YEP Jury: Leeds Rhinos can’t afford to switch off with McGuire pulling the strings

Danny McGuire.
Danny McGuire.
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Have your say

Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ home clash with Hull KR and Catalans Dragons’ victory in the Challenge Cup final.

GRAHAM POULTER

Catalan Dragons' Remi Casty (centre left) and head coach Steve McNamara celebrate with the Challenge Cup.

Catalan Dragons' Remi Casty (centre left) and head coach Steve McNamara celebrate with the Challenge Cup.

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Catalans Dragons on winning the Challenge Cup; they thoroughly deserved their victory.

It’s a huge boost for the game in France and good to see a different name on the trophy. Their dogged determination won them the game and I hope that Steve McNamara becomes the coach of the year for the way he’s transformed the club.

So now next up for Leeds is the visit of Hull KR. Hopefully the rest will have done Leeds good, but that’s the same for Hull KR as well.

Leeds will have to perform for the whole of the game and not switch off if they get into a commanding lead and Leeds’ defence will have to improve hugely after the non-existent defence in the last quarter of the game at London Broncos.

Danny McGuire.

Danny McGuire.

I’ve no doubt that the return of Danny McGuire will have him fired up to do a job on Leeds as he knows every blade of grass on the pitch.

I feel that the game will be close and may well come down to a drop goal, most likely to be attempted by McGuire as Leeds don’t have a drop-goal specialist in their ranks!

DIANNE HALL

I really enjoyed our annual trip to Wembley this year with a close and history-making game. I am glad that I am not a Wire fan because they never know when it’s going to be their year.

Congratulations to Catalans and well done to Steve McNamara for turning the team around.

All Rhinos fans are hoping the hierarchy at HQ can do the same next season. We went as Dragons for the day as the whole Catalans area always make us feel welcome when we go over there.

There has been a lot of debate about the attendance at Wembley as it seems that only diehard rugby league supporters are going every year, as well as the competing teams’ fans. Is it because it’s the school holidays when hotels and travel are expensive?

Even the cut-price ticket offers didn’t work!

Hull KR on Saturday and the return to Headingley of Danny McGuire. As is usually the case with returning players, he will be fired up.

We need to keep him quiet and keep the winning run going for survival!

CHRISTINE KIDD

What other sport would even think about changing the qualification rules with only weeks of the season left?

What was developing into an intriguing two-horse race between Bradford Bulls and York City Knights in League One could now have no relevance on who gets promoted to the Championship.

How can clubs plan for next season when some of them may have the goal posts moved and they may now be heading in a different direction than they thought they would be just a few weeks ago? Is there any wonder that the game can’t attract new spectators or new sponsors?

It’s very confusing for everyone who follows the game. I can see how changes may be needed but why can’t they be put in place for next season when everyone will know from the start what the outcome will be?

Saturday’s game against Hull KR will be the Rhinos’ first against Super-League opposition in the qualifiers.

This game will give us some indication as to where we are and if we can avoid the Million Pound Game. Another two points would be a step in the right direction.

IAN SHARP

It was good to see another name on the iconic Challenge Cup and a good win for a Catalans side that, like us, had been written off.

It’s been a rough ride this season with injuries and the sacking of Mac [former head coach, Brian McDermott] but I think bringing Kevin Sinfield ‘back home’ could be a master stroke by Gary Hetherington.

But I do wonder if sacking Brian McDermott when we did was the right way to go about it.

Maybe he should have seen the season out?

He has brought so much silverware to the club and we take the rough with the smooth.

As a team we still have a long way to go and with Ryan Hall and Joel Moon leaving we will have a few quid to spend to once again to build a great team.

We welcome former Leeds Rhinos playmaker Danny McGuire back to headquarters this week.

Yes, our playing is not up to our high standard but, hey, we’re the best fans in the world and we will show him how loud and proud we all still sing regardless ... just in case he’s forgotten what it’s like to play in-front of a crowd!

ADAM ANDERSON

First of all I would like to congratulate Catalans Dragons on their Challenge Cup victory last weekend. That’s a huge win for them, for French rugby league and for expansion as a whole.

As for our season this year, it started well and strangely enough, dipped immensely after the release of the ‘As Good As It Gets’.

We ended up in the qualifiers which is our own fault for not performing well.

It ended up with the club feeling like they needed to do something with the immediate sacking of Brian McDermott and return of Kevin Sinfield as director of rugby.

I don’t think we’ve seen this position in full fruitition yet, but that won’t come until a permanent first team coach is in place.

The club will be releasing season ticket prices tomorrow and with that in mind I expect an increase in price, to which a lot of fans won’t be happy after we’ve had such a dismal season.

MATT FOWLER

With Wembley meaning no game, it’s time to reflect on the season, or more importantly and to keep me from becoming too upset, where we’re heading.

People have used the word “transition” for many years now about the team but I think this last six months and the next six will probably be the defining time. We need to lay some new foundation blocks to kick on and hopefully be successful again for a sustained period.

The whole club, not just the team, will look dramatically different come the start of 2019.

The new stands look impressive and I am hoping the team will also bring optimism with some big signings.

The club starts its drive for season-ticket sales tomorrow. The new stands will entice some supporters but the future of the squad and who will be in it will be the biggest attraction.

The future is unclear, players are still not sure of their future, Super-League status is not secure yet and the current coaching set-up, I believe, is not the permanent solution. To get the fans to lay out their hard-earned cash they will need to see at least a glimpse of a brighter future. I wait with baited breath.