Our new Leeds Rhinos Jury look ahead to the 2018 Super League season and the champions’ first outing at Warrington tonight.
Last season feels so long ago now. Super League ended in fine fashion with our Leeds Rhinos showing how it is done at the right time.
I’m genuinely excited about this new season; I think the squad has got good depth.
I am looking forward to seeing how Richie Myler performs with players that will give him the ball; he was top try scorer and for me Catalans’ best player last season.
Brad Dwyer will bring that little bit extra and I’m excited to see how he fares with Matt Parcell in partnership. He’s got pace to burn. Nathaniel Peteru is a little unknown, but they can be the best sometimes.
He has fine competition for places with Mikolaj Oledzki looking way above his age in pre-season. This kid is a talent.
Tonight’s game is going to be an interesting insight into a new look Warrington. They’ve signed some class players so you’d expect them to be up there this season.
Our players are fighting for their place in the World Club Challenge squad, though, and hopefully that’ll be the difference. Looking forward to it.
It’s here at last, the new season, but without three stalwarts: Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow and the South Stand.
What to expect? I certainly hope that this season doesn’t go the same way as the last time three legends left. We know what Richie Myler and Brad Dwyer are capable of, but not Nathaniel Peteru, who is a bit of an unknown quantity.
Also, the season is starting differently with two ‘home’ games at Elland Road and one in Melbourne! I am quite optimistic for this season and hope we can continue where we left off last October.
I’m looking forward to the first game at Warrington. It’s a chance for the two ex-Wire players to experience playing against the club that they served so well and for the team to get back to winning ways under the captaincy of Kallum Watkins at the HJ Stadium – something we haven’t achieved there for a while.
Although the game is on Sky, there should be plenty of Rhinos supporters there courtesy of free Thursday-night travel and the long off-season.
New season, new Rhinos. The team evolves year on year but one thing remains, a winning culture.
Like the New England Patriots in the NFL, Leeds know how to get the job done when it really matters. Brian McDermott, strangely not everyone’s cup of tea, continues to pick up trophies in these so-called ‘years of transition’.
I hope that 2018 will be another year where the team challenges on all fronts and continues to improve in offence. Glimpses of brilliance were on show last year but we need to get the ball quicker, more consistently, to our new skipper, Kallum Watkins. Richie Myler will be a key cog in the wheel both on the field and in the dressing room if we are to be successful. I also hope the two Brett’s – Ferres and Delaney – and Stevie Ward can stay injury free. If that happens our chances of silverware will greatly improve.
Warrington away is probably the ideal test first up. A bogey ground for us in the league but we need to hit the ground running with the World Club Challenge only a few short weeks away. A new journey begins. Enjoy the ride.
Leeds Rhinos start the 2018 seasons as champions, and this means we will have to travel to Australia next week to compete in the World Club Challenge.
This is bound to have some impact on performances in the first part of the season, but, as long as we stay in touch with the leading clubs, we should still be in with a shout when the trophies are handed out.
A visit to Warrington is never an easy fixture for Leeds. It is very difficult to predict the outcome as Warrington underperformed last season and ended up in the bottom-four.
They have lots of new faces this year including new coach Steve Price. Leeds need to start this season as they finished the last and a win would be a great confidence booster ahead of the game against Melbourne Storm.
Let’s hope we can start the new season on a positive note.
Lifting our eighth Grand Final title – against Castlefordd Tigers – seems forever ago, with the long, cold off-season, but at last Super League is back – and I can’t wait.
And I am honoured to be asked back to the jury for a second time. As a club, we’re going through another massive change, with two more legends moving on and the ground being semi-demolished.
There is rebuilding, not only on the terraces, but in the dressing room too.
Having Kallum Watkins as skipper is a good move, for me.
He’s Leeds through and through.
The new half-back pairing too is a big change, but I am sure it will gel a few games in. It could be a big year for Anthony Mullally too, I think; he gives his all from the bench and is a great impact player.
Wire is up first. It’s not one we would have picked, as our record there isn’t the best over recent years. Let’s hope Ben Westwood doesn’t clothesline Sutty (Liam Sutcliffe) in the first three minutes this year.
So let’s get the whistle blown and start our defence of Super League 2018.
So the long wait is over and Super League is back. Let’s hope it returns with a bang.
Hopefully Leeds Rhinos will begin on the long road to success with a win at Warrington Wolves this evening.
I personally feel very confident that we’ll have a successful season, by beating Warrington first up and gaining the two points to set us on our way.
Gaining wins and building confidence will be beneficial by the time we come up against Melbourne Storm in the World Club challenge in a couple of weeks’ time.
That game will test everyone involved, not only playing against one of the best teams in the world, but also the logistics of it. But, hey, that’s what champions come up against and we’ll hopefully overcome.
Bring it on; it’s our reward for last season’s magnificent efforts.
We still have enough experience in our squad and the youngsters have gained more knowledge in how to handle various situations, and I have every confidence in the new signings to make us even stronger in the coming months.
Come on Leeds!