LEEDS RHINOS sent the South Stand out on a winning note when they beat St Helens 16-14 in the Betfred Super-8s – here are five talking points following the game.
1: Tom Briscoe has responded well after his Challenge Cup semi-final nightmare. He handled some testing kicks very well, ran strongly and looks to be regaining form and confidence. That is credit to Briscoe’s character and the work of the coaching staff over the last few weeks.
2: A win against Hull five days after the Challenge Cup final should virtually secure second place and a home play-off. A similar defensive effort will go a long way towards that, but Rhinos have to be much more clinical with ball in hand.
3: Substitutes Jimmy Keinhorst and Rob Burrow were left kicking their heels on the bench for the entire game. Rhinos won so the tactic paid off, but it is difficult to understand when players look out on their feet and must be particularly demoralising for Keinhorst, who has gone two successive games without being used.
4: Twenty-year-old Ashton Golding was the only player dropped after the dismal performance at Wakefield, which was hard on the youngster who did not deserve to be singled out. That said, he had a ready-made replacement waiting in the wings, who had been unlucky to lose his own place. That’s not the case with many other positions in the team.
5: The celebrations to mark the last game of the 86-year-old South Stand were gloriously over the top and great fun. Inevitably, there has been criticism – mainly from fans of rival clubs – that it was a lot of fuss about nothing, but anyone who has attended a game at Headingley will know how important the South Stand was to the club’s success. Rhinos staged a great event and were rewarded with a big crowd and their initiative should be applauded rather than mocked.