Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors: YEP Jury give their verdicts

Stevie Ward.
Stevie Ward.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ home clash with Wigan Warriors and the defeat at Warrington.


It’s now four out of five wins for Leeds for this season after losing our 100 per cent ecord at the Halliwell Jones.

However, before the start of the season it is something which I would have taken. It was a disappointing performance against a fired-up Warrington. Warrington away is never an easy task; you have to be at your best to win there and Leeds were far from that.

We seemed to start slowly. Our forwards didn’t manage to impose themselves in the game and, on the back of that, field position suffered.

The worry for me pre-season was how we would cope against the top teams in the forwards with our ever-ageing pack.

This game didn’t give me many reassurances about this, but the pack wasn’t helped by Carl Ablett having to shuffle into the centre after Joel Moon went off injured early in the first half.

Ben Westwood was impressive throughout the game for Warrington and Ryan Atkins seems to love scoring against us.

We did threaten a comeback in the second half after Tom Briscoe’s try of the game, but ultimately that wouldn’t have been deserved. Leeds didn’t do enough to win.

Stats wise, Stevie Ward continued his good form and got through a pile of work, completing 53 tackles! Brad Singleton looks to be a new player this year and made a good impression when he came on. I thought it was a decent debut from Ashton Golding; he coped with the high ball well and looks like he has pace to burn.

I’m sure games like this will do him no harm.

Depending on how off-field issues are resolved, he could see an extended run in the first team.

Next up for Leeds is Wigan, a side seemingly out of form and which has struggled in recent weeks.

We all know the rivalry that Leeds/Wigan has and I don’t expect it to be anything different tomorrow.

It’s my favourite home game of the season and the fixture I look for first when they are announced. Let’s hope the likes of Shaun Wane and Phil Clarke aren’t smiling come the final hooter.

Leeds will need a much-improved 80-minute performance this week – indeed, better than anything they have produced so far this season.


So our unbeaten reign at the top of the table has come to an end, and what a way to do it.

Warrington put the pressure on from the off. We had no rhythm or momentum and were 12-0 down after the first half.

Could we do it for a second week in a row and come back for the win?

No. We didn’t come out fighting and Warrington remained dominant in the second half.

Our only sign of great play came from the speed of Kallum Watkins that saw Tom Briscoe go over. If we could play like this for a full 80 minutes we would be in a different position.

The game was frustrating to watch.

We’re still making handling errors and there were moments when we had a complete lack of concentration.

It’s a shame that Zak Hardaker’s off-pitch antics overshadowed the game.

However, it was great to see young Ash Golding stepping up and I thought he had a good match.

It shows how well the youth programme works at Leeds.

Warrington was always going to be tough, especially with the recent history between the two sides.

I just wish we could get a solid 80 minutes in.

Looking to the game against Wigan, I’d want to see fewer errors and more movement in the middle.


Looking back at the game at Warrington, it was always going to be a tough one, as they all are.

Despite some fans panicking again, I thought that we competed very well and the game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggested.

We are going to have games like we had against Warrington, it’s up to us as to how we break down sides like Warrington.

Our execution is letting us down at the moment. I’m sure that it will click and we must stop switching off with lapses of concentration. We must also get away from playing up the middle. Get the ball out to our backs to do the damage.

When we do that we tear teams apart.

Wigan will try and slow us down and frustrate us; we have to keep our discipline boys!


We started brightly last Friday before the momentum shifted after Warrington’s first try was awarded and we never recovered from that.

Ashton Golding did a fantastic job despite his lack of first-team experience. A strong team performance is needed for tomorrow’s game against Wigan.


Friday the 13th it definitely was! After the euphoria of the previous Thursday, it was down to earth with a bump.

Although we started well in defence our attack was non-existent and apart from scoring the best try of the evening, we never looked like reaching the dizzy heights attained at the KC Stadium. Warrington were not brilliant but they wanted it more than us and led through two dubious converted tries at half-time.

The loss of Zak Hardaker affected the rest of the boys but as professionals they should have risen above that. His replacement, Ashton Golding, had a fine first senior start and he will benefit from the experience.

We’ll have to be better prepared for the visit of Wigan on Friday.


A disappointing performance from Leeds last Friday.

Just like against Hull FC, we weren’t in the game in the first half and Warrington’s defence stood firm as we struggled to find a way back in the second half.

Wigan next and we need to up our game!