Leeds Rhinos: YEP Jury give their verdicts

James Segeyaro.James Segeyaro.
James Segeyaro.
Our YEP Jury have their say on the defeat to Widnes and the signing of James Segeyaro.


So the middle-eights are confirmed. Our place in Super League is now genuinely under threat. From treble winners to fighting for survival is not how any Rhinos supporter could have imagined this season going.

There is some positive news with the training base at Kirkstall finally re-opening, which can only assist in the battle to keep our Super League place.

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Over 16,000 were in Headingley on Sunday afternoon, which looking at the attendances across the other games shows that the fans are still behind the team. Some other Super League teams should be embarrassed by the amount of fans they attract in comparison.

Team selection will probably be one of the main talking points again. Again no recognised hooker named and no explanation as to why Beau Falloon was not selected. I hope James Segeyaro is not treated in the same way or his stay will be very short.

Once again only three out of four substitutes were used. How or why this is even a good idea will baffle the most educated fans, but the fact it was Jimmy Keinhorst, who has been one of our more consistent performers, is confusing.

I think Brian McDermott is reaching the end of his tenure and I only hope his legacy is not tarred by seeing the champions relegated. The game itself showed areas of improvement, but perhaps a lack of composure to close out the game when we were 12 points up. A draw may have been a fairer result, although not good enough to continue the slim top-eight hopes.

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We have an opportunity in the next few weeks to gain some momentum and confidence against the top of the table teams before the Qualifiers start and perhaps even have some bearing on who finishes top!

The addition of Segeyaro will only improve the team so long as he actually plays! He will be thrown in at the deep end tomorrow against a Hull team who looked very average last week. Nothing to play for before the league splits could make us a very dangerous team to face now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see us winning this game!


Sunday was another stressful experience as a Rhinos fan. The game left me feeling extremely frustrated and a little uneasy.

In a way I’m relieved that it’s no longer possible for us to finish in the top eight, as I feel we can now focus on what matters – playing well enough to survive the Qualifiers.

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On the other hand, I’m slightly concerned that, for large parts of the game, we seemed to be replicating a lot of the things that have got us into the position we are in this year.

Overall, I think our clear lack of leadership was once again our downfall.

Passing the ball to Jamie Jones-Buchanan on the last tackle when we’re in a decent position for a drop goal is baffling.

As we were leaving, I heard a fair few fans with the usual comments of how it’s time for Brian McDermott to go.

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While I question his analysis of our performance last week, it’s wrong to blame him for us not grasping basics once again.

Away to Hull this week, who sit joint-top of the table. As much as I’d like them to pip Wigan this year, a victory for us is needed heading into the last two games of the regular season.

The presence of James Segeyaro should boost us and hopefully see us come out on top.


One word to sum-up Sunday – and perhaps the season – would have to be “frustrated”.

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I struggle to understand how a team of experienced professionals did not seem to even consider the option of a drop goal to claim the all-important single point.

We had three sets where play was close enough to the sticks in the last 10 minutes of the game to at least attempt the drop goal, but nothing was forthcoming.

The first half of Sunday’s game saw reflections of last season, a plan and purpose, but in the second half we returned to the unorganised team of 2016, devoid of a game plan and individual players that just did not seem to know what their role was.

Welcome to the middle-eights.

Last Sunday Leeds were condemned to the middle-eights with another shambolic performance.

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Even with four sets on Widnes’ line, with the scores level, they couldn’t set up for a drop goal – embarrassing. It will be interesting to see what James Segeyaro brings to the team.


Fair play to Widnes who took their chances and won the game. We had plenty of chances to get the one-pointer and clinch the victory too.

The lack of any game management and inability to win a close match is very worrying with the middle-eights coming up.

More bizarre tactics and not playing 17 players from the coach is really annoying me with his big ego.

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We could have some more players back tomorrow night and James Segeyaro make his debut.

Reality has really sunk in for the fans now and I hope it has for the players who need to treat the middle-eights like their lives depend on it; if not a lot of good people behind the scenes at Headingley could lose their jobs.


To not back up a positive June with a victory at home to Widnes Vikings is extremely disappointing, especially having been in front for most of the game! Leeds are now in the Qualifiers after three no-expectation games, starting with a trip to high-flying Hull FC at the KC Stadium tomorrow.