Leeds Rhinos Jury: Sinfield and Furner face massive rebuilding project

Kevin Sinfield and Dave Furner pictured in 2004.
Kevin Sinfield and Dave Furner pictured in 2004.
Have your say

Our fans’ panel look back at Leeds Rhinos’ dismal 2018 season.


Gary Hetherington.

Gary Hetherington.

Well am I glad this season is over! The Wolfpack came to spoil our ‘party’ and succeeded.

A poor game by two poor sides. Dave Furner and Kevin Sinfield have their work cut out for next year. I don’t know what went amiss, but the pride and passion of playing for Leeds disappeared from most players.

After a good start to the season, including a memorable win against St Helens, the wheels well and truly came off after Easter and we ended up sliding down into the relegation zone.

This contributed towards the sacking of our most successful coach and left us hanging on to our Super League status by a thread. While I think Brian McDermott’s time was up, the timing was wrong.

Brian McDermott.

Brian McDermott.

Sinfield and his coaching team did what was required and kept us up – somehow.

Leeds are a club that used to attract top players but, after this debacle of a season, I don’t see how we are going to entice any quality personnel for next season.

Hopefully the names of Furner and Sinfield will be enough of a draw.


Thank goodness that Friday night was the last time we had to visit Emerald Headingley this year.

It was a disappointing end to a very disappointing season.

I don’t think any Rhinos fans envisaged that the wheels would fall off for the second time in three seasons. For whatever reason most of the players on the field have not been performing at a high enough level.

It has been a good season for our youngsters including Mikolaj Oledzki, Cameron Smith and Jack Walker. Their experiences will stand them in good stead for the future.

We have been papering over the cracks for the last two seasons and we overachieved lasyear when we won the Grand Final for the eighth time. All but one of the ‘Golden Generation’ of players had left Leeds by the end of last season and they were not replaced with players of equal quality.

Kevin Sinfield and David Furner now need to be given time and money to invest in a new team which, once again, must be based on our Academy players with some outsiders coming in to give much-needed quality and experience.


“That’s a wrap!” as they say in Hollywood but I would hazard a guess that this year’s season will be ‘going straight to DVD’ and not getting a run on the silver screen in the cinema!

A freezing cold night in February away at the Wolves and to come away with a win at a ground that’s normally barren for us gave me hope of yet another good season.

But how wrong I was.

I do think a change of coach was needed but I still question the timing and the way it was done. With all the good times Mac [Brian McDermott] had brought to the club, it was not very well handled, and he deserved better.

On to 2019. The new stadium will be finished in May and I do hope that the rebuilding is not only on the ground but on the pitch. There are too many average players that need culling, and some old friends that hard decisions need to be made on.

My season ticket is renewed and let’s hope David Furner and Sir Kev [Kevin Sinfield] can do the same on the field.

I loved my year again on the YEP Jury, but now it’s “goodnight from me and goodnight from him”.


So the end of a dismal season and what do the players do? They take themselves off on a jolly to Dublin to drown their many sorrows.

Let’s face it, Toronto weren’t better than Leeds, they just wanted it a lot more. I hope to never see many of the players who played on Friday ever again in a Leeds shirt. They know who they are; they gave a performance that was gutless and pathetic. Absolute imposters.

They were pedestrian, devoid of passion and ideas and many looked as if they couldn’t be bothered. The likes of Jordan Thompson, Brett Ferres, Anthony Mullally, Dom Crosby, will you all please leave the building by the nearest exit.

And, as most of you like to watch ‘Brain Dead TV’ why don’t you all apply to be on those ‘reality’ shows as you’d do far better at them than you have playing rugby. And spend less time on social media. Get your heads in the game and concentrate on the job that you’re paid to do; it’s your profession.

I sincerely hope that the new head coach, Dave Furner, sorts you lot out and instills some serious discipline into you all that’s clearly lacking.


I feel like Frodo Baggins after he has finally thrown the ring into the fires of Mount Doom. It’s done, the relief and weight of the season has finally lifted.

It started with great wins at Warrington and St Helens. No one knew then the season and team would unravel so spectacularly. There were obvious deficiencies up front but the comfort blanket of being champions meant we didn’t strengthen.

CEO Gary Hetherington was the man in charge of retention and recruitment and he failed. He then gambled, his words not mine, by sacking Brian McDermott with four games left of the regular season. The timing was wrong; we scraped through the middle-8s.

When McDermott left performances got worse. Sugar coat it but putting James Lowes and Kevin Sinfield in charge of first-team matters almost cost us our place in Super League.

Sinfield’s real job starts now – player recruitment to revamp the team. Light is at the end of the tunnel with the arrival of new head coach, Dave Furner, but we need some quality players and those who are staying to alter their attitude as this season has been one to forget.


We, as the reigning Super League champions, wanted to end the 2018 season with a win against Toronto Wolfpack, but it wasn’t to be.

The performance wasn’t the best and really showed what our season has been about.

Now it’s time to ring the changes.

You’ve got to look at the squad around us and think: “Can we compete next season without any changes?”

I don’t think we could and fear we’d be fighting for relegation once again.

I’m hoping there is at least three more new faces brought into the squad over the close season. We need a change in the pack as we lack the ‘grunt’ that other squads have.

It’s disappointing thinking back to the beginning of the season when we had a very good run of games and were fighting at the top of the table, to see such a dramatic change within a matter of weeks.

The team ethic wasn’t the same and that’s what needs bringing back.

Hopefully, 2019 and coaching changes will bring that back to us.