Latest talking points from Leeds Rhinos
1: Now there is no chance of Daryl Powell being Leeds’ next coach, having re-signed for Tigers until the end of 2022, Richard Agar is beginning to look a strong contender.
Judging by social media that would not be a popular choice, but the former Hull and Wakefield Trinity coach can only be judged on results and Leeds have won four of their last six on his watch.
Defensively, they look a different team to the one so easy to score against earlier in the year.
2: Leeds aren’t attacking as well as they did at stages under previous coach Dave Furner.
They are still making basic errors – three intercepts, a pass into touch and kick-off out on the full – and conceding an alarming number of penalties, but look a better team with a genuine stand-off at the helm. Rob Lui has still not got his kicking game into gear, but his decisive try against Tigers showed what he is capable of.
3: Adam Cuthbertson had a stellar debut year for Rhinos in 2015 and has struggled to recapture that form since, but is getting back to his best. He was the best forward on the pitch early on against Castleford, running hard and popping out some nice offloads including one for the opening try.
He is also getting strong support in the front-row from Ava Seumanufagai who is looking like a quality addition.
4: Three days before the game Jack Walker was in a protective boot and facing a couple of weeks on the sidelines.
He made a remarkable recovery and was outstanding in the derby win.
That meant, yet again, Ashton Golding warmed up without playing. He is a good player who bleeds blue and amber and it will be a shame if he goes through the entire season without a Super League appearance, which seems likely if Walker stays fit.
5: Friday’s visit of Hull KR is huge. If Rhinos win they will be four points clear with seven to play and a better for and against, which should be enough to keep them in the top-flight.