Leeds Rhinos talking points: Win over Hull FC capped successful pre-season campaign

There was plenty for coach Richard Agar to ponder after Leeds Rhinos closed a successful pre-season campaign with a 38-6 win over Hull in Tom Briscoe’s testimonial, their fourth victory from as many first team practice games.

By Peter Smith
Monday, 31st January 2022, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 31st January 2022, 7:20 pm

Rhinos now have almost two weeks to prepare for the Betfred Super League round one clash with Warrington Wolves. Here are five talking points from their final warm-up match.

1: Managing expectations. Rhinos have got through pre-season in as good a shape as they could have hoped for, in terms of results, performances and their injury list. They have picked up some knocks, but have a mostly fit squad and there have been good signs; the spine - full-backs, halves and hookers - against Hull were particularly impressive.

2: Areas of concern. There are, of course, things to work on. Discipline needs to be better at times, there have been some unforced errors and losing Tom Holroyd, Sam Walters and - potentially - Harry Newman isn’t ideal. Also, Rhinos’ starts have been a bit shaky - conceding the opening try three times - but overall, Leeds have come through their warm-up games with far more positives than negatives.

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Blake Austin is sin-binned by referee Robert Hicks during Rhinos' win over Hull. Picture by Matthew Merrick.

3: David Fusitu’a. The Tongan Test winger looks like becoming a Rhinos fans’ favourite. Against Hull he didn’t get an opportunity to show what he can do on attack, but made two superb catches and put on one enormous hit. Teams won’t be rushing to kick or run at him and he has the potential to provide plenty of excitement this year.

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5: Second half side. Rhinos didn’t concede a second half point in three of their four trial games. That doesn’t mean a lot at this stage, but does suggest there’s nothing wrong with their stamina and players coming off the bench are doing a good job.

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David Fusitu'a made an impact in his first game for Rhinos. Picture by Matthew Merrick.