YEP Jury: Play-off push is back on after Leeds Rhinos’ display at Castleford Tigers
Our panel of supporters have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ superb 60-6 victory at Castleford Tigers last Friday night.
When I saw the team sheet on Friday I thought ‘here we go again’, but I, like the majority of Rhinos fans, was pleasantly surprised.
I won’t get carried away and start tipping us for a top-four finish, but the performance we put in against Castleford was definitely our best of the season so far.
We were clinical in attack, with Richie Myler and Luke Gale leading things well, Matt ‘Pincher’ Prior showed his class once again, and both our senior and younger players stood up – I can’t fault anyone on the night.
Our defence has been consistent all season, with the exception of a few lapses here and there, and it was an outstanding effort to keep Castleford to just one score.
We have a week off now, as it’s the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup on Saturday.
Richard Agar will have a few tough decisions when it comes to picking the team to line up against St Helens in a week’s time looking at current form and players returning from injury, but I’m sure it’s a nice choice to have.
After the first two minutes of last Friday’s game when Castleford opened up the Leeds defence and scored it looked as though it would be another one of those games with Leeds playing catch up from the start.
What happened next was as though someone had flicked a switch. Rhinos produced their best attacking display of the season.
Eleven tries scored by nine different players. It was a scintillating and not completely unexpected performance from the Rhinos.
At last there was a fluency to the Leeds attack.
Luke Gale was running the show and Castleford never got a look in. The combination of Gale and Richie Myler was the key to the entertaining way that Leeds played.
The highlight of the game was Konrad Hurrell’s chip and chase that enabled him to get his name on the scoresheet.
Matt Prior had one of his best games in a Rhinos shirt and young Morgan Gannon scored his first Super League try.
Playing like this, Leeds will be a match for any team in Super League and, with a week off to rest and recuperate, who knows what might happen next time out?
Well well well ... that was unexpected and quite the tonic. I felt we have played with some heart for a while but just with no guile.
On Friday night we were a bit smarter against a Castleford team that seemed under strength, poor and did not fancy it at all.
Perhaps Castleford looked at the league results of Leeds and felt they had Leeds beaten just by turning up, but a first-half blitz, after going a score behind, showed quite the opposite.
Still with a few players playing out of position, the forwards laid the platform for the backs to perform.
Special mention goes to Zane Tetevano who gave Leeds the grunt, aggression and cleverness that the forwards had perhaps been missing. Matt Prior and Mik Oledzki also deserve a huge amount of credit.
Luke Gale rolled back the years with his best performance post injury and the result by half-time had an inevitability about it.
Let’s just hope that this is not just one swallow and is in fact the whole summer and Leeds can continue this level of performance going forward. We may even make the top six!
I doubt that any of us fans that travelled over to Castleford on Friday night expected that scoreline.
It was a complete performance and with every player on the pitch playing well, hopefully that’s a sign of the things to come.
I hope the club do everything they can to keep Matt Prior because he’s playing out of this world.
There is still a long way to go this year and still a lot to play for.
It’s disappointing that we have this week off as it would have been nice to gain some momentum.
Next week we have St Helens; the last time we played them in the Challenge Cup, we had quite a number of players out and were down to 12 men for the majority of the game, but we stayed with them. Hopefully we get more of the same here.
This week is Challenge Cup semi-final week and I’d like to wish good luck to all the teams involved.
I’ve been lost for words on many occasions, not just this season but in previous campaigns and I was speechless on Friday at half-time.
We were the best part of 30 points in front, and playing a style of rugby we last saw against Cas in the 2017 Grand Final.
For the first 10 minutes we were our normal static attack and when Konrad Hurrell was side stepped I just thought of that classic WhiteSnake song, ‘Here we go again’.
Then in the space of 30 minutes we blew the Tigers away, with great handling, a structured attack and I thought Richie Myler was outstanding at the line working with Luke Gale bamboozling the Cas defence.
It was a joy to behold. I am sure Konny will be the first to admit this season he’s been below par on all aspects of his game, but the delicate chip and chase to score his try was sublime, he’s so much better when he runs on to the inside pass at pace and skittles the opposition in all directions.
I hope he builds on it.
We have a week off then a big test against Saints, if we play like we did against the Tigers it’s going to be a classic.
A vintage display for a vintage old school ground. There’s something strangely satisfying about walking back in time to watch rugby at Wheldon Road.
In these still strange times, a regression to the basics is just what Leeds needed.
Leeds were good, Cas were terrible and this sort of performance will breed some much-needed confidence into the team.
The attacking performance was much more fluid with Luke Gale and Richie Myler pulling the strings.
Defensively we didn’t need to do much but when we did, Matt Prior was there to steal the ball.
I don’t like the rule but Prior is like the Artful Dodger when it comes to stealing the ball.
We now have two weeks to prepare for St Helens and I think we will need it.
The win will give the team a spring in its step but let’s be under no illusions, tougher tests are just around the corner.
Rob Lui will hopefully be back to add more attacking threat. A big win like that gives us a sense of optimism with the play-offs still alive.
Let’s hope we can kick on.
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