YEP Jury: Inconsistent displays just sum up Leeds Rhinos’ season

Our fans’ panel return to analyse Leeds Rhinos’ impressive 14-0 victory at Wigan followed by the disappointing 20-13 defeat at Wakefield Trinity.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 5:47 pm
Joe Arundel celebrates scoring Wakefield Trinity's match-winning try on Monday. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

KATIE BURROWS

A Wednesday night trip across the Pennines isn’t ideal, but it was definitely worth it! The atmosphere at the DW was buzzing and to keep Wigan scoreless was even better. It wasn’t a pretty game and Wigan were poor, but a win is a win and it was an incredible defensive effort.

It was a shame that we followed the win at Wigan with a disappointing performance at Wakefield on Sunday. We never seem to play well when we go there, and this time was no different.

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Kruise Leeming touches down for Leeds Rhinos at Wakefield Trinity. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

We were ill disciplined and lacked any real leadership, which is unsurprising when our captain spent 20 minutes of the game in the sin-bin!

I haven’t seen a replay, but I didn’t think there was too much in the tackle that got Matt Prior his first yellow – a penalty, sure, but the amount of yellow cards being dished out in the game at the moment is getting a bit ridiculous for me.

On to Magic Weekend and Hull FC on Saturday – it’s always a tough one, but hopefully we can manage a win to make the journey back from Newcastle a little cheerier!

GAVIN MILLER

Kai Pearce-Paul of Wigan Warriors is tackled by Leeds Rhinos' Kruise Leeming. Picture: Paul Currie/SWpix.com.

Rhinos were excellent against Wigan in their 14-0 victory. A focused performance against a team suffering from a real lack of confidence, followed up by ill-disciplined performance against Wakefield.

It kind of sums up our season so far. Decent performances which give us the fans real hope, followed up by poor performances against teams we know we should be beating which drains that confidence.

Part of me thinks, write this season off in my head and look forward to next season. New recruits, hopefully an end to the ridiculous injury crisis that has hampered us all season and tighten up on the ill-discipline and we can have a real crack at it. But the other part of my brain, and I guess this is the fan in me, says beat Hull, beat Hull KR, show up and have a good performance against St Helens and go into the play-offs with confidence and form. Then it’s play-off footy.

It’s the business-end of the season, and we know how good Leeds are in the business-end of the season.

Richie Myler on the charge at Wakefield Trinity. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

I keep imagining a Leeds-Catalans Grand Final and despite Catalans finishing miles ahead of Leeds in the league, would you fancy Leeds in a one-off Grand Final against Catalans who have never won the competition? I know I would.

So that’s the dilemma remaining for the rest of the season .. head says enjoy what may come and focus on next season, whilst heart says Grand Final winner 2021!

Hull FC at Magic weekend, always a good day out, head says it’ll be tough, heart says repeat of the performance at KC and we are one step closer to Old Trafford.

CHRISTINE KIDD
Two games in six days, two in the sin-bin each game and two different results.

Last Wednesday’s result against Wigan showed great resilience and teamwork. A win at the home of Wigan Warriors is always a cause for celebration and more so when the Rhinos haven’t won there for eight years. Yet again there was another late withdrawal, Callum McLelland, with illness. Kruise Leeming stepped in again and came up with another great display.

Monday’s game at Wakefield Trinity was a different story. There was a lack of energy emanating from the team even before the game started. When the team came on to the pitch to start the game they looked tired. Even though the Rhinos scored first, Wakefield had the best of the game especially in the second half. There was plenty of endeavour from the Rhinos but the finishing touches just weren’t there.

Next stop is Newcastle for Magic Weekend and a game against Hull FC. A win here would probably guarantee the Rhinos a place in the play-offs. Leeds can win this game but the performance needs to be better than it was against Wakefield.

MATT FOWLER

The two games just gone probably sum up our season. The Wigan game was full of fight, desire and a sprinkle of flare when needed. Ill-discipline still in there but enough composure to get the job done.

Five days later, after yet another short turnaround and the wheels come off.

The truth is that level of inconsistency, even with injuries and short preparation time, won’t get you far.

The play-offs are still in our hands but the chances of us doing any real damage in them is remote. We are simply too inconsistent and down on numbers.

It is no coincidence that the teams who have had one game a week for most of the season and the fewest injuries are at the top and producing games worth watching. Games with real intensity and skill.

I am not sure we have put together one 80-minute performance all season.

The standard, not just at Leeds, is way down. Sky will try to sell the Magic Weekend as the best of our game, but I am afraid it is going to be a hard sell.

This season has been another nightmare for the game in general.

IAN SHARP

I don’t envisage that many of us could see that scoreline coming last Wednesday at Wigan.

It was a very good team performance all round and with so many players out, to keep a vigorous Wigan side to nil was an impressive effort from all the team. It was a big step forward for us maybe reaching the play-off places.

Another ban for Zane Tetevano, he seems to spend more time at the disciplinary than Barrie Mac did!

His biggest issue going forward is that once you get a name for yourself any minor infringement means he will be off the park.

My first away game in going on two years was up against a resurgent Trinity side that were more passionate and wanted to win much more than we did.

In the first 20 minutes we were woeful but managed to score and had some good defence, but we lacked so much fluid movement and the second half we were terrible, giving away stupid penalties and had players in the bin more than on the pitch.

It’s Magic up this week, who knows what will happen or what team we will put out?

Even if we scrape into the top-six I don’t see us troubling the scorers much.

ADAM ANDERSON

After starting off with a good team effort against Wigan Warriors on Wednesday evening, the Rhinos followed it up with a dismal performance against Wakefield Trinity on Monday.

We started superbly against Wigan with a 14-0 win – something that we have not managed to do in a long while, win at the DW Stadium and also keep them scoreless.

We were all very happy and in buoyant mood going into the Bank Holiday Monday game against Wakefield, but the performance was totally the opposite.

Once again we ended up with questionable sin-binnings and a disappointing defeat in what could have sealed a play-off spot.

Wakefield are in good form now and looking impressive under interim coach Willie Poching.

This week is Magic Weekend and a huge game against Hull FC.

The Black and Whites need the victory to keep their play-off hopes alive, Leeds need to win to cement a play-off spot.

It is going to be a cracker and hopefully two points for the Rhinos!