Leeds Rhinos Jury: ‘Bang average’ Leeds got what they deserved at Widnes

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott shows his frustration at Widnes.
Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott shows his frustration at Widnes.
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Our YEP Jury look back on Leeds Rhinos’ defeat at Widnes on Sunday and ahead to tomorrow’s home clash with Catalans Dragons.

ADAM ANDERSON

Mitch Garbutt is tackled by the Widnes Vikings defence.

Mitch Garbutt is tackled by the Widnes Vikings defence.

it’s becoming very regular now going to Widnes Vikings and coming home with nothing. We always seem to struggle there.

The only real plus from that game was the performance of Ashton Golding who really stood his ground in what was a poor performance.

Hopefully it’s just a blip...from the highs of the World Club Challenge to being brought down to earth at Widnes.

I am very surprised that Jordan Lilley is not getting a look in, rather than moving Liam Sutcliffe’s position all the time.

It would be good to see Lilley in the squad and partnering Richie Myler in the halves.

The injury situation is starting to test our depth, especially with the youngsters involved. There could be a total of 13 players missing against Catalans Dragons tomorrow, that’s if the game goes ahead with the snow we have been getting, especially with a South Stand with no roofing in place.

Hopefully the game does go ahead and we can get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

MATT FOWLER

I said that last week it would need to be a gutsy win at Widnes Vikings due to the injuries and the exertions involved in the Australia trip. What I did not account for was the sheer volume of changes made.

I love the play-off system mainly because Leeds are the masters of it but these sorts of games show a flaw within the system.

Would we have had 12 players missing if it was a first past the post league? I doubt it.

On the flip side it allowed game time to some of our squad players and the team out there should have been good enough to get the job done.

I believe we have a mental block playing on that artificial surface. No doubt we will draw them in the cup now I have said that.

This week it is the long awaited return to home comforts. Catalans are winless so far this season which makes them dangerous, but if we can get our attack together and manage the game better than last week this should be two points in the bag.

The weather may play a part. Wrap up warm and enjoy the game.

CHRISTINE KIDD

The first Super League loss of the season wasn’t entirely unexpected after the full extent of the Rhinos injuries became known on Sunday afternoon. A number of players made their first Super League appearance of the season.

It was never going to be an easy game as Widnes were determined to play better than they had the previous week.

The Rhinos started well but Widnes were playing more open rugby and looked more likely to score. It was a close game until Widnes scored a drop goal with about 10 minutes of the game left.

The Leeds players and everyone in the West Stand were very surprised when Robert Hicks signalled that it had gone over! The Leeds defence then began to tire and the final scoreline flattered Widnes.

Tomorrow night against Catalan Dragons could be an interesting game. The weather could have a big part to play as snow is forecast.

It sounds as though the team could be similar to the one that played Widnes.

Hopefully the players will have learned from Sunday and will be more effective in attack.

DIANNE HALL

We showed plenty of effort for an hour at Widnes Vikings, but eventually ran out of steam. Losing our wingers and stand-off before kick-off didn’t help either.

It was always going to be a tough ask at a ground the Rhinos haven’t won at for three years, but our good travelling support dared to hope.

We started brightly, the defence was again good without hitting the heights of the previous weeks.

I thought that Ashton Golding had a good game and was arguably our best player. Richie Myler continues to impress me and Mitch Garbutt on his return added some much-needed muscle up front.

All that said, we played like strangers at times and were undone by a Widnes side that were well drilled and stuck to their game plan, without being spectacular. We need to get some bodies back and quickly if our early promising start to the season is to continue.

On to tomorrow and the visit of Catalans Dragons, a team struggling to buy a win. Let’s hope their first won’t be at the Rhinos’ expense.

IAN SHARP

My worst fears came true on Sunday at Widnes Vikings, but even I could not have foreseen the extent of the injuries we picked up.

Yes, we had the trip to Australia, but even with losing Adam Cuthbertson for eight weeks and Stevie Ward and with both wingers out, the cobbled together side, on paper, looked to have enough.

But we lacked poise in the halves, no real plan on the fifth tackle and some very poor game management contributed to a sloppy performance.

All credit to Widnes they took their chances and, we looked out on our feet after 60 minutes, with all the defending we had to do.

On the plus side we are back at Headingley tomorrow as the Catalans Dragons are in town.

I don’t want to tempt fate, but without a win yet in the league and never travelling well, having them up next is our best chance to get back to winning ways.

I am excited to see what it’s like in the new half-finished South Stand.

We need to get HQ rocking and get behind the boys and get back to winning ways.

GRAHAM POULTER

I feel that Leeds Rhinos underperformed against Widnes Vikings. Taking injuries to key players that couldn’t play into account, we still had nine players who took to the pitch who are Grand Final winners, so more than enough experience and quality to perform to a standard much higher than they did.

It was a chance missed for them to get last week’s loss at Melbourne Storm out of their systems.

Where was the desire to stop the tries that Widnes scored?

I’m sorry, when you pull on that Leeds Rhinos jersey you give your absolute best at all times, run your blood to water and do your hardest to prevent the opposition from scoring.

There was not enough desire shown for me and it was a bang average performance. Widnes displayed more desire for me and they had players missing too.

The only two players for me to come out of it with creditwere Brad Dwyer and Ash Golding.