Leeds Rhinos: Talking points from pre-season win at Bradford Bulls

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
With less than three weeks to go until Betfred Super League round one, Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar was given more food for thought when a mainly fringe/young side won 30-12 at Bradford Bulls.

Rhinos trailed 12-0 at half-time, but were in front 14 minutes into the second period and comfortably maintained their 100 per cent pre-season record. Here are five talking points from the game.

1: A mixed bag. The first half wasn’t good from Rhinos, who made a series of errors and didn’t adapt to the narrow pitch and heavy conditions. As Agar said afterwards, the way they readjusted at half-time and went on to dominate the second half was impressive and 30 unanswered points in 40 minutes is a good effort in any circumstances.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

2: Max power. Centre Max Simpson is only 17 and was promoted into the first team squad two months ago following Corey Hall’s move to Wakefield. He did well in the second half of the previous week’s game at Featherstone and really impressed against Bulls, bagging two well-taken tries. He is big, athletic and quick and definitely one to keep an eye on.

He is just 17, but Max Simpson looks an exciting prospect. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.He is just 17, but Max Simpson looks an exciting prospect. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
He is just 17, but Max Simpson looks an exciting prospect. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Read More
Agar keen to utilise talented rake Johnson

3: Like father... Another 17-year-old, Jack Sinfield, has had some good game time in pre-season. He played the full match at Odsal and showed some nice touches. Also, he hasn’t missed a shot at goal in pre-season, landing six from six. He has a long way to go, but it has been a promising start.

4: Welcome return. It was good to see Jack Walker and Liam Sutcliffe back on the field after long layoffs. Sutcliffe, playing at stand-off, was heavily involved during his spell and full-back Walker looked sharp, despite 14 months out. Their comeback adds more depth to what appears a strong squad.

5: No such thing as friendly rugby league. Muizz Mustapha was the second Leeds player sin-binned - for fighting, along with Bulls’ Matty Dawson-Jones - in three pre-season games, marring an otherwise strong effort. Ironic, as he is now set to join Bradford on loan. The two others offered to Bulls, Jarrod O’Connor and Corey Johnson, were Leeds’ best on the day.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Muizz Mustapha was the second Rhinos player to be sin-binned in three pre-season games. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.Muizz Mustapha was the second Rhinos player to be sin-binned in three pre-season games. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Muizz Mustapha was the second Rhinos player to be sin-binned in three pre-season games. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. You'll enjoy unlimited access to the latest on Leeds United, Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity, as well as other West Yorkshire rugby league clubs. With our sports digital subscription, you'll also see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times and get exclusive content. Click here to subscribe.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.