'We got it wrong': YEP Leeds Rhinos Jury happy to stand corrected over Wigan game predictions
The YEP Rhinos Jury weren’t so much pleasantly surprised by the win over Wigan as delightedly shocked.
Nobody expected Rhinos to mark their long-awaited homecoming with a victory, but the 42-12 success has filled our panel with confidence ahead of Saturday's game at Catalans.
Well, I don’t think anyone expected that result last Thursday night.
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Going into the game I thought if we competed well and looked competitive, I would be pleased.
Wow, was I wrong - we looked like a completely different team, especially with the number of players we were missing.
Everyone on that team played at 110 per cent and there are no complaints from me this week.
A big round of applause to Rohan Smith who spotted how much Wigan relied on Jai Field. Both Newman and Handley were shutting him down all over the pitch, not letting him gain space and he looked rattled, causing mistakes and making their attack look weak.
We now need to push on and perform just like we did against Wigan but this time down in the south of France away to Catalans who’ve come off a last-minute drop goal to secure their win against Huddersfield.
It will be a very tough game but if we’re going to get into the play-offs and get that sixth spot, we need to try to steal two points from these top four teams.
Hopefully we might see the likes of Austin and Sezer back this week.
That performance was exactly what the fans wanted and, I bet, Rohan Smith was looking to see.
The way Jarrod O’Connor dominated around the play the ball in the opening half was a big reason why Leeds won this game.
His workrate in attack and defence was outstanding and if he can improve his passing accuracy he will be a threat to Leeming’s starting jersey in the coming years.
Another standout for me was the returning Harry Newman, the way he attacked in defence was a tone setter - he got after French and Field early on, letting them know they were in for a rough night alongside his dangerous running.
The defence was the most impressive part of the game for me on the night. Other than
Wigan’s two tries, which had a touch of fortune about both of them, Leeds never looked liked
I’m sure Smith would have taken two wins out of three before playing the French sides and Wigan, just maybe not in this order. Rhinos need to go and beat Catalans to have Hull worried for that play-off spot.
It was 100 per cent the best performance I’ve seen from the Rhinos this season, against Wigan.
Even sweeter was doing the double with the women winning very comfortably.
It was another situation where you saw the line-up - even with Newman, Sutcliffe and Hardaker returning - and thought, this could be a long night.
The Rhinos were excellent in both defence and attack. You can see the changes Rohan has made to this team, especially in attack.
It makes you wonder what Rohan has done to completely change this squad.
There aren’t many new faces but he just seems to be getting the best out of the players.
You can tell he cares about the job with the way he reacted after Mustapha’s try.
With seven games to go, we are one point off the play-offs.
Every game is massive.
It doesn’t get any easier with a trip to Catalans this week.
Even if you’re in form, going there is a difficult game. They are a great side with a big pack. Having Prior back is massive.
Let’s hope Austin and Sezer could make a return to add even more quality to our attack.
The performance of the season?
And during the frustrating early part of the year, the sort of performance that you knew deep down the team was capable of.
Gel together and there was always the potential to ‘thump’ someone … And that’s exactly what Leeds did last Thursday night, thrashing a hapless Wigan.
Recently, the new James Webb Space Telescope began operating, but I can now reveal its true purpose is not probing the depths of the early universe, but instead is turned over to Super League video referees on the off-chance of them using it to disallow what appears to be perfectly good tries by the most microscopic of margins.
I understand Harry Newman has been on the physio’s treatment table over the weekend after his barnstorming performance against Wigan. After further investigation, I’m delighted to confirm that the lumps he’d mysteriously developed during last week’s game turned out to be Jai Field and Bevan French, who’ve been embedded deep in his pocket since early last Thursday evening.
With the second of three visits to France due with this weekend’s trip to Perpignan, the travelling faithful will have chance to hit the duty free shop again on route to the game against Catalans. Given the topsy-turvy form book this season, who knows which Leeds side will turn up?
The ladies team got us off to a flyer against Wigan.
Coming off the back of a defeat at Toulouse and Wigan thrashing Hull 60-0 and still missing a number of players it felt like we might need a miracle to win.
The Loiners started the brighter and never really looked in trouble, with an early Leeds
Sutcliffe try from a high kick.
O’Connor ripped Wigan apart with a great run which led to Bentley’s try.
Wigan got away with a knock on and came back up the field to score.
Leeds never let Wigan settle with some relentless hard hitting defence and Martin soon crashed over off a short pass.
Rhinos were good value for a 24-6 half-time lead. Handley’s fantastic interception led to a Newman try after the Cherry and Whites had come out all guns blazing at the start of the second half.
Wigan got one more back from a kick it was never going to be enough with both Dwyer and
Mustapha maintaining the blissful atmosphere and joyful hooter celebrations.
Catalan away next week will be a tough encounter however after this performance, I believe
After 62 days, rugby returned to Headingley and it was a great day for it.
Heading into the game, I didn’t expect a huge victory, or a win for that matter but it’s safe to say I was pleasantly surprised, and my expectations were exceeded.
Starting with the women’s game and they battered Wigan, before the men’s team did exactly the same. It was a great watch, and an even better performance.
That performance should hopefully give the team a massive boost, underdogs and a huge victory is a good way to boost moral in camp.
Despite a lot of the tries going to the monitor, it was a good change to see decisions go the Rhinos way. Even the controversial Newman try.
Let’s keep that up for the next game against Catalans this week, because that’s sure to be a difficult game too, but with the confidence gained from Wigan, we can do it again!
With seven games remaining, I’d like to think we can go on now and push for that play-off position, which would be a good end to a season that started dreadfully.