Leeds Rhinos Jury: Championship clubs can not be underestimated
As I fully expected, the game at Craven Park was very tight and only sealed when Ryan Hall dived over at the end.
Some great tries with some nifty footwork from Rob Burrow and Jimmy Keinhorst, plus a first try for James Segeyaro, who was put on report by Robert Hicks for a perfectly good hit. Ryan Hall went over for the winning try after making a mistake in the previous set.
I thought Hull KR gave a good account of themselves and scored some good tries of their own. I don’t understand why the video referee did not go back to the challenge for the high ball on the Hull KR line in the build up to their first try in the second half. They did give us a very nervy last couple of minutes with their try from the restart. Not the best game for us and, at most times, we were reverting back to our 2016 form.
Now with the middle-eights coming we have given ourselves the best chance to stay in Super League with four home games, plus, I am looking forward to London away. Congratulations to Featherstone and Batley who deserve their spots in the middle-eights.
I found the comments from Shaun Wane about Leeds influencing the disciplinary panel bizarre and very hypocritical. Before a play-off game against Wigan in 2012 he wanted Danny McGuire banned and that was what he got. His players, in recent times, have been given very light punishments when in front of the disciplinary panel, in my opinion.
I would like to give Brian McDermott praise for the way he has dealt with the situation in a very professional manner. If Wane had done the same then Wigan could have won the last two games. However, I did take great pleasure in St Helens taking them to the cleaners last Friday.
We have a week off now for the players to recharge for seven crucial matches. We can’t underestimate the Championship teams as they have some very good players in their teams, some with a point to prove. Leigh look like the biggest threat to come up alongside London who have seen Jamie Soward recently return to the club.
After the fear of a bottom place finish, Leeds have done well to scrape ninth. In truth, I thought the clash with Hull KR last Thursday was a poor game in which Leeds did do well to come out on top.
Man of the match for me was Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who was simply here, there and everywhere in the forwards and certainly led the side alongside Rob Burrow, who was also superb. Other notable performers were Ryan Hall, Liam Sutcliffe, James Segeyaro and Jimmy Keinhorst, whose try was simply excellent.
However, there are lots of improvements to be made as a team. At times, composure was lacking and Leeds were panicking without reason. Furthermore, there were times when Leeds just needed to see out a simple set, but more often than not a silly handling error would prevent this.
Not to worry, after improved performances in recent weeks, Leeds now have a week off and head into the Qualifiers with some positivity and 14 points to play for on the blank mini-league table. Not forgetting, some clashes with unfamiliar opposition await, which will feel strange – I suppose we’re never going to draw Batley in the Challenge Cup!
On a final note, honourable mention for our ‘sister club’ Featherstone Rovers for silencing my Bradford Bulls-supporting friends last weekend. All Leeds aren’t we?
We don’t make it easy for ourselves do we? It was a hard-fought contest last Thursday and you could see both teams were anxious. I know it’s not where we expected to be at the start of the season, but I’m really looking forward to the Qualifiers. Bring on the likes of Batley and Leigh!
A satisfactory performance from Leeds was enough to hold out a determined Hull KR, and secure ninth in the league.
It is frustrating that since players have returned from injury we have pushed on and nearly done enough to secure a top-eight spot; two more wins would have likely secured eighth.
The Rhinos’ biggest issue against Hull KR was consistently making errors at important moments throughout the game, they need to control the ball and know the time and place to try risky plays. Our next game will be away in the middle-eights. Most teams will be fired up to play the current champions and Leeds can’t be complacent.
But based on the previous weeks’ performances, Leeds should finish top with ease.
The boys have come good at the right time and risen to a lofty ninth in the Super League table. They showed true grit and determination against Hull KR and while much of the game was not pretty, it was effective.
We now venture into new territory, visiting London and Featherstone instead of Wigan!
So the regular season is over for another year; Leeds finished as high as they possibly could, guaranteeing four home games in the Qualifiers.
The game against Hull KR wasn’t pretty to watch, but the win was important, especially as earlier in the year we would have probably lost it.
I see a team getting more confident and showing the kind of form sadly missing throughout most of the season.
It was a tough game between two desperate teams, but I felt we had too much experience in key positions when it mattered most.
We now have a short break for the Challenge Cup before starting the road to survival.
If Rhinos can continue their late-season revival, then the middle-eights should be fairly comfortable.