YEP Jury: Never-say-die attitude puts Leeds Rhinos right back in the play-off picture
Our panel of fans have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ victories over Leigh and Warrington and look ahead to Friday’s home clash with Catalans Dragons.
Super League is a strange place currently. Disparity in games played between clubs, some games getting rearranged due to Covid, some teams being awarded 24-0 victories when clubs can’t field a team, players missing, lots of injuries and no real cohesion amongst the Super League teams at all.
Summed up by Leeds not playing a game for four weeks then having to play four games in 12 days or something!
There have been two games since I last wrote, home against Leigh, as expected, was a walkover despite Leeds lacking several players. Leigh are truly terrible and are very much a team thrown together and not ready for Super League.
Then the game I expected Leeds to be tested the most and probably be gallant losers, turned into a very pleasant victory. Still missing key players, I thought Leeds were absolutely tremendous against Warrington. It was the first game in a long time I had really enjoyed watching. it had me off my seat and biting my nails throughout. Perhaps despite all the confusion and lack of cohesion Super League may be getting its mojo back.
If you’d have told me two weeks ago that we’d play three games in nine days and win them all, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Whilst we were good against Leigh, I was careful not to get too carried away, and was expecting a loss heading into the game at Warrington. But, we held on at the end (even with 11 men on the field) and thoroughly deserved the win.
Our pack has been excellent all season, especially Matt Prior, and I really hope we can convince him to stay for another year.
I also think Rhyse Martin has done enough in the past few games to earn a new contract.
Friday is the first of back-to-back fixtures against Catalans, which will be a tough test.
There’s likely to be some changes to the team sheet, with Mikolaj Oledzki and Jack Broadbent both picking up injuries in Monday’s game, and Luke Gale set to return from suspension.
I think the best we can hope for is one win from the two games, which could be enough to get us into the play-offs, should other results go our way.
Two games, two wins! One expected, one not.
Last Thursday night’s game against Leigh Centurions, who have yet to win a Super League game, was a potential banana skin for the Rhinos.
Suspensions and injuries once again played a part in team selection with a number of players playing out of position or playing their third game in seven days. Once again the boys gave a great team performance with Matt Prior leading the way.
On to this week and unusually a game on Monday night against one of the form teams in the League, Warrington Wolves. Not many people expected Leeds to win but thanks to a superb first-half performance they confounded the critics and came out on top. I don’t know how Matt Prior, Mikolaj Oledzki and Kruise Leeming were still on their feet come the end of the game.
With matches coming thick and fast, next up for the Rhinos are back-to-back games against league leaders, Catalans Dragons. There will be selection dilemmas for Richard Agar but this team have a great belief in themselves and could come out on top.
What could have been a potential banana skin against Leigh, with players so far out of position they were almost in Lancashire, turned into a good display, well after the first 10 minutes anyway!
The future of our club and team looks in very good hands with the young players that have come through and credit to Richard Agar for playing them and giving them the chance to shine. Tom Holroyd and our pack were dominant yet again.
A much tougher challenge came on Monday night away to Warrington. With our play-maker still sat watching from the stands, Liam Sutcliffe stood up and had one of his best games in the halves and I am sure Matt Prior is part Terminator, he gets better every game. Kruise Leeming and Brad Dwyer were also outstanding against Wire.
Rhyse Martin was back to some of his best form too. They were all heroes on Monday night in my book.
It’s another game on Friday against top-of-the-table Catalans Dragons.
With Luke Gale back from suspension and the crowd at HQ roaring the boys on, we have a great chance of making it five in a row.
Three wins in eight days is a fantastic run of results and done with a huge amount of spirit.
Performances haven’t been the greatest, but the never-say-die attitude and a willingness to put bodies on the line for the badge is the most pleasing aspect. Performances that show that kind of “backs-to-the -wall spirit” like the one at Warrington are what fans love. It shows a togetherness and gives fans optimism for the rest of the season.
The attack has started to fire, even with different half-back pairings and you can see the confidence in the team, all built on the back of a formidable forward effort.
Mikolaj Oledzki and Matt Prior have been sensational and the return of Tom Holroyd has added even more forward power.
The next test is two games against the league leaders, Catalan Dragons. The guys must be fatigued, and I worry about playing a fourth game in 12 days.
Let’s hope the wave of confidence the players and fans have carries them through and we can carry on climbing that league ladder.
Going into last weekend was always going to be tough, but I never expected the two performances that Leeds put in.
First up was Leigh Centurions. I expected it to be a close encounter as Leigh can score points, but it was as clinical as we have been all season in scoring points and it was a great night for the youngsters like Jack Broadbent, Tom Holroyd and Sam Walters.
The Holroyd final try was just a joy to watch.
Onwards to Monday against Warrington Wolves and it was arguably the toughest test of our young side.
For me, it was a huge benchmark performance and very exciting to watch, but nervy too. Mikolaj Oledzki, Matt Prior and Holroyd together are becoming the pack to watch out for. It was a worry when we went down to 11 and thought they could nick it in the end.
We look a joy to watch at the moment with Rob Lui back and a special mention to Kruise Leeming who’s been superb out of position.
Fingers crossed that we see more of it when the in-form Catalans Dragons visit Emerald Headingley on Friday.
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