Suspension is a worry for a game that relies heavily on gate receipts - Leeds Rhinos Jury

Our fans' panel have their say on the suspension of rugby league due to coronavirus and on the RFL considering imposing a sanction on Leeds Rhinos for not travelling to play Catalans Dragons.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 12:27 pm
Rugby Football League CEO Ralph Rimmer.

GRAHAM POULTER

To play or not to play, that was the question. Thankfully Leeds Rhinos came up with the only answer, the correct one.

With one of the Leeds players at the time being tested for coronavirus, it would have been ludicrous for the team to travel to France to take on the Catalans. I’m in no doubt that the potential to infect the rest of, not only the squad, but also their fellow passengers on the plane and possibly then for the team to become stranded in France was far too big a risk.

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Stade Gilbert Brutus.

The lives of people are far more important than playing a game of rugby, or any sport for that matter.

It’s a time for calmness and being sensible, well, it would be for wise-thinking people yet, at the time of writing, the Rugby Football League (RFL) were considering placing a sanction on Leeds. If the RFL do carry out their threat to sanction Leeds, then they need to take a long, hard look at themselves and also question themselves as to why they have even thought of doing it.

Surely common sense should prevail in the light of the unprecedented circumstances that are occurring.

This week’s game has been cancelled. So be it; the health of people has to take priority!

Kevin Sinfield.

CHRISTINE KIDD

The last game of Super League – for now – was Castleford against St Helens.

As it was one of the last televised sporting events, there will have been people watching, who do not normally watch the game.

Let’s hope they enjoyed what they saw; it was a good and exciting game that ended in another defeat for Saints.

Chris Kamara.

Hopefully there will be no sanctions for Leeds Rhinos after their decision not to travel to France last week.

At present, we are living in very unusual times and this decision was made in good faith.

When the Rhinos will be able to rearrange this game will be interesting to see as it involves a visit to France and is likely to be midweek.

All rugby league has now been postponed until at least April 3.

It could be even longer.

The Challenge Cup draw was made on Monday and these games are due to be played on the weekend of April 4 and 5.

It will be interesting to see if these games go ahead. With the final in July, the calendar could be very busy once play resumes.

ADAM ANDERSON

This week was a very tough one to judge as a Yorkshire Evening Post Leeds Rhinos jury member, as we didn’t play at Catalan Dragons because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hopefully, the players are managing to keep themselves busy, in shape and upbeat with all this virus threat going on around them.

Fans, like myself, of many sports are struggling but, not just that, clubs are going to struggle financially as their players and staff will still need to be paid with no money coming in through the turnstiles.

When the rugby league world returns to some semblance of normality, we will, hopefully, be in a Coral Challenge Cup game against Hull Kingston Rovers.

The break will be good for the injured members of squads to get themselves back into the game.

It was good to be able to watch a few games last weekend on Sky Sports and it was disappointing not being able to play St Helens this week as they are in a bit of a hole at the moment and would have been there for the taking.

DIANNE HALL

I didn’t fancy travelling on Friday the 13th anyway and, when we heard the news that the team would not be travelling to Catalans, it decided it for us. The right decision all round, I think.

Talking of decisions, the announcement of Lee Radford’s departure from Hull last Thursday was ill-timed. He deserved better, though I don’t think he will be out of work long.

St Helens look like a shadow of the team that blew everyone away last season.

I was looking forward to tomorrow as, the way that we have been playing recently, I reckon they were ripe for a beating.

With rugby league shutting down for at least two weeks, plus a backlog of fixtures, I don’t know how it is going to pan out! It will benefit the injured players at every club and could be like starting afresh when we return.

Having Chris Kamara on Sky TV on Sunday afternoon was genius thinking.

It could be the way forward for Super League on Sky to maybe have guest pundits from outside of the game. Stuart Pearce and Jonny Bairstow to mention a couple.

IAN SHARP

Two sets of Wolves (Toronto and Warrington) could not bring our house down, but a microscopic bug has done the trick it seems.

With now having at least four games to reschedule, it’s going to be a push to find room to fit them in and try to keep the players’ welfare and fitness a top priority.

No-one can really tell if calling off last week’s game was the right thing to do.

But, with one member of the squad showing symptoms, I am guessing it was an easier decision to make.

And with flights being cancelled to Spain now as well, the players might not have made it back to England.

It is a shame tomorrow night’s massive game with Saints is off, though.

I love this match, home and away. Two of the best sides in the competition in the last decade and the atmosphere is always electric.

Having the extra rest and training over the next few weeks could be our achilles heel, as we have been playing so well but roll on rugby coming back.

Speaking of roll, I am off to go try and find some!

MATT FOWLER

What to talk about this week, I wonder? It certainly isn’t the performance of the team sadly.

The decision, by Leeds, not to travel when they had a player in self-isolation last week was the correct one. Imagine had they travelled through three airports and found one of their players had coronavirus and, therefore, other players, staff and the public would have been in harm’s way, all for a game of rugby.

Not getting the RFL’s permission beforehand is probably wrong – in normal circumstances.

But we are living out some pretty weird days. I expect the RFL will give Leeds a ‘slap on the wrist’ and move on, if common sense prevails, but, then again, the RFL and common sense very rarely sit well in the same sentence.

It is right for game to be suspended this week, not because of the large public gathering, but because players are coming down with the virus.

Like any work environment, clubs will have players not working or staying at home unable to play. How long the suspension of games lasts is anyone’s guess and that is the worry for a sport that relies heavily on gate receipts.