YEP Jury give their verdicts on Leeds Rhinos’ crucial victory over Toulouse

Leeds Rhinos’ victory over Toulouse may not have been pretty at times but the two competition points were all that mattered to our jurors. Here they give their thoughts on the game and look ahead to Friday’s clash with Hull KR:
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TOM RHODES

At last, we finally got a win on home soil. There is still room to improve but it was a much better performance compared to previous weeks.

One thing I did notice in that game is Jack Broadbent wants to be in that squad. As soon as he moved into full-back our game changed completely – and for the better.

Leeds Rhinos fans feel Jack Broadbent has got to start at full-back against Hull KR after his top-notch display against Toulouse Olympique. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Leeds Rhinos fans feel Jack Broadbent has got to start at full-back against Hull KR after his top-notch display against Toulouse Olympique. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Leeds Rhinos fans feel Jack Broadbent has got to start at full-back against Hull KR after his top-notch display against Toulouse Olympique. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
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Hopefully, we will see Jack stay in that position until we get some more bodies back, as I would much prefer Jack at full-back than Liam Sutcliffe. In addition, young Jack Sinfield played that game magnificently once he started receiving the ball instead of Kruise Leeming, creating some great grubber kicks and overhead kicks on Toulouse’s try line. This is what Rhinos fans have been wanting for weeks, instead of completing a set without a kick. This shows the players are making an effort.

Friday’s home fixture to Hull KR will be tough and, honestly, I can’t see us winning. They gave Wakefield a good drubbing and, if you look at their other performances, they look a top, top team. But, if the boys put in as much effort as they did against Toulouse, I’ll be a happy fan.

OLIVER LIMON

Hallelujah! Well it’s taken all season so far to achieve but, finally, the Headingley faithful have their first home win!

Brad Dwyer ran Toulouse ragged last time out, much to the delight of our Leeds Rhinos jury. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Brad Dwyer ran Toulouse ragged last time out, much to the delight of our Leeds Rhinos jury. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Brad Dwyer ran Toulouse ragged last time out, much to the delight of our Leeds Rhinos jury. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

It was a gritty contest at times and the squad had to contend with more injury woes, losing Liam Sutcliffe and Tom Briscoe on the night. Toulouse put up a fair fight and, if they hadn’t lost their first-choice goal kicker in the warm-up, it could have been far tighter and another agonising finish. The Leeds defence is still prone to some alarming lapses and the attack won’t immediately be cutting edge with the current rotation of players in the halves.

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Make no mistake, that was a ‘four pointer’ for us with plenty of work for new coach Rohan Smith still to do. Kudos to Leeds for attracting over 11,000 fans. I watched it with two friends who haven’t attended for years. It’s encouraging to witness such an appetite to see the Rhinos despite recent results.

It just leaves the question: how desperate are we for players? The Zak Hardaker subject is a thorny one; I think a short-term deal is worth the gamble (as does JJB) so come on Gary, what are you waiting for? Roll the dice.

JOSH MORROW

Signing Zak Hardaker, who left Wigan last week, on a short-term loan could be a gamble that pays off for Leeds Rhinos suggest fans. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.Signing Zak Hardaker, who left Wigan last week, on a short-term loan could be a gamble that pays off for Leeds Rhinos suggest fans. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Signing Zak Hardaker, who left Wigan last week, on a short-term loan could be a gamble that pays off for Leeds Rhinos suggest fans. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Finally, a win to write about and a huge one at that.

The game could have easily gone the other way with recent form and the long list of absentees.

The job that the two youngsters have done in the last two games has been fantastic.

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Jack Sinfield, looked nervous in the opening minutes of the Castleford game, which is understandable, but, since then, he has acquitted himself well.

The same too goes for Max Simpson, who has had two very tough match-ups against very big, physical centres in Vaivai and Fonua.

Coming up against Hull KR, it looks set to be another big game, especially with the array of ex-Leeds players that either play for KR or coach them. It will be interesting to see what team is out in that game but I would love to see Jack Broadbent given the No 1 shirt for the next few games as he was outstanding against Toulouse.

Despite pressure from the fans to bring him back sooner, I can see why JJB has kept him out the side after a rough go-around against Saints. The time out to work on his game has definitely paid off.

KHYA GOTT

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It doesn’t feel right to be starting my week reflecting on a Rhinos win, or, it feels right but different to most weeks so far this season so far.

I don’t know what I would have said if we’d lost last week; anyway, we won and that’s all that matters now.

We finally found our first home win of the season, our first win under Jamie Jones-Buchanan and we managed to hold on to the lead to the end. After a horrendous Easter weekend, and generally, we needed that win.

It was a fairly smooth performance with no real problems, other than the injuries that we definitely didn’t need.

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But I’m glad we won. We dug deep, we stuck together and we worked hard.

That’s all we, as fans, want to see.

We don’t want to see us dropping 10-point leads or losing consecutively but, if we work hard as a team, we can always come out on top.

A new head coach and our first home win of the season; hopefully this will finally kick-start the campaign and we can push on.

KENDLE HARDISTY

No matter the performance, a win was a must for Leeds Rhinos against Toulouse Olympique.

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You could tell by the performance that the players felt this as well and they all looked a tad sharper.

Brad Dwyer was on top of his game and caused the props of Toulouse problems as they just couldn’t get hold of him.

There is so much movement going on at the Rhinos, it feels like pre-season all over again.

I’m really excited to see what Rohan Smith brings to the table.

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I have no idea who he is or what he is about so I have no expectations.

It feels like an appointment that is going to need time, though. Meanwhile, it looks like Zak Hardaker is returning to the Rhinos. You can’t fault the quality of the player but he brings baggage which can be a risk.

We play Hull KR on Friday. Tony Smith has created a solid team which attacks really well. I think we have too many players missing to cause any danger to them, but who knows?

Rohan being there could be the inspiration.

IAIN SHARP

People say to me: “In that thing you do for the paper, all you ever do is hammer Leeds…”

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Well, to prove them wrong, there should be at least an increased degree of positivity this week. Firstly, the win over Toulouse … Okay, it wasn’t pretty at times, but I’ll take a scrappy victory over a classy-looking defeat any day of the week and the two league points it gives us could be vital in the long run and if the sketchy form continues.

Then, there is the appointment of Rohan Smith as our new coach. Under the circumstances, perhaps the best we could get and from a decent RL pedigree. Australian, young and hungry ticks most of the desired boxes. Chuck in the pedigree of being nephew of Tony Smith (currently of the parish of Craven Park, Hull) and son of Brian, who heavily influenced the revolution at Bradford.

For me, the best endorsement came on social media from three ex-Leeds players, who stated just how good a coach he is, in their experience.

I remember when the relatively unknown Graham Murray turned around in the club’s fortunes in a relatively short period of time …

Let’s hope Rohan has similar designs.