LEEDS RHINOS will go into Thursday’s opening ‘home’ fixture at Elland Road, against Hull KR, in high spirits. Here are five talking points from their Betfred Super League round one win at Warrington Wolves.
1: For the first match of the season, it was a good game and Rhinos played well, though the final few minutes were more tense than they might have been. Leeds’ defence is clearly in good shape and though their attack needs to be better, that will come with game time and when conditions improve.
2: Replacing club legend Danny McGuire was always going to be a big ask for newly signed scrum-half Richie Myler, but he has made a positive start. He steered the ship against Warrington and was heavily involved in attack and defence. His communication is good, he looks at home and the early signs are encouraging.
3: Leeds Rhinos need to get more ball to their outside-backs, so it was good to see Ryan Hall and Tom Briscoe both having a strong game. Hall had not scored more than once in a match since bagging a brace in a 32-0 home win over Batley Bulldogs in the Qualifiers on September 9, 2016. He took both of last week’s tries well and his second, long-range, touchdown is as good as any will be seen this season. He remains a formidable attacking weapon and if Leeds can use him, he will be a big part of any success they have this year.
4: How good is Jack Walker? That was a question being asked after the 18-year-old full-back, in only his 13th senior game, produced a man-of-the-match display against Warrington.Coach Brian McDermott has warned the youngster, who sustained a busted nose, will have to get used to taking punishment, but he suffered a fractured skull in an under-14s game five years ago and appears to have no fear. If he keeps progressing at his current rate, he could become a world class talent.
5: He got only limited time, but it was good to see Jack Ormondroyd feature in Leeds’ opening game. He had a strong pre-season and could be a breakthrough player this year.