Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ derby clash with Huddersfield Giants
Whilst Rhinos had the weekend off, my rugby league appetite was very much satisfied by watching two close games, followed by a one-sided mauling inflicted by South Sydney Rabbitohs on St Helens.
It was lambs to the slaughter watching St Helens having to suffer an embarrassing home defeat to the masters.
They are on another planet are the Souths, it was an absolute rugby league masterclass, from defence to attack, from how they brought the ball out instead of the one-out rubbish, out-of-date tactic that some of our teams produce.
Their kicking game was tremendous to watch and they did the simple things very effectively. They also kept to playing the game instead of getting involved in childish spats like most of our games have had in them so far this season.
Their discipline was excellent. The Aussies have steely mindsets, which equals winners. Our teams seem to prefer swinging their handbags at each other instead of playing the game. Discipline boys please, leave the silly stuff in the playground.
Teams don’t win games by fighting. The best-disciplined teams win trophies, the best teams don’t get sucked into losing their discipline.
So now on to Rhinos’ next game against the Giants – a bogey team for us with Danny Brough’s kicking game causing us no end of problems. But that’s in the past, we are in a new season now.
We have to start games better than we have been doing. We have to impose ourselves on the opposition, and let them worry about us, not the other way round.
The best teams dominate the opposition throughout the game. I’m quietly satisfied with how we are progressing so far. The signs are very positive.
Our attack is showing that a lot of points will be racked up for us this season.
Yes, we still have to face much better opposition, but we have the quality to combat the better teams.
Also, our defence was very much improved in the Widnes game.
I’m sure the boys will have worked hard on that aspect of our game. I’m sure better teams will test us more than Widnes did.
I predict a hard game tonight, which we’ll win by 16 points.
After a week off for the World Club Challenge series, we’re back with the first of two consecutive Thursday night games.
The motto has always been that rugby league is a family sport, yet the people who run the sport decide to play games on a night that means a lot families can’t attend due to their children having school the following day.
The league should be looking at ways to keep fans, new and old, coming to games, not reducing the numbers that do.
On to the game and our first home derby of the season awaits as we take on the winless Huddersfield Giants.
Rugby league can throw up a few surprises at the best of times, but on derby day the form book goes completely out of the window as bragging rights, as well as the two league points, are up for grabs.
Over recent years at Headingley, Huddersfield have been a thorn in our side with our last home victory against them coming back in 2010.
But as I mentioned last week, our backs are going to be key in winning this game. We have arguably the best back line in the world and in our opening games they have shown that if we give them the ball they will hurt teams.
That said, I predict our recent home slump against the Giants will end this week with a 34-10 victory.
We are two Super League games into the 2015 season and we’ve seen two quite different performances from the Rhinos.
In the first game our attack play was top drawer, ripping open Hull KR time after time but defensively very poor.
Then at home to Widnes, our defence tightened up but we struggled going forward.
But with two wins from two that’s the most important stat.
Huddersfield up next and as we know it’s always a tough game against the Giants who have got the better of us over the past few years.
The Giants though have lost two from two and I think Leeds can put them to the sword this time round.
Tom Briscoe has been in fine form and I think he’ll continue this against the Giants by bagging at least one try.
Tonight’s game is against Huddersfield Giants. We’ve had difficulty with this team in previous games and we’ll need to come out strong from the off.
I’m looking for a smooth game and obviously a good home win.
After two wins from two, Leeds now face a tough run of fixtures. Our next five games are against Huddersfield (H), Hull (A), Warrington (A), Wigan (H) and Catalans (A).
In recent seasons, if there is one team who have had the Rhinos’ number, its Huddersfield Giants. Leeds haven’t beaten the Giants at home in the league since a 21-20 win in July 2010. This week’s game won’t be any easier as the Giants – without a single point this season – will be more determined than ever to extend their winning run at Headingley.
With Brett Delaney back from injury, Brian McDermott will have a full squad to choose from. I’m hoping the likes of Ward and Cuthbertson keep their places; both have made solid, impressive starts.
After a two-week break we get back to normal against the Giants who must be low on confidence after two defeats in their opening two games.
I think that this is our best chance of a victory against one of our recent tormentors.
I predict a Rhinos victory by 12 points.