YEP Jury: Leeds Rhinos go from ‘abysmal’ to the sublime in 15 fantastic minutes against Huddersfield Giants

Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ incredible comeback victory over Huddersfield Giants and look ahead to the clash with St Helens on Sunday.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 12:41 pm

CHRISTINE KIDD

Super League is back and what a rollercoaster ride it was!

It was like a flashback to the first game of the season against Hull FC.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

TOUGH YARDS: Leeds Rhinos' Alex Mellor is tackled by Louis Senior, and Jordan Turner, of of Huddersfield Giants. Picture: James Hardisty.

Far too many errors and a far from fluent attack. The game was a lot quicker without scrums and with the six again rule.

After 61 minutes Leeds were losing 20-6 and Ash Handley was in the sin-bin. On 67 minutes it was 26-6 and there looked to be no way back.

The players though had other ideas and started one of the greatest comebacks in Leeds Rhinos’ history which meant that after 80 minutes the score was 26-26.

A Luke Gale drop goal then sealed the win. We were able to breathe again.

KICKING KING: Luke Gale is congratulated after kicking the the game-winning drop goal against Huddersfield. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

It’s been a few years since Rhinos have been top of Super League.

St Helens showed that they are not going to be easy opponents with a very convincing win against Catalans last week.

The Rhinos’ passing accuracy and attack needs some polish, the errors need to be cut out and they need to get some fluency back into their game.

GRAHAM POULTER

GETTING A GRIP: Leeds Rhinos' Rhyse Martin tackles Huddersfield's Ashton Golding. Picture: James Hardisty.

‘Wow’ is the word to describe that incredible finish to the game, which never seemed likely to happen after the way that Leeds had performed, or rather not performed, until 12 minutes from full-time against Giants.

We certainly made it incredibly hard for ourselves, producing error after error and giving away stupid penalties time after time. Leeds were doing a fantastic job of cutting their own throats, then in the last 12 minutes they finally realised that if they cut out the errors and chanced their arm, they could maybe go on to at least rescue their pride.

They definitely achieved that goal and went on to win the game in what has to go down as the most incredibly dramatic finish to a game in Leeds’ long and illustrious history.

But boy oh boy, did they put us all through the wringer, time after time. I feel like I’ve been in a washing machine and been on fast spin after watching the game.

ON THE RUN: Harry Newman looks for a way past Jake Wardle and Oliver Wilson. Picture: James Hardisty.

If Leeds ever decide to put a DVD on sale of the game it should be entitled, The Final 12, ie the last 12 minutes of the game, Wow!

The dramatic win will give Leeds huge confidence, however I’m not convinced about their defence especially on the edges and we are devoid of ideas on last play options in attack.

The set restarts took some adjusting to for Leeds, but Huddersfield had it nailed. I fear that Saints could potentially put on a big score against us.

They were impressive against Catalans, however they didn’t have to get out of second gear, where as against us I feel that they will be in fifth gear if we don’t get a grip.

We have to stop giving away silly penalties and head high tackles to have any chance of getting anything out of the game.

ADAM ANDERSON

It was the return of Super League and most of it was a nightmare but thankfully it ended in jubilation for the Rhinos.

We could have been writing about a poor Leeds performance against the Giants and it was for 65 minutes of the game.

Twenty points behind with just 15 minutes to go, how we managed to pull that game back to golden point I’ll never know, it was magnificent.

Luke Gale knows exactly how to kick drop goals in tense occasions.

I thought Kruise Leeming and Alex Mellor had great games against their former club and I’ll spare a thought for Ashton Golding, who was also very good on debut for Huddersfield.

I wouldn’t like to be Richard Agar and having to review that with the players, do they just forget the final 15 minutes and review the first 65? That’s certainly what I’d do personally.

This week is a massive test against St Helens, who also had a very good win versus Catalans Dragons on return.

If Leeds can cut out the errors and improve the discipline, they’ll be in good shape next Sunday.

DIANNE HALL

Well what a let down! After all the hype and anticipation of the last three weeks I was expecting better than that.

I was eagerly counting down the days to Sunday as I’m sure most Leeds Rhinos fans were and although I thought we would be a bit rusty I didn’t expect us to be quite that bad.

After 65 minutes I was wondering how I was going to write this week’s piece and try and be positive.

Our half-back partnership of Luke Gale and Robert Lui, that was starting to look so promising before lockdown, looked almost non-existent, our defence was woeful, they played like strangers and as for our discipline, well that was abysmal!

Once we started to finally respect possession, gain some field position and have some decisions go our way, things started to look better and it was just a matter of time before we started the amazing comeback.

While I am pleased to get the victory and go top of the Super League table, I think Huddersfield deserved it more than us and Ash Golding was my man of the match.

IAN SHARP

I don’t think even legendary weatherman Michael Fish could have predicted that Gale warning on Sunday afternoon!

As amazing as it was to come back from 20 points down, it’s hard to ignore just how mediocre and sub-standard we were in the first 60 minutes. After watching the Saints v Dragons warm up match, it showed even more just how much we have gone backwards in the time that the game has been on ice.

Alex Mellor stood out for me on Sunday, he had some good strong carries and scored a great try and some good defence.

The pack looked very out of sorts compared to how we had played, but I thought Adad Cuthbertson added a much-needed lift when he came on the pitch and we were much better and seemed to spark when he was introduced.

We just need Konrad Hurrell to cut out the few drop balls he comes up with, and he will be even more destructive, but as they say a win is a win. We need to start much better this week against a red hot St Helens side, as I can’t see them letting us back in if they get 20 points in front.

MATT FOWLER

Sat watching the game I was going to just copy and paste my first report from the season opener against Hull FC.

We looked rudderless, ill disciplined and very light up front. It was a pretty poor performance up to that point.

The last 15 minutes saw a huge momentum shift and we began to move the ball with a bit more purpose.

It was an amazing comeback and showed the team spirit and never-say-die attitude, something which you cannot train into people, so that is the real positive.

Next up is St Helens and another performance like the first 60 minutes will not see us trailing by only 20 points and fashion a comeback.

We need to sort our discipline out around the ruck and be much sharper in attack. St Helens will provide the true acid test of where this Rhinos team are at.

If we want to make the playoffs these are the games we need to perform for the full 80 minutes in.

I can’t take another nail-biting finish like that again.

It’s great to be back up and running though.

***

A message from the Editor:

Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890.

We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds.

Read More

Read More
Why the YEP needs your support

Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe. For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.

Thank you

Laura Collins

Editor