THIS WEEK’S visit of St Helens has taken on new importance following Leeds Rhinos’ 38-6 hammering at Wakefield Trinity. Here are five talking points ahead of Friday’s game.
1: Rhinos aren’t a bad side, but lack of consistency is a major failing. The last three games have shown that: poor against Hull in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final, outstanding to outclass Wigan Warriors six days later and dire at Wakefield in their next match. Leeds’ performance against Wigan showed what they are capable of, but their inability to reproduce that form week-on and week-out has left fans frustrated and calling for the head of coach Brian McDermott, despite their high league placing.
2: The fact Rhinos remain second in the Betfred Super-8s says a lot about the standard of the competition this year. In most seasons their form would probably have been good enough for about sixth place, but the majority of other teams have been similar. There has been one good side this year, Castleford Tigers and the rest have been ordinary at best.
3: Last week was only Wakefield’s eighth win over Rhinos in 45 Super League meetings, but the days when playing Trinity was a guaranteed two points are gone. They were better in all departments and most worrying for Rhinos, they had more energy and desire.
4: Jimmy Keinhorst would not have made a difference to the result last week, but if he had been brought off the bench he could have added some fresh legs and given Leeds’ tiring forwards a breather. It was also frustrating to see Rob Burrow left on the bench until the 48th minute.
5: The South Stand deserves a good send off. Rhinos owe their fans an improved performance on what will be a big night.