Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds Rhinos victory at Wakefield and ahead to tomorrow’s home clash with Wigan.
It took a lot of steel and endeavour from the team to win that game at Wakefield Trinity on Sunday.
The youngsters have really thrown their name into weekly contention now. Ash Handley has really made that centre spot his own and with his form, I feel it is his to lose.
I thought Liam Sutcliffe was disappointing at six on Sunday and our game changed when he was taken off, I feel he would be best used at loose-forward.
Josh Walters was very good again and won the game for us, not only with his try, but the winning tackle.
This week we have a huge task on our hands against Wigan Warriors, who always bring their ‘A’ game to Headingley. Fingers crossed for another cracker.
A rumour gathering momentum at the minute is Leeds signing Joe Greenwood from Gold Coast Titans, who is allegedly homesick.
I feel it would be a cracking signing if it happens, he and Stevie Ward would form a fantastic partnership for years to come.
At the start of the Easter period if someone had offered me five out of six points I would have been a happy bunny.
I know the teams that we played were below us, but these are the teams that we need to be beating as they all raise their games against the Rhinos. For once we didn’t have to come from behind, having a far better start than some of our previous games.
Ash Handley has been a revelation since he got his chance at left-centre as has Josh Walters.
Now that players are becoming available after injuries I hope that Brian McDermott keeps faith with them.
Against Wakefield, Brad Dwyer gave us a much-needed boost when the team looked like they were fading late in the game.
I must also mention captain Kallum Watkins who I think had his best game of the season, both work-wise and with the boot.
Tomorrow sees us take on Wigan, who are a point above us in the table.
This will be our sternest test since playing at Saints. Home win I hope.
Five points out of six over the testing Easter period is not a bad return for any team in Super League.
The Rhinos put in another encouraging performance against Wakefield Trinity. This bodes very well for the rest of the season considering the players that are still out injured. Cameron Smith, Mikolaj Oledzki, and Josh Walters have all played their part over the last few games. Everyone now knows that they can put in a performance whenever they are needed.
Ashton Golding is improving with every game and Ash Handley just can’t stop scoring tries!
With players returning from injury over the next few weeks, team selection is going to be very interesting. Tomorrow Wigan will be the visitors to Emerald Headingley Stadium. They will be on a high after their impressive win over Catalans at the weekend. They are always a difficult team to beat, home or away.
Hopefully, Anthony Mullally and possibly Adam Cuthbertson will be available for the game.
If the Rhinos carry on performing then we should see another two points in the bag.
I did say the third game of the Easter period is normally the hardest and so it proved.
It also proved this Rhinos team has a certain steel about it and a never-say-die attitude just like the teams from the previous decade and beyond. Still light on forward power, the team rolled up its sleeves and from 20-12 down produced a win that will add more character and spirit into the memory bank for the battles yet to come.
This week it doesn’t get any easier. Wigan have a massive forward pack and aren’t afraid to use it.
I am sure Shaun Wane will target us in that department tomorrow night.
Our pack is doing an amazing job but it is now desperate for some fresh legs. Hopefully Anthony Mullally can make a welcome return with Adam Cuthbertson not far behind.
Managing the squad rotation will be key in the next few weeks after the busy schedule.
It will be another tight contest but we should go into the game with confidence, especially with Kallum Watkins in superb form.
He is worth the admission money alone. Enjoy the game.
Well that was a good win at Wakefield to keep up our unbeaten run going through the Easter period and the usually energy sapping first game following Easter.
There is obviously some good conditioning being done by the staff to keep the squad healthy through the testing post-Easter period.
Kallum Watkins is showing up very well considering the added pressure of being captain, he’s taking it all in his stride.
The young lads in the team are also performing very well, coach Brian McDermott is trusting them to perform and they are gaining valuable experience.
Leeds are sitting in a very good position in the table with the halfway stage of the season upon us and once the players who are out injured come back then we will have an even stronger squad to choose from.
The young players who are playing at the moment can be trusted to come into the team should they get the chance again and will not look out of place.
Wigan at home tomorrow will present a different challenge, a physical one!
Gone are the days of going to our neighbours Wakefield Trinity and just turning up to take the two points home.
They have shown what can be done on a limited budget with a good coach in place and they were unlucky to come away with nothing from the game.
Leeds had yet another slow start, and found ourselves behind after 40 minutes yet again.
A few weeks ago some people were calling for a kicker! Kallum kicked from all over the pitch on Sunday and won us the match.
Odd how those people calling for him not to be kicking are conspicuous by their absence this week.
With Ash Handley on fire yet again this week, he has to be the first name on Brian McDermott’s team sheet.
Also, another cracking performance by young Josh Walters, he’s come on in leaps and bounds this year.
It’s a much bigger test this week with the Pies at HQ.
We need to get off to a much better start than we have been doing and with a few bodies back it could be a belting game.