Leeds Rhinos Jury: Warrington opener proved a real ‘wake-up’ call for Dave Furner’s men

Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ opening day defeat at Warrington and look ahead to the trip to Wigan.

Wednesday, 6th February 2019, 12:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:58 pm
Warrington's Jason Clark tackled by Leeds' James Donaldson Adam Cuthbertson and Matt Parcell last weekend.


So all those who thought last year’s issues would get fixed overnight were given a wake-up call last Saturday. Poor tackling and ball control were evident and lack of cohesion between new and old was apparent.

This team will improve the more they play together, but my only concern is why they only played one full warm up game prior to the season starting.

Leeds Rhinos coach David Furner speaks after Saturday's defeat to Warrington.

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As I mentioned before, size in the forwards looks to be a concern and it showed against Warrington.

Too often their pack got over ours and the off-loads killed us in patches.

There were glimpses of what Furner is trying to achieve but I feel there’s a long way to go.

Warrington looked like a team likely to be challenging for honours again and showed their ability well along with some dubious tackling and generous refereeing decisions.

You win or lose nothing in week one but hopefully the players will improve going into week two.

On to Wigan away and it gets no easier. However it’s also an opportunity to show what we’re really about.


If you dissect the game, Warrington Wolves won the game against Leeds Rhinos in the last 20 minutes of the first half. My main concern for this season was on display on Saturday night and that is our pack.

They didn’t create the platform we needed to play from.

I thought James Donaldson and Jack Walker had good games and the try Stevie Ward scored towards the end of the game will do him the world of good.

Credit to Konrad Hurrell for coming over and high fiving the fans who travelled over to Warrington.

On to tomorrow night and a trip to Wigan who I thought played well last Thursday. We will need a big improvement in performance to get the two points.

I was very impressed with Joe Bullock their new signing from Barrow. I just want to see improvement from last week and it will take time before we see us at our best.


Dave Furner’s after-match interview was optimistic to say the least.

It is clear that there’s work to be done, perhaps the most pressing issue being a forward pack that were unable to set a platform and keep pace in the first game of the season.

A one-try performance proved my point about Leeds’ lack of quality out-wide and it is clear that our halves will need more time to gel together.

Mistakes and penalties gave the Rhinos a 69 per cent completion rate at half-time; way too low to give any team a chance of winning, especially against a Warrington team who looked slick and dictated the majority of the game.

In good field position we often looked out of ideas; coming out of our own half it is clear that ‘give the ball to Konrad’ is the game plan.

However, I don’t think Rhinos fans should mourn the result as one game doesn’t define a season.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, a game against Wigan Warriors offers an opportunity to respond and, in Dave Furner’s words “show what we’re capable of”.


I don’t want to dwell too much on last week’s game at Warrington Wolves; yes, it was disappointing and yes, there are lots of things to work on, but I think we need to give the team more time to gel before we jump to conclusions about this year.

While I agree that the lack of discipline and shaky defence shown on Saturday could be concerning, it’s only round one, so let’s see where we are 10 games down the line.

On to our round two clash at the DW Stadium tomorrow night.

Wigan will be looking to overturn their points deduction and, based on what I saw against Saints in the season opener, we will need to start quickly to avoid another heavy defeat.

I thought Wigan looked strong in week one, and we can’t forget about a certain Zak Hardaker who’ll surely be hoping for a good game against his former club.

I think we’ll be lucky to get anything out of tomorrow’s game, but I’m hoping last week’s heavy defeat was the kick up the bum we need to get going – fingers crossed!


I didn’t think that we would beat Warrington on Saturday evening, however I was confident that we would compete.

After a promising opening period, to go 8-0 down with a man advantage was disappointing and the lack of defensive discipline was very concerning. The new signings failed to provide any of the expected impact, but it’s early days and it was nice to see Konrad Hurrell showing some passion. It was also a great sign of respect from Hurrell and Trent Merrin to take the time to skim along the front of the away end to greet supporters after the game. I guess it’s just another game that needs forgetting about and moving on from straight away – hopefully we improve by the end of the season the way that Warrington did last year.

Wigan away this week then – somewhere that we are overdue a victory. Wigan too are adapting to changes and also have a World Club Challenge playing on the mind. At this stage of the season, it can only be hoped that Saturday’s problems are trained, fixed and put into practice this week and I’m sure we will get a more competitive performance.


Dave Furner gave a very realistic summary of our performance on Saturday evening, let’s be honest, it wasn’t very good.

It must be remembered that us and Wire come into 2019 after having very different 2018s; they looked a good, well oiled unit – we looked very creaky and in need of further fine tuning.

I was really disappointed in our forward pack, particularly the front-rowers, they couldn’t lay much of a platform in attack and our middle looked worryingly weak in defence.

On the back of that, we gave away far too many penalties, which gave them field position to hurt us and they certainly did that.

The halves have come in for some stick, they must be given more time to gel on the pitch.

Konrad Hurrell showed glimpses and Brad Dwyer gave us a spark but he was on too late.

It gets no easier with Wigan tomorrow night.

We know they will bring a physical challenge and we have to match that.

A win would be great, but I think we just need to put in a performance that gives some promise for 2019.