LEEDS RHINOS got back to winning ways with a hard-fought 20-16 victory over Hull in Betfred Super League – here are five talking points.
1: Rhinos have an outstanding three-quarter line, but have often struggled to get the ball to them. Against Hull, half-back Richie Myler had his best game for Leeds and ensured the right edge of Tom Briscoe and Kallum Watkins got the ball in their hands on a regular basis. Both bagged a brace of tries and if the supply line continues they will be a major attacking force for Rhinos this year.
2: That said, Leeds’ attack needs to improve and probably will do as conditions get better and Myler has more time in the team. Last week was his fifth Rhinos appearance, but only his third alongside Joel Moon in the halves and combinations are still gelling. Leeds were more clinical than Hull, though and another big defensive effort underpinned their victory. Rhinos’ next two games are away to St Helens and against Castleford Tigers at Elland Road and they will provide a better indication of where the champions are form-wise.
3: Josh Walters has dropped down Rhinos’ pecking order since his try scoring heroics in the 2015 Grand Final. He was demoted from squad number 21 last year to 30 this season, but, due to injuries, has come back into the 17 in the last two games and done a solid job. Despite being a substitute against Hull, he made 38 tackles, second behind Jamie Jones-Buchanan with 44.
4: It looks increasingly like Jordan Lilley’s long-term term future will be away from Leeds. The half-back, who has joined Leigh Centurions on loan, has yet to make a first team appearance for Leeds this year, despite Moon missing two games through injury. At 21, Lilley needs to be playing, but fans have a right to wonder why he was given a three-year contract last summer when he isn’t getting picked.
5: Rhinos and staff deserve huge credit for getting the stadium ready to stage a game in front of 11,000 fans less than six months after the North Stand was demolished.