Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ disappointing 26-24 home defeat to Hull FC.
To lose by two points is never a great feeling, especially when the stakes are so high.
With six games to go, it really does feel like the relegation battle will go right down to the wire and points difference is potentially going to play a part in that.
I know we need to focus on ourselves, on our own performances and results, and forget about what everyone else is doing, but when it’s this close, that’s quite a difficult thing to do.
London’s second win over St Helens will have given them a real boost – take away the four points they’ve gained against the league leaders and they’d be all but relegated.
Whilst we played better than we did against Hull KR, it is the same issues that prevented us from coming away with a win. We have been our own worst enemy at times this season, and our errors and poor discipline have contributed massively to our league position.
On a more positive note, I was impressed with Rhyse Martin this week – he seems to be fitting in well and his kicking ability is very encouraging.
After beating Castleford, I suggested that if we beat Hull KR, we could think about looking up rather than down.
Unfortunately, two defeats on the spin and London beating Saints, and we are right back in the dogfight at the bottom of the table.
Let’s be honest, we should have beaten Hull FC on Sunday.
We were leading with seven minutes left, but yet again, we were unable to manage the match correctly and we conceded late on.
We can’t really look for any sympathy, yet again we started both halves poorly and in the end that was the game.
We can moan about the referee as much as we like but conceding penalties has been an issue all year.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, there is little room now for many more defeats. I would say that out of our final six, we need to win at least three of them as a minimum and one of these has to be against Huddersfield next time out.
Huddersfield are definitely not safe and have improved over the last few weeks. It’s a massive, massive game.
Another poor start to the Hull FC game ultimately cost us a precious two points.
I think we only completed one out of the first four sets we had and didn’t get out of our own half.
We were then behind on the scoreboard and I feel we were lucky to only be 12-6 down at half-time.
They fought back well in the second half and went ahead. But a costly mistake from the kick off meant the lead was shortlived.
There was still time left in the game to try win it but I didn’t feel we looked like doing it.
Hull didn’t do anything spectacular and looked there for the taking with more composure and a bit more structure in attack.
Too often we had the ball in their 20-metre zone and did little or nothing with it.
Some players stood out and Rhyse Martin had his best game since he joined.
The least said about the referee the better. He looked hopelessly out of his depth and appeared to make up penalties when he’d no idea what had happened.
It was disappointing to see us lose the game after working hard to get back into the lead in the second half.
I did think Hull were the better team over the course of the game.
The big positive was that we showed a lot of fight in the second half, normally when that has happened recently we have crumbled.
Playing Shaun Lunt at the start I thought was a good idea however he was undercooked and when Brad Dwyer came on he gave us the spark we needed.
Fair play to Ash Handley for going for the intercept and it came off for him.
Rhyse Martin’s goalkicking was superb, however that was matched by Hull’s Marc Sneyd.
The atmosphere in the second half was the best I have seen since the new South Stand was opened.
We need more of that!
Finally, I would like to wish the women’s team the best of luck in their Challenge Cup final against Castleford at Bolton. They will need to be a lot better than they were last Sunday against Saints.
To be honest, I can’t wait for this season to be over – providing we survive, that is.
Another agonisingly close loss heightens the frustrations of 2019 for Leeds and missed opportunities have characterised the last two games. We just cannot break away from trouble can we? This relegation battle continues to be prolonged.
The most frustrating thing is that when we perform, we clearly aren’t far away – this is evident from the tight results going against us, particularly against Hull FC (one of the competition’s front runners). We just have to keep fighting, hopefully retain our Super League status and then write off this season. However, I thought the same last season but the frustration has continued. Quite simply – we have lost way too many games by four points or less in 2018 and 2019.
Let’s hope we bounce back from a free weekend the way that we did from the last one in a big fixture at Huddersfield, who will be feeling confident after winning at Hull KR.
It will be interesting to see if Saints decide to rest players when they come to Headingley the week before Wembley (providing they beat Halifax that is).
We may look back on last week’s game at the end of the season and wish that maybe the team could have held on for the win.
The game was there for the taking. We had set ourselves up with seven minutes left and a four-point advantage, however there was maybe a miscommunication that led to the worst possible restart.
I said as Marc Sneyd was about to kick off that we should have switched the injured Jack Walker with Ash Handley who had been catching the kick-offs all the time.
Alas, Walker could not reach the ball in time and we gave Hull the boost they needed when Nathaniel Peteru dropped the restart.
Gareth Ellis had been substituted and for the whole game we kept a lid on Jake Connor.
There was a great opportunity for us to go on and win the game if that simple switch had occurred.
If I would have just looked at the final score then I would have said that we were unlucky not to snatch two points.
However I do think these were two very valuable points that we threw away.