Leeds Rhinos: Talking points from the defeat to Warrington

LEEDS RHINOS' Betfred Super League matches are following a familiar pattern. Here are five talking points from last weekend's 33-22 home loss to Warrington Wolves.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 6th May 2018, 11:59 am
Updated Sunday, 6th May 2018, 12:11 pm
Leeds Rhinos' Nathaniel Peteru is tackled against Warrington.
Leeds Rhinos' Nathaniel Peteru is tackled against Warrington.

1: Must start better, must finish better. Leeds were in front for most of the previous home game against Wigan Warriors before collapsing in the final 10 minutes. Against Wakefield Trinity, Hull and Hull KR they trailed, hit back to lead and then faded. They hung on to win two of those games, but it is no coincidence they are struggling late on as poor starts are leaving them needing to chase the game, which uses up precious energy.

2: Thirty three points was the most conceded by Rhinos in Super League this season. Their defence has been strong all year, but had an off day and they are having to do too much of it because of their poor attack. When Rhinos click with ball in hand, as they did for 20 minutes after the break, they look very good, but playing well for a quarter of the game is not good enough and Leeds have done that too often this year.

3: Starting with hooker Matt Parcell on the bench did not work. He came on in the opening quarter, but by then Leeds were 10-0 adrift. Parcell made an impact when he was introduced to the action, but much of the damage had been done.

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4: Joel Moon was excellent at stand-off last year, but the tactic hasn’t really worked so far this term. He is being linked with a possible return to the NRL next year and it may be time to switch him back to centre and give Jordan Lilley a run alongside Richie Myler in the pivots.

5: The champions are still in the mix, but Rhinos face a fight to be in the top-four at the end of the regular season and then qualify for the semi-finals. While Leeds are weakening, even as players return, St Helens, Wigan and Warrington appear very strong and Castleford Tigers and Hull look better at the moment. So the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup may be Rhinos’ best hope of silverware. That makes Friday’s tie at Widnes Vikings a huge game. Leeds haven’t won there for four years and it isn’t a draw they would have wanted.

Joel Moon.
Matt Parcell.