Our YEP Jury look back on the victory over Wakefield and ahead to tomorrow’s clash with Featherstone.
The scoreline at the Beaumont Legal Stadium was as close as many had predicted in the build-up to the game, but the triumph over Wakefield could turn out to be a huge one as the end of the regular season approaches.
The two points pushed us up to third place in the league, and with it being so tight between the teams from second to fifth, any advantage over those around us is a big boost in the battle for league positions.
Last Saturday’s win was made all the better after we recovered from an early 10-point deficit, and when you are away from home against a Wakefield side in confident mood, it was a big ask to get anything from the game.
But, the Rhinos dug in, regathered their composure and fought back to eventually take the lead for the first time in the second half, and then showed good game management to just about hold on, despite a late Ben Jones-Bishop try making the final few minutes particularly nervy.
That made it back-to-back wins in the league for the first time since April after a frustrating period of inconsistency, and with a testing run of games against Castleford, St Helens, Salford, Hull FC and Wigan coming up before the split for the ‘eight’, finding some kind of form that we will hopefully continue to build on has come at a good time.
Before that though, we have a Challenge Cup quarter-final against Featherstone to deal with tomorrow.
The Cup draw, for once, has been kind to us this season and a home tie against Rovers was the best we could have hoped for in this round.
And I fully expect us to overcome lower-league opposition for the third time in this year’s competition.
Having said that, Jon Sharp’s men have a good understanding of Leeds having played us in the 2016 middle-eights and in pre-season, as well as training with the Rhinos and taking some of our players on dual-registration. So, they will be well-prepared to provide much more of a challenge than Doncaster or Barrow did.
But, our Super League quality should prove to be too much, just as it did in those aforementioned meetings.
Travelling to Wakefield Trinity was always going to be a tough match for Leeds Rhinos.
They’ve been on top form and have proven a challenging team to beat.
No-one watching Saturday’s game would fail to say that it was any different. Wakefield kept the Rhinos on their toes the whole game; it was only with great determination that Leeds were able to secure the two points. It’s the top-of-the-table games like this that Leeds need to keep winning. They’re showing that even in tough games they’re able to grab the win.
It’s a winning mentality which they’ll need to face this week’s challenge cup round. It may not be the toughest match in the round but Leeds can’t afford to underestimate the Rovers the way Huddersfield did Swinton. Leeds need turn up ready to win.
A potentially tricky fixture against Wakefield was overcome on Saturday night and some resolve was shown coming from behind to beat a team in form.
The coach had pretty much a full team to choose from and had a 17 more than capable of beating Wakefield’s 17 and they duly obliged.
The key to the rest of the season will be keeping our first-choice players fit, healthy and happy. The pack is firing and once again with Matt Parcell pulling the strings there is hope that Leeds, often playing without a recognised half-back pair, may be in the mix come the season finalé.
Featherstone should be a ‘walkover’ – to a degree – and we should progress in the cup. Dare we start to dream of a Wembley final?
Thankfully, when caution was thrown at the robotic game plan, Leeds disposed of Wakefield. Next it’s a Cup quarter-final against Featherstone, in Leeds’ easiest cup run for ‘donkey’s’. You’d hope for victory, but there’s too much ‘Devon Loch’ in Leeds’ DNA to muddy the likelihood of a racing certainty.
It was a great win on Saturday in the derby against an in-form Wakefield Trinity side.
With Salford Red Devils slipping up, the race for second spot is definitely in our sights and with the big game against Cas coming up.
I thought we dominated the game for long parts on Saturday without really making it count on the scoreboard.
The kicking game of Joel Moon and Danny McGuire was good all night.
Tomorrow sees us return home for the first of three back-to-back games at Headingley. Win all three and we will be in a good spot.
Strong defence ensured Leeds got the points last Saturday. A two-point margin flattered Wakefield somewhat, as Leeds dominated the second half, but were unable to convert their chances into points. Featherstone next in the cup. A big game for them, but Leeds have too much class to lose.