Our YEP Jury give their verdicts on the Qualifiers and Leeds Rhinos’ victory at London Broncos.
Another week, and another win for the Rhinos. While it’s disappointing to concede so many points, I think credit should be given to London and the way they played.
For parts of the game it looked as though it was going to be a repeat of what happened at Featherstone, especially when we went 36-12 with 55 minutes gone, but London kept breaking through and made it a much more respectable scoreline thanks to a few late tries.
Overall, I thought Leeds were okay. As usual, we were brilliant in parts and patchy in others but a win’s a win and I think that’s the main thing.
Yes, we want to stay in Super League, but I think an unbeaten run in the Qualifiers gives us a lot to build on for next year and sends out a strong message.
I know Brian McDermott stressed we weren’t a team lacking in confidence at the start of the season, but I think if you look at the way we are playing now, compared to in March and April, confidence – or lack of – was definitely part of the issue.
At the start of the Qualifiers, my dad asked me who I was tipping for the Million Pound Game – I said I thought it would be similar to last year and it was probable that all four Super League sides would remain as such.
Three games in, and the fight for survival is already looking quite exciting. I think Leigh have a great chance of making the top three, especially given the way they are playing at the moment. They already picked up a win against one Super League side; I think if they manage to bag another then they are in with a shout.
In terms of Super League sides that could struggle, I feel that Salford are the least safe; we play them at Headingley Friday week and another defeat would surely give them cause for concern.
With only two points gained so far, Salford would need to win two out of their remaining four games to match what Wakefield (fourth) and Bradford (fifth) finished on last year – I can’t see them not managing it, but at least it makes things a bit less predictable.
Broncos supporters were outnumbered three to one at the Trailfinders Stadium by the visitors as Leeds continued their winning streak.
It was not a comprehensive performance by Leeds, as London really took the game to the visitors but a win keeps Rhinos at the top of the qualifiers.
Leeds showed some moments of finesse when they attacked down the wings but, far too often they persisted down the centre of the park to no avail. Leeds’ central defence was poor, and was exploited time after time by a buoyant Broncos. Rhinos just did not control the ruck and allowed London to dictate the play of the ball.
This weekend is Challenge Cup allowing extra time for our injuries to repair. With McGuire hobbling off the pitch with an ankle injury, the woes of Leeds half-backs during 2016 continues.
Joel Moon was McDermott’s first choice number 7 on Saturday and he performed well – good foresight in attack and combining with Jimmy Keinhorst in a drop off resulting in Liam Sutcliffe’s try. Jordan Lilley came off the bench to replace McGuire and he produced a solid display with the added bonus of a try in the second half.
I am certain Leeds will remain in Super League for 2017, but we need to be able to compete for a full 80 minutes.
It was an ‘interesting’ stadium to visit on Saturday – a good win but a poor team performance.
Three down four to go.
We got the job done in London last weekend. It wasn’t pretty but we are getting the victories needed in the Qualifiers.
We have been unbeaten since losing to Widnes at home in late June which I’m very happy about.
We were very complacent in the last 15 minutes and I hope Danny McGuire’s injury isn’t as bad as I fear.
Credit to the London lads who never gave up and played with spirit for the full 80 minutes.
Andrew Henderson has done a great job for them and I reckon they could threaten for a place in the million pound game. With Salford free falling I can see Leigh not needing the Million Pound Game to come up.
Three games into the Qualifiers and Leeds are almost safe after beating London. Leeds’ performance wasn’t perfect, but at this stage a win is all that’s needed. This weekend’s cup final could be the first quality final at the new Wembley – but importantly will be a week’s rest for Leeds.
It’s three out of three in the Qualifiers and Leeds are well away from trouble, and I can only see things staying this way with four more games to go, three of which are at Headingley.
London Broncos gave a good account of themselves but the gap between Super League and the Championship did tell in the end.
I’m sure that a few slip ups and slack plays will be highlighted in training and Leeds will go up a gear or two for the visit of Salford a week on Friday.
As for this weekend, it’s back to watching what should be a cracker of a Challenge Cup Final as a neutral.
I expect it will be at least a little bit closer than last year’s Challenge Cup Final.
A comfortable win but some poor defending against a spirited London side. Leeds did what they needed to do which was get two points and escape without many serious injuries on the plastic pitch. The ground resembled Bus Vale and probably holds the same amount of supporters! Not a game to remember!