YEP Jury – Depleted Leeds Rhinos can’t afford to be complacent against Leigh Centurions
After Sunday’s bad-tempered victory at Salford, Leeds Rhinos return to action tomorrow night against basement-side Leigh and our fans’ panel are aware that nothing short of another win will do.
To say that was our first game in four weeks, I was pretty pleased with our performance against Salford last weekend.
Drama and handbags aside, our pack is looking strong and we’re managing well in the halves despite still having injuries.
Full credit to Luke Gale, Mikolaj Oledzki, Kruise Leeming and Matt Prior, having to play two games in short succession.
I’d say they deserve a night off this week, but I don’t think we can spare anyone!
We definitely don’t make it easy for ourselves, do we? We’ll be doing it tough for the next few fixtures with two failed head injury assessments in Ash Handley and Konrad Hurrell, and bans for Bodene Thompson, Gale and Alex Mellor.
It would have been nice to see Richie Myler able to continue his good form but his finger injury didn’t look good and he has dropped out of the squad.
Fortunately, we face Leigh next, who have been very disappointing and are yet to pick up a win. Wouldn’t it be typical that their first victory comes against us!
Well, after a month off it was nice to see Leeds Rhinos back in Super League action against Salford Red Devils last weekend.
It was an ill-disciplined yet disciplined performance from Leeds.
Three suspensions have come about because of the game and Konrad Hurrell misses the next one against Leigh Centurions because he ran at – and got flattened by – Lee Mossop and subsequently failed his obligatory matchday head injury assessment.
But disciplined in that around the two red cards and three sin-bins, when rugby did break out Leeds were the only team really playing it.
Tries spread out across the team and game-breaking performances from Richie Myler, Matt Prior and Jack Broadbent gave Leeds a comfortable victory.
So three suspended, a couple of head knocks and Leeds face bottom of the table, winless Leigh Centurions.
Early-season or last-season Leeds, I’d have said we would lose on Thursday night … But it’s my first live game in 15 months, so they’d better not!
Leeds Rhinos may have won two points against Salford Red Devils on Sunday but it ended up being very costly with three players suspended and Konrad Harrell out with concussion.
Bad discipline marred a good performance with Richie Myler and Tom Briscoe having excellent games. Four players backing up after playing on Friday night wasn’t ideal but they all performed well on Sunday.
Rhinos’ attack was fluent and the defence looked good even towards the end of the game when the two points were already won.
Leeds now have two games in five days starting with Leigh on tomorrow night.
This should have been an easy two points for the Rhinos but will now be more of a competition depending on the players who take to the field for Leeds.
Monday will be more difficult as Warrington are the form team. If the Rhinos can play anything like they have against Castleford and Salford it should be an entertaining game.
Leeds have proved that they have the steel in defence and the flair in attack to win games, but can they do it consistently?
The game against Salford was a feisty one from the start to say the least.
The lads managed to pull out yet another huge performance and another good win to help us move up the table.
Richie Myler was yet again superb at full-back and Jack Broadbent for me is looking like a ready-made replacement for Tom Briscoe on the wings. Fair play to the lads that backed up from international duty, it really showed their courage and determination for the team.
We have two games coming up, starting with Leigh Centurions tomorrow.
Although we are without a number of experienced heads, I would hope that we have enough to beat Leigh, but this could be a potential banana skin and the game that Leigh need.
Monday night we are playing Warrington, who are one of the form teams this year.
They’ll be hurting mind, with a big injury blow to Gareth Widdop.
It would be nice to come out on top and show that we are still up there as one of the teams to beat.
Well, Sunday was an eventful game to say the least.
With a few of our team backing up after Friday night, it was a half-decent performance to boot.
It’s good to see our back line scoring tries out wide and, yet again, Richie Myler is showing that, even in the twilight of his career, he may have lost a turn of speed but his rugby brain is as sharp as ever and the sublime passes for the tries he set up were pure class.
I am not sure what happened in the tackle with Konrad Hurrell but the second you make the decision to go chasing after a player it’s never going to end well and, in consequence, he’s now out of tomorrow’s game against Leigh.
All things being equal and me having my fingers and toes crossed, I should be sitting in the stand watching live with a beer in hand.
The Centurions have been in the mix in their games so far this year and have then seemed to drop away in the last quarter of the match.
We can’t be complacent and two points is the minimum we will be expecting, as well as points on the scoreboard.
No game for four weeks, injuries, Covid and players backing up from an international two days earlier, you would forgive the team for using these as excuses going into Sunday’s game.
No excuses were needed. Leeds looked comfortable in both attack and defence.
However, discipline can be questioned in what seemed like a throwback to the ‘good old days’.
Special mentions go to Matt Prior, Mikolaj Oledzki, Kruise Leeming and Luke Gale, who played their second game in three days, and Tom Holdroyd who looked very sharp in his first game for some time.
What happens now is hard to believe. Three more games in just over a week with player welfare out of the window and the integrity of the competition put into question.
The rest of the season will see the quality of the games become diluted and injuries increase.
It is no way to run a competition but money talks, particularly in a sport without any.
Our goal is to soldier on and pick up as many wins as possible. Forget about now; it’s just about the wins, getting as many as we can and seeing where it takes us.
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