Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ 32-0 win over Batley Bulldogs.
Another home game, another two points that were never really in doubt, despite what was a positively physical opening period from Batley. It’s now important to finish with two more focused victories and lay some good foundations for 2017.
On Sunday, Leeds head back to the John Smith’s Stadium for the third time this season, aiming to do what they couldn’t in the previous two visits.
After defeat at Leigh, it’s a bigger game for Huddersfield than Leeds.
Nonetheless, who’d have thought that a game between Huddersfield and Leeds at this stage of the season would have this type of context, considering that just 12 months ago Leeds went to Huddersfield to win the League Leaders Shield and in some style?
I’d like to wish congratulations to Leigh for their promotion to Super League. Splashing the cash and arrogant owner aside, it’s an achievement that justifies the exciting new system for the Super League and Championship and why promotion and relegation should be made possible. The big mystery ahead is now regarding who goes down via the Million Pound Match.
Switching the focus back to Leeds, I think it needs to be noted how the level of performance must improve ahead of Sunday’s trip to Huddersfield. Despite two comfortable home wins, the performances have not been great, and Huddersfield will provide much tougher opposition.
For me, the highlight of Friday night was the show of appreciation for Batley from the South Stand.
Although they didn’t score, they never stopped trying and their fans got a great night out that had been many years in waiting. It was great to see some Batley shirts enjoying their night in Headingley into the early hours of Saturday morning.
Finally, I’d just like to openly criticise Sky Sports after shifting next week’s game with Leigh to Thursday night at such short notice. Once again they are upsetting those who it means most to by changing fixtures so near to the date.
Either way, I look forward to the final away day of the season at Huddersfield this Sunday, come on Leeds!
Just like in previous weeks, Leeds’ poor display was enough to see off their opponents in a truly uninspiring game last Friday.
Over the course of the Middle-eights the Rhinos have put in worse and worse performances and had they been facing a more competitive side they would have wiped the floor with Leeds.
Credit should be given to the Batley side who gave everything, the score didn’t reflect how well they played. It could be argued that Leeds can only play what’s in front of them, although last season the Rhinos would have put 60 past Batley without leaving first gear.
Every time Leeds get the ball in the opposing team’s last 20 the whole squad look bereft of ideas and structure, this likely comes from having an inconsistent and inexperienced captain directing us around the field.
Given more time with players like Lilley and Sutcliffe in key positions and the team will begin to realise its full potential. This may take a number of years to happen, but given the quality of these players the wait may well be worth it.
This week Leeds face a desperate Huddersfield side and with little to play for and the team’s recent performances it will take a big turnaround to beat Huddersfield. I predict a marginal Huddersfield win, and Leeds’ first loss of the Middle-eights.
The result against Batley was never really in doubt although “The Gallant Youths” played as though their very lives depended on getting a win. Their determination, enthusiasm and no nonsense approach in defence made life uncomfortable at times for the Rhinos.
The home team appeared disorganised and lacking a natural leader on the field, they took many wrong options, a poor overall kicking game, failing to pass to supporting players on the break. The game was very frustrating for the 15,000 crowd and this lack of leadership on the field has been one of the major problems of the season. Hopefully, now that our Super League position is assured, the powers that be can get their heads together for next year.
Full credit has to go to Batley who never gave up and their fans were brilliant all game. It was another unconvincing performance from us, however we are getting results. I think we will see a really fired up Huddersfield Giants team this weekend after their first -half collapse at Leigh last week.
Friday’s win against Batley wasn’t that convincing, especially in terms of our attack, and I think the scoreline definitely flattered us once again.
Full credit to Batley, they put up a fantastic fight in the first half and came out a lot stronger than I personally thought they would.
Having said this, they have conceded 50 points plus against various opposition in the Qualifiers, so it is slightly concerning that we looked so ordinary last week. We absolutely must improve our overall level of play, not only for our trip to Huddersfield this Sunday, but also for when we come up against Super League sides again next year.
If we don’t, we will be at risk of being in the wrong half of the table for a second year running.
Super League is guaranteed for Leeds after a scrappy game on Friday. Batley had an impressive defence and at times Leeds reverted back to earlier in the season where they were devoid of ideas. It was frustrating to watch. It is heartwarming to know Segeyaro has signed a two-year deal – Leeds are unbeaten since he arrived.