HERE ARE five talking points from Leeds Rhinos 10-7 win over Hull which ensured they finish second at the end of the regular Betfred Super League season.
1: At the start of play it was second versus fourth on the table, which does not say much for the standard of Super League this year. Neither team played particularly well. Defensively they were both very strong, but Leeds’ attack lacked spark and Hull’s ball control was abysmal. That said, it was a spirited effort by Rhinos are they were reduced to 15 fit players inside the opening quarter. The pack, led by a strong-running effort from Mitch Garbutt, really stood up.
2: Hull will fancy their chances when they meet Rhinos again in a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final in 12 days’ time. They couldn’t be any worse with the ball, their best attacking threat – Albert Kelly – is likely to be back from injury and they will take confidence from their defensive effort. The teams are quite evenly-matched, despite Rhinos’ recent dominance.
3: Second place at the end of the regular season is better than anyone would have expected five months ago. Rhinos are a team in transition, but there is an impressive spirit and confidence about them and the future is looking much brighter than seemed the case at the start of the year.
4: Jimmy Keinhorst made an impressive return from his long injury lay-off and will be an asset over the final quarter of the campaign. His last-gasp, game-saving tackle on Mahe Fonua could prove to be a big moment in Rhinos’ season.
5: The contribution of prop Keith Galloway, above, is underrated. He is the sort of no nonsense workhorse any side needs in the middle of the field. His ruptured Achilles injury means another long spell out of the team and is a huge blow to the team.
Rhinos are a team in transition, but there is an impressive spirit and confidence about them and the future is looking much brighter than seemed the case at the start of the year.The YEP’s Peter Smith