Leeds Rhinos Jury: Plus points aplenty but the slow starts continue to gnaw at fans

Richie Myler celebrates with Ash Handley.
Richie Myler celebrates with Ash Handley.
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Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ Easter performances.


Josh Walters.

Josh Walters.

Two games this Easter weekend just gone ended with three points out of four for Leeds Rhinos.

Huddersfield Giants showed exactly what I thought they would and turned up as they always do against us.

We let ourselves down in the first half – again – as we did against Castleford.

But a point is better than no points at all.

The Salford game was very different.

It must have been tough on the pitch. The whole squad stood out on Monday, particularly Josh Walters who had a storming performance with 57 tackles, three misses and one try to his name.

Also Cameron Smith showed his worth – 45 tackles made throughout the game.

These two had by far their best games for Leeds.

Richie Myler again showed exactly why we brought him in. He is, for me, the buy of the season for any club.

Ash Handley is producing outstanding form in the centres, with seven tries in four games. The battle for that centre spot is fierce.


Huddersfield was always going to be tough, sacked coach and all. Another bad start, another 12 points behind in no time.

Slow starts have dogged us for the last two games, though once we started to play, we looked good.

When we got in front we should have kicked on but didn’t. Our defence has started letting us down at important times and once we cure that I think that we could go on a winning run.

Salford were next up, our usual whipping boys. In constant rain, cold and a flat atmosphere, we ground out a victory that was built on the defence that we have shown in previous games this year. The ball was like the proverbial bar of soap which we dropped less than Salford did and came away with three tries that wouldn’t have been scored in drier conditions.

I thought the forwards played well, and the backs did what they could to help. The big plus was the nil!

The tough Easter programme concludes with Wakefield away. A win is vital.


The Easter period is over but the toll on the players’ bodies really starts to take effect in the game following Easter.

Leeds travel to Wakefield on Sunday so the six-day turnaround will certainly help, but with the forward line still looking light, I think this will be the hardest game of the three. Wakefield are on a four-game losing streak but have looked pretty good in all their losses and will be eager to turn over Leeds on their own patch.

The two games over Easter were not the best, in part due to the weather but one thing that was quite refreshing was the fact neither game was on TV.

Both games started and finished in a timely fashion and the referees did their jobs and made decisions on what they saw. Spectators were cold enough without having to endure 10 replays in super-slow motion on whether a player’s fingertip touched the ball to force a goal-line drop out or a 20-metre tap.

Now all we need is better weather.

The season is crying out for some dry rugby and I am sure we will see the best of Leeds Rhinos when we finally get some sun.


Leeds Rhinos started their Easter programme at the John Smith’s Stadium last Friday.

On paper this looked an easy two points. In practice it was anything but; the Giants’ players were out to impress their caretaker coach Chris Thorman and put in an enthusiastic performance. Unfortunately for parts of the game Rhinos looked as if they had never played with one another before! They were lucky to salvage a point and could well have lost this game.

On to Monday at Headingley and the players put in a much better performance.

This was good from a fans’ point of view as the weather was very cold and wet.

Rhinos upped their game and were able to keep Salford pointless. Special mention for Josh Walters who topped off a sterling performance with a try towards the end of the game.

On Sunday, Rhinos travel to neighbours Wakefield.

Trinity didn’t manage to win either of their games over the Easter period so will be looking forward to getting back to winning ways.

Leeds will have to up their game again to come away with the two points.


A point against a rudderless Huddersfield Giants team is just not good enough; these are the games we should be bossing from the start, not being 12-0 down before we start to play.

Giving away too many daft penalties – coupled with some odd game management, – meant we were lucky to get the draw, if I am being honest.

On the plus side, Ash Handley is having a blast in the centres and our top try scorer so far.

Not many of us would have thought that before the season got under way.

A much better start to a very wet Bank Holiday Monday game.

It was nice to be going in 12-0 up, instead of having to fight back in the second half. Tough conditions for fans and players alike, but I thought our kicking game, on the back of some good up-the-middle play, was the difference.

Singo [Brad Singleton] stood up again, and Brett Delaney and Josh Walters had good games too. It was great to see Stevie Ward back fit, and making a great try-saving tackle at 10-0.

‘Wakey’ away up next; they won’t be a pushover this season.


The first game of the Easter period at Huddersfield was a very scrappy performance from Leeds and they were lucky to come away with a point, especially after another slow start.

Yes, it was good in how they got back into the game, but we need to stop allowing the opposition to build a lead on us. So, on to the second game of Easter against Salford and a very much-improved performance from Leeds, considering the changes in the team and the conditions.

Leeds played the conditions a lot better than Salford did and also defended their try line very well on numerous occasions to keep them to nil, which is no mean feat against any opposition in the competition. It was good to see the defence have the desire to keep Salford to nil, especially considering the number of points Leeds have been conceding in their recent games.

Another couple of pluses is the guys who have come into the team have stood up well, considering the lack of size in our pack due to the injuries.

And just how well is Richie Myler is playing? He controlled the play against Salford.