Fans are struggling to see where Leeds Rhinos’ next win will come from ...

Leeds Rhinos fans were delighted to be back at Headingley for Leeds Rhinos’ last Super League outing against Hull FC.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 4:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 5:23 pm

What they’re far from happy about, however, is the team’s performance.

And many feel Rhinos are now entering must-win territory if the club is to get anywhere near the play-off places this season.

Indeed, some feel Leeds Rhinos need to ‘step up a level’ at least on three fronts - first team, coaching and recruitment - the inference being that the faithful followers already have one eye on 2022.

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Fans feel Tom Briscoe’s inability to ground the ball for a try was symptomatic of the team performance against Hull FC. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Fans feel Tom Briscoe’s inability to ground the ball for a try was symptomatic of the team performance against Hull FC. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

There were positives to be had in the latest defeat, to Hull FC last Sunday, and our panel has managed to eke those out:

Katie Burrows

I’ve seen a lot of talk about how awful we were on Sunday and I think those ‘fans’ calling for Richard Agar, Kevin Sinfield, Sean Long and a number of senior players to go need to calm down; if they had their way, we’d have no team or back-room staff left!

Yes, it’s frustrating, our attack just isn’t coming together at the moment and there were some clear defensive lapses which led to Hull’s tries.

Some fans reckons Richie Myler would be better off back in the halves. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

That said, to keep our opponents scoreless for 40 minutes, given the amount of defending we had to do, is a real positive to take from the game.

It’s clear we need a proper half-back to support Luke Gale and, with the news that George Williams is returning to England, could he be headed to Leeds?

Unlikely, as Wigan will surely want him to replace the departing Jackson Hastings, but we can dream!

I’d change the team slightly for our clash with Castleford Tigers tomorrow.

Some Rhinos fans would like to see youngster Jack Broadbent reprise his full-back role. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Personally, I’d put Jack Broadbent at full-back again and play Richie Myler at six, with Liam Sutcliffe in the centres.

Gavin Miller

I wasn’t at the Hull game. I do have tickets for the St Helens game in a few weeks and I have been trying to work out if I am grateful for missing the first game back with fans and that I have a few more weeks to prepare myself for what is to come.

If the Hull game is anything to go by, then I don’t have a great deal to look forward to. Leeds had an incredible amount of ball in the Hull 40 and did nothing with it. Our attacking structure looked so poor, I feel if we had played a ‘third half’ we still wouldn’t have got over the line again.

Some fans are wondering whether Liam Sutcliffe would better serve the team in his now-favoured spot of centre. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Two, rightly, disallowed tries including one of the worst efforts of grounding a ball I have ever seen by Tom Briscoe, meant that the mountain Leeds had created for themselves turned out to be too hard to climb.

I’m not going to join in the grief being directed at Konrad Hurrell, as I think there are many culpable players at the moment who simply aren’t performing at a level good enough for the club.

We are Leeds for goodness sake, a big-city club with a recent 20-year history of winning things.

The first team needs to step up a level, the coaching needs to step up a level and the recruitment needs to step up a level.

Currently they are all below par.

Ian Sharp

It’s hard to ascertain what made my blood boil the most last Sunday.

Was it the inept, out-of-hisdepth man in the middle who, at times, couldn’t keep up with the speed of play, and seemed to not know the rules of our fine game? Or, was it the toothless display yet again of our attack in the last 20 yards?

The pack seem to be laying a decent platform to build on, but we have no plan of how to develop that and score tries on the back of the effort.

I think it was probably a combination of both ... plus the fact they were selling a can of Tetley’s at £4.40!

Joking aside, serious questions do need to be asked at a higher level about the state of our coaching set-up. I think Richard Agar did a good job to start with after the defeat to the Bradford Bulls in the Cup, but we have a decent squad of players and they lack plans and tactics.

When you look at the way Ian Watson has turned around a struggling Huddersfield Giants side in a few weeks, maybe it’s time we moved on.

Tigers up next, and I don’t see a win coming anytime soon.

Matt Fowler

Firstly, it was great to be back watching live sport again.

Just to hear the crowd and be part of a real atmosphere was uplifting and brought back some normality we have all missed. Unfortunately, normality was also on show from the Rhinos, a rudderless error-strewn performance. Watching from the sofa is not the same as watching from the stands but what is clear from both is that this team is lacking confidence with the ball.

We could have played all night and not beaten Hull. Very few chances were created and the ones we did create were executed with no real conviction.

What is also apparent is the rule changes are making the game, as a whole, way too frantic. Certainly, watching live, the six-again rule appears to be a game of potluck. There were 10 in the game and I have no real idea why they were given - for either team.

Next up is Castleford and we are now entering must-win territory. To do that we need performances and we look nowhere near producing them.

Let’s hope something clicks in training because it’s simply not good enough so far.

Adam Anderson

Sunday’s Super League game against Hull FC was a very much something of a mixed bag for me.

We did well in parts of the game, but our right-hand edge defence was totally off.

In the second half of the game, we had the ball constantly in the Hull FC part of the pitch but we just couldn’t get over the line.

Our attack was stale and we just didn’t look a threat.

More to the point, how didn’t Tom Briscoe score?

I can only think he didn’t know where abouts on the field he was.

This week we are away at Castleford Tigers. This is another tough encounter but, hopefully, the lads can get over the line. Bombshell of the week: with George Williams coming immediately back to Super League, I can only hope that we are one of the teams in for him as he is exactly what we need currently.

Also ,we heard that Alex Sutcliffe is heading to Castleford next season.

That’s a disappointing loss for us but who can blame a lad who wants to be a regular Super League centre?

Christine Kidd

It was great to be back in the North Stand at Emerald Headingley watching Leeds Rhinos for the first time in 444 days.

The weather was more like February than May and it looked a little strange with only 4,000 fans, but it was one step to normality. Richie Myler and Zane Tetevano were back but, as neither has played much rugby this year, it will take a few games for them to get back to match fitness. All three of Hull’s tries were scored down the right-hand side and that’s where the Leeds defence is vulnerable.

The most worrying part of Leeds’ game was that, during the second half, the Rhinos had lots of possession but couldn’t turn it into points. This is not the first time this season that this has happened.

Leeds’ attack is slow and clunky and needs some work if they are to start winning games this season.

Maybe tomorrow’s opponents, Castleford Tigers, will have one eye on next week’s Challenge Cup semi-final while Rhinos need to start scoring tries so they can start winning games.

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