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Leeds Rhinos Jury: Coaching team have their work cut out after dismal Cup showing

Tom Briscoe contests a high ball in the Challenge Cup semi-final.
Tom Briscoe contests a high ball in the Challenge Cup semi-final.
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Our fans’ panel look back at Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Warrington and ahead to the Qualifiers which begin this weekend.

ADAM ANDERSON

Leeds Rhinos fans at the Challenge Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Leeds Rhinos fans at the Challenge Cup semi-final on Sunday.

What was a spectacular occasion at the semi-finals day turned into a dismal day for us Rhinos fans.

It started so well with Ryan Hall showing fans what we will miss next season, but then went downhill from there onwards. The only good thing coming out of that game was the form of Brad Dwyer.

We can’t dwell on that much any more, because we have survival to think about now.

I am hoping that we have a turn in confidence because Toulouse will be up for it on Saturday and have quite a number of players that will shred our defence if it continues, like Mark Kheirallah and Johnathan Ford.

We have to be professional and on top form for the next seven weeks, if not, teams will take advantage of our faults whether they are currently in the Championship or Super League.

I feel concerned about the middle-eights and for a club of Leeds Rhinos; size, I shouldn’t be.

I hope I’m wrong.

DIANNE HALL

Well the March To The Arch proved to be a walk in the park for Wire and Catalans.

They both thoroughly deserve to be in the Challenge Cup final. Our remaining chance of silverware disappeared like most of our fans with 20 minutes to go!

Up until then we were still in with a slim chance and the replacements coming off the bench; Brad Dwyer, Mikolaj Oledzki, Nathaniel Peteru and Josh Walters tried their best but to no avail and Wire ran amok in the last quarter.

As disappointing as a semi-final loss is, it is probably a blessing in disguise. The next seven games are going to be tough and any team watching us against Wire will think that we are easy pickings. I must agree!

Toulouse on Saturday are an unknown quantity and after the victory of Catalans on Sunday, will want to put French rugby league on the map. Sir Kev, Rob Burrow and Jimmy Lowes have got their work cut out.

Congratulations to Adam Cuthbertson and his Leeds Rhinos women on their Challenge Cup final win. A win against Cas at last!

CHRISTINE KIDD

Realistically it would have been a great surprise to everyone if Leeds Rhinos had beaten Warrington in the Challenge Cup semi-final last Sunday. I don’t even think the scoreline was a surprise to most people.

There was a period at the start of the second half when the Rhinos gave it a real go and if a disallowed try had been given the score may have been closer.

The fact that Leeds had one interchange for the whole of the second half didn’t help the cause but no-one can argue with the fact that the best team on the day won.

The Rhinos now have to turn their attention to the middle-eights. Leeds need to win at least five of their next seven games. The pressure on the team is enormous as every club in the competition will want the scalp of Leeds Rhinos.

The players need to fight and scrap for every point. There are not going to be any easy games. Every player needs to stand up and be counted and every supporter needs to get behind the team.

Leeds Rhinos’ Super League status depends on the results of the next seven games.

MATT FOWLER

Another game, another dismal defeat. Confidence is a big thing in life, never mind sport, and these players look completely devoid of it.

Kevin Sinfield’s job now is to find a way to instil some confidence into them before the middle-eights begin this Saturday. James Lowes’ job is to find a game plan they can execute. Given what I have seen so far, my confidence in the latter is ebbing away already. This current partnership of Lowes coaching them but Sinfield picking the team seems flawed. That’s my opinion based solely on what I’ve seen on the pitch.

I believe there are seven games left of this current set-up and then a recognised, top class coach, will be coming into the club. I must point out that is a hope not a fact.

What is also evident is the need for some real grunt in our pack, some leaders who do the dirty work when the going gets tough. Short term, that lies within the existing group. Over the next seven games players will emerge who clearly want to play for the club and there will be players who clearly don’t.

Either way, we are in for a tense end to the season.

IAN SHARP

A passion for the shirt, a determination not to lose at any cost and a will to win at all costs, a massive well done the the Leeds Rhinos women on coming from behind to win this year’s Challenge Cup against Cas Tigers women!

All the above are what the men’s team were built on, but too many don’t seem to be doing it, some look like they have already put their month’s notice in and are seeing out the last few weeks.

I will defend my team to the hilt. I got asked this week how many games do I expect us to win in the middle-eights? Simple, I expect us to win them all.

I got called “stupid, idiot” and other things that won’t be printed, but if you go to games and pay out your cash and don’t believe we can win, what’s the point in going?

I go every week and believe we will win.

At least the queue at the bar will be a lot shorter if the doom mongers stop turning up to games!

Keep fighting guys, most of us are behind you,

GRAHAM POULTER

I posed the question to the team ‘are you afraid of the big bad Wolves’? in my preview to the semi-final against Warrington and the answer the team gave was an emphatic YES.

It was men versus boys. Warrington were the men and Leeds were very much the boys. Their performance consisted of numerous pathetic attempts at tackling, soft in defence and when Leeds did run at Warrington it was soft running instead of running hard into the opposition. Leeds were hopeless in attack with Richie Myler putting absolutely ‘nothing’ kicks in.

I’ve said before that he’s not up to the standard of representing Leeds as some of the other players aren’t either.

Warrington wanted it more than Leeds did. It was a semi-final fellas, didn’t you realise what was at stake?

The next phase of the season begins on Saturday in the middle-eights against Toulouse.

If Leeds underestimate them or any other of the teams, then Leeds are in for the shock of their lives.

I feel that some of the players appear that they couldn’t care less.

The season that’s happened cannot ever be allowed to happen again, a whole new overhaul of the playing staff and off-field staff needs addressing as we need to recruit the calibre of player that has the right attitude and understands what it means and takes to play for Leeds!