always going to be rebuilding year. They are improving and showing glimpses of what they are capable of. There’s much to improve on, defensively they conceded some soft tries at Saints and they need at least one more big prop, but when they shift the ball wide they will cause any opposition problems.

2: Over the last few years, even when they’ve been winning, Rhinos haven’t been an entertaining side to watch. Being boring is one accusation that can’t be directed at Dave Furner’s team. They were fun to watch in the win at Salford Red Devils eight days ago and fun to watch in the loss to Saints. They certainly won’t win every game, but it seems they will entertain.

3: Konrad Hurrell doesn’t hold anything back. The big Tongan powerhouse is already becoming a fans’ favourite and is virtually unstoppable close to the line, scoring three tries in the last two games. His partnership with winger Ash Handley will become more productive as the combination gels, but already he is justifying his marquee tag and has the potential to be one of Rhinos’ best overseas signings.

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Adam Cuthbertson is held by Luke Thompson and Dom Peyroux.

4: There is mounting speculation around the future of Rhinos’ acting-halves, with both Matt Parcell and Brad Dwyer out of contract at the end of this season. Cameron King’s form at Featherstone will be noted, but Parcell was outstanding off the bench at Salford and, with him injured, Dwyer played the full 80 at Saints and, particularly in the first half, was excellent. Leeds also have a talented teenage prospect in Cory Johnson so the club’s management have some big decisions to make.

5: Rhinos didn’t get the rub of the green at Saints, but still had chances to win the game. They can only focus on being tighter in defence against the big men and more composed at times and hopefully decisions will begin to go their way.

Ash Handley celebrates scoring Leeds Rhinos' third try at St Helens.