Leeds Rhinos: YEP Jury give their verdicts

Kevin Sinfield.
Kevin Sinfield.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ defeat at Widnes and the challenge ahead against Huddersfield on Saturday.


I never thought that I would be so disappointed watching the Rhinos this season. From the outset we were out-enthused and outplayed.

We were undone for the second game in a row by a top quality stand-off pulling the oppositions strings. I thought that the team selection was once again very poor, how we can afford to leave some one of Sir Kev’s experience and nous out of a side and still have players out of position I do not know.

There are still trophies to be won so surely he should be in the side for his game management if nothing else. We all know that the younger, less experienced players have to be blooded, but not at the cost of not winning games that are there to be won.

We were battered by Widnes for the opening minutes of the game and only valiant goal line defence kept them out as long as the fifth minute, although the inevitable try – after they monopolised possession – was no big surprise.

Once we did get a bit of possession we looked like we meant business, getting our noses in front courtesy of the ever-impressive Stevie Ward and Joel Moon. Sadly that was to be it. The defence became shambolic missing too many tackles and allowing Widnes to off-load at will. Schoolboy errors, passing in front of our sticks uncharacteristic mistakes from senior players continued to put our line under threat.

There were some bright spots amongst the gloom – Jimmy Keinhorst, Kallum Watkins and Danny McGuire are the only ones that spring to mind.

Another factor was the strange decisions by the officials, this is becoming a recurring theme in Rhinos games recently.

I am worried that our season that started so brightly is in danger of imploding and we will end up with nothing in the trophy cabinet.

I know that this is supposed to be my view of last Sunday’s game, but I am so frustrated by the unfathomable selections (team and tactics) that the coaching staff are making that I feel the need to say something.

The season could well be nearly over if we lose in the defence of the Challenge Cup on Saturday.

In-form Huddersfield must be rubbing their hands at the prospect of progressing at the expense of the Cup holders.


WHEN WILL Leeds ever learn to stop giving away dumb penalty after dumb penalty? I mention it every week in my piece. I’m sick of repeating myself week after week!

I mention discipline is crucial in games, we always get sucked into losing our discipline.

The players are experienced enough not to keep on repeating the same mistakes. Good discipline means a victory, poor discipline means a loss.

Defence wise – it is a shambles at the moment and a worry for me.

Soft in the tackle, we should be nailing the opposition to the ground instead of dancing with them, it’s not Strictly Come Dancing boys , get into them, hit them hard, tackle like you mean it, not going in all soft.

I don’t mean high tackling them either, hit them hard around the waist, legs and make them feel the pain.

Huddersfield in the Cup will be tough, but only tough if we keep on giving away dumb penalties and don’t respect possession of the ball.

We have to stay composed, keep our discipline and compete for the full 80 minutes.

Kevin Sinfield must be reinstated to the team, we lack composure and direction without him and Paul Aiton at hooker.

Give Rob Burrow more game time, he’s crucial to us!


After a flying start to the season Leeds have struggled over the past few weeks, only picking up one point in our last three games.

This coincides with Brian McDermott’s decision to firstly drop Sir Kev to the bench then not include him at all in the last two outings.

I’m all for preparing for the future, but I disagree with our coach over the handling of Sinfield.

When our backs are against the wall and we need a natural leader and someone who can steady the ship and control the game, who is better than Sinfield?

The better side won on Sunday, we gave away too many penalties and didn’t take our chances, simple as that. Giants next…Sinfield HAS to be involved.


It was an extremely disappointing performance at Widnes, especially defensively. We conceded far too many soft tries and seem to be lacking a leader/organiser. I’m sure we have someone in our squad who could fill that gap. His name escapes me, is it Kevin Sinfield?


We showed some good attacking play on the odd occasion, but an overall poor performance and a shocking refereeing display saw us slump to our second defeat in three games, which also sees us without a win in that period.

Honourable mentions for Stevie Ward and Jimmy Keinhorst. It is also time to get Kevin Sinfield back in the team. Leaving him out hasn’t worked and recent performances have shown that.

We need our leader back on the field.

The defence of our Challenge Cup crown begins on Saturday as we host the Huddersfield Giants and as recent fixtures against our local rivals show, this isn’t going to be an easy one.

Rhinos by four.


What a disappointing weekend. We did manage to get the score within four points, but ultimately our defence wasn’t enough. It’s time we started raising questions on how we move forward and look to change things up. Put KevinSinfield back in the team, maybe?