YEP Jury: Display at Wakefield Trinity just what the doctor ordered for Leeds Rhinos

Our Jury are in a happier frame of mind after Leeds Rhinos broke their duck with a comprehensive win at Wakefield Trinity last weekend.

By YEP Sportsdesk
Monday, 7th March 2022, 4:45 pm

Here they look back on that win, reflect on some outstanding performances from Rhinos’ backs and preview Thursday’s home game against Hull FC.

TOM RHODES

Well what a performance that was on Thursday night.

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Leeds Rhinos' Harry Newman touches doiwn against Wakefield Trinity last week. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

It was obvious Richard Agar had a good word with some of the team to sort themselves out, and what a different spectacle that was to watch.

I was expecting Wakefield to put in a better performance going off their previous results but I’m more pleased we managed to get two points. Hopefully, Harry Newman’s hamstring issue isn’t anything major and we see him back in the team this week. Looking ahead to our fixture against Hull FC, after seeing the result against Castleford the boys need to be ready for whatever Hull throw at them as they will be wanting to make amends after the poor result against their former coach.

Plus, going off how we’re playing at the minute, Hull will be taking full advantage of our middles, with them having a decent-sized pack. Matt Prior and Mik Oledzki will need to be at their best as will Jack Walker at full-back playing against one of the best full-backs in the sport at the minute in Jake Connor.

But I predict we’ll win on Thursday in front of a bumper crowd at Headingley.

Leeds Rhinos' Morgan Gannon. Picture: Tony Johnson.

OLIVER LIMON

‘Winner winner chicken dinner’. As I predicted, Leeds made a start to their winning run with a comprehensive victory at Wakefield.

The Rhinos blew Wakefield off the park with some scintillating rugby to lead 30-0 at halftime. David Fusitu’a began the procession, bulldozing his way over the line. Hat-trick hero Ash Handley had a fantastic evening, dancing through the Trinity defence at will.

Fair play to the home side who refused to quit, only conceding one try in the second half. Leeds, perhaps, became a little complacent but Trinity had a number of attacking threats across the park and managed three tries of their own in the second period. Also, the 10 minutes in the bin for Kruise Leeming seemed to ‘take a bit of gas’ out of the Rhinos’ defence.

Leeds Rhinos' Ash Handley scores his first try against Wakefield Trinity. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The only negative was the injury to Harry Newman. We are all hoping it’s not too serious.

If the Loiners can deliver an 80-minute performance on Thursday, it will be the perfect birthday gift for me. The new dayglo ‘pretty in pink kit’ could be a lucky charm for us. Bring on Hull.

JOSH MORROW

A fresh pink kit meant a fresh start for Leeds Rhinos at Wakefield Trinity after losing the previous three games.

The right-hand side of the attack looked dangerous all night long, especially in the first half with Harry Newman and David Fusitu’a combining well in their first league game together. Despite the Rhinos taking their foot off the pedal in the second half, allowing Wakefield to come back into the game, there are plenty of positives to take.

It is clear the side worked hard on the fluidity of the attack during the week.

Even on a heavy pitch and in greasy conditions with the rain, the attack looked very smooth when going out wide.

When the winter weather passes, they are going to be a very dangerous team if they can continue to improve their attack to go along with a solid forward pack, which will only get stronger.

Rhinos are going to have to continue this improvement when they take on Hull FC next week and will need to start strong.

But, this time it will take an 80-minute performance to take the two points.

KHYA GOTT

Finally, our first win of the season last weekend and, of course, it was in a derby triumph to boot.

Our first two points are on the table and, surely, it is only up from here.

The first half against Wakefield was a great performance from the team, and long may it continue.

It was great to see Morgan Gannon, Harry Newman and David Fusitu’a flying over for a try, and a good win to welcome back Rhyse Martin. Plus, hat-trick hero Ash Handley.

Overall, I think it was a good win for us to get back into the swing of things.

Another Thursday-night game under the lights this week and it’s our second Yorkshire derby in two games.

Hull FC are above us in the league standings with one more win than us, but we beat them in pre-season (albeit, it was a friendly) and, given our win last week, the momentum is on our side.

We won’t see Luke Gale back at Headingley in midweek with him halfway through his five-match ban, but I’m optimistic for a Rhinos win.

IAIN SHARP

Having a few bodies back at Belle Vue really made the difference and the job was effectively done by half-time as a pink-clad Leeds saw off Wakefield Trinity last Thursday.

Let’s hope the Loiners can maintain the form and carry on to ‘batter’ Hull FC (Come on … C+ ‘Could do better’) this week, a team in Super League that, notoriously seems to blow even more hot and cold than Leeds across a season.

As I said last week, I am not a fan of Thursday-night games and we’re on television in the same lousy slot for three weeks running.

Frankly, we seem to be on the box almost as much as Bradley Walsh these days, across various channels.

I suppose it merely proves what we’ve all known for a long time, that Leeds is the biggest audience draw for casual rugby league viewers in the northern hemisphere.

Of course, it might be people tuning in to watch us potentially lose …

That said, we could probably televise the opening of an envelope and still get more people watching than half the teams in the competition.

KENDLE HARDISTY

It wasn’t by any means perfect but the performance and result against Wakefield on Thursday was just what the doctor ordered.

Wakefield didn’t know how to handle Leeds’ attack in the first half and, by half-time, the game was done and dusted.

Ash Handley demonstrated why he is vice-captain this year, bagging a hat-trick, and I thought young Morgan Gannon was immense.

The second half lacked quality but, when you’re 30-0 up at half-time, that is always likely to be the case.

If Leeds had carried on playing like they did in the first half, the score could have been silly.

Credit to Wakefield for getting stuck in in the second half and scoring some decent tries. Another Thursday game for the Rhinos and also two extra days’ recovery, as FC played on Sunday.

It’s a really important game to keep the momentum up in terms of performance and confidence.

We are already playing catch-up and a win puts us right back into it. We drubbed FC in pre-season but I see this being a much tighter game.

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