Our YEP Jury have their say on the victory over Wakefield and the home clash with Castleford tonight.
With the players that Leeds had out through injury and suspension, I was a little nervous for the trip to Wakefield on Sunday, especially with what happened last season when Leeds travelled to Super League’s bottom club.
Wakefield, with a new coach watching from the sidelines, started the game well and deservedly took the lead, but once Leeds settled down, they looked dangerous on every attack.
Liam Sutcliffe was great stepping in at full-back for the injured Zak Hardaker but I’m sure if he has to play there again tonight he will come under far more pressure with Luke Gale’s and Liam Finn’s kicking games.
The 14-point gap at half-time was well deserved and we came out firing from the kick-off of the second half.
The score seemed to increase from 24-10 to 58-10 in no time, it was pretty embarrassing from the view point of a Wakefield fan with the ease at which we were scoring tries.
Sutcliffe completing his hattrick and Singleton claiming a double were the highlights.
It was good to see the side so full of homegrown players – 13 out of the 17 – and then seeing another academy product, Jordan Lilley, getting a 20-minute run out.
It was a shame we let in three late tries, but the game was won and I’m sure everyone would have taken that scoreline before the start of the game.
Tonight will be a much tougher game for the Rhinos. Cas drew at Headingley last season, one of the more memorable Leeds/Cas derbies because of Sinfield’s sending-off.
I expect this game to be as tough.
Cas are in good form and have their eye on a top-eight finish. With second-to-fifth playing each other, it’s important for Leeds to get the win and to extend their lead at the top – and on the top four.
I’d like to add that I am pleased with the marquee ruling being passed last week.
Any ruling which can help to keep our young talent from moving to the NRL or to rugby union can only be good for the game.
I hope teams sign some big-name players; it can only help to strengthen the league in terms of entertainment, popularity and skill.
With the disappointment of last week we needed to step up our game to take on Wakefield Wildcats.
Wakefield took the lead at the start of the first half and we made silly errors, but Liam Sutcliffe soon answered with his first try of three.
We could have taken control sooner in this half, but to me it felt like we were still panic playing and we let Wakefield back in for another try. We ended the first half leading 24-10.
The second half though was brilliant. We stormed Wakefield, scoring seven tries. We showed how well we could work as a team and had a lot momentum, Ash Handley and Brad Singleton both scoring doubles.
When we really put our foot down, the team looked solid and we had some great moments of play.
I thought Rob Burrow had a great game, he always works really hard and made great coverage with the ball. However, we switched off in the last 10 minutes when the job was done and we allowed Wakefield to score some easy tries.
This week saw much improvement, but we still need to work at playing for a full 80 minutes.
Tonight the Rhinos take on Castleford at home and it’s sure to be a well fought derby.
Let’s hope we can hold our place at the top.
Back to winning ways at last, but I must admit that when Wakefield scored first my mind drifted back to last season’s defeat at Belle Vue.
That was only for a few minutes though as our class, finesse and fitness showed through with some superbly worked tries.
With the loss of Zak Hardaker, our recognised full-back, we were wondering who would fill that position.
The word on the terraces was that Robbie Burrow had been considered before it was decided on Liam Sutcliffe – which would have been different to say the least.
I was pleased that we had players playing in their proper positions for once.
And I hope that continues for the crucial Castleford derby game.
After a slow start, we found our rhythm and played some fast-flowing rugby that Wakefield couldn’t cope with.
Liam Sutcliffe and Danny McGuire stood out for me.
Castleford at home tonight and just like the corresponding fixture earlier in the season, we will claim the victory.
WHEN WILL Leeds learn to start to play from the first whistle instead of in fits and starts?
Against better opposition than Wakefield we will be behind on the scoreboard, leaving ourselves with too much to do.
We have to cut the sloppiness out of our game now and be switched on at all times. You can clock off when the game is over boys. We continue to be weak in defence. There needs to be a greater desire and determination to stop the opposition from scoring – a steely mindset.
Castleford will provide another stiff test for us. We have to show a greater desire to do our jobs.
Congratulations must go to Danny McGuire on his 250 tries.
It was a comfortable win for the Rhinos at Wakefield.
I thought it would be a slightly closer contest, but Leeds controlled the game in perfect conditions and got the job done.
Liam Sutcliffe once more showed his class and Danny McGuire pulled the strings once again.