YEP Jury reveal their favourite ‘second team’ behind Leeds Rhinos
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Who is your favourite team behind the Leeds Rhinos?
What a difficult question. I’m not sure I have a second team. I have teams I don’t like and enjoy seeing lose but not many I would actively cheer for when Leeds aren’t playing.
If I was pushed to watch one team it would probably be St Helens. My old school mate was a big Saints fan, for some strange reason, and we would go watch them just as much as Leeds back in the early 90’s.
They had a great side back then with the likes of Kevin Ward, Paul Loughlin, Shane Cooper, Alan Hunte and Phil Veivers. They played some great attacking rugby and still do. We have had some great battles with them in the Super League era, luckily coming out on top on many occasions, especially in Grand Finals.
They have never really had a large dip in form for the last 30 years and are always in with a shout of silverware, which is an amazing achievement.
They have a similar club philosophy to Leeds and promote youth whenever possible and sprinkle it with world class overseas talent.
When the results come out at a weekend I will always look for the York City Knights’.
They are the team most local to me and the one I hear most about on my local radio station, BBC Radio York.
The Knights are led by one of the best young coaches in the country, James Ford. Prior to last season they have seesawed between League One and the Championship.
Last year however was different and after winning promotion to the Championship in 2018, York were in the title race in 2019 and ended the season in third place.
York play entertaining, attacking rugby and they have a good following.
The team is made up of ex-Super League players and young players coming through the ranks.
This season should see the Knights move to a new stadium on the outskirts of York. They have shared Bootham Crescent with York City FC since 2016.
World Cup matches are due to take place at the LNER Stadium next year and the Knights will be hoping that this will boost their crowds.
My favourite other team after the Rhinos is London Broncos (including all of their previous guises).
My reasons for this are, I admire their coach Danny Ward and it used to be a good weekend away!
Despite all of their well-documented trials and tribulations they have survived where lesser clubs would have folded. I have enjoyed many brilliant trips, sometimes not because of the game, seeing places in London off the beaten track and meeting some very knowledgeable rugby league people.
No matter where they have made their home, they have always gone the extra mile to make travelling fans welcome.
We have had some memorable games against them (Wembley 1999) and not so memorable (Hive Stadium 2014).
My favourite overseas team are Sydney Roosters. I got my interest in them when my favourite Leeds player, Adrian Morley, went to play for them in 2001.
They are a tough, uncompromising team and have their ups and downs, mainly due I think to the Aussie salary cap. Which proves that if the player pool is big enough, the cap works.
So this week we’ve been tasked with choosing our second favourite team after Leeds Rhinos.
To put it simply, I don’t have a second favourite team!
I am Leeds through and through, always have been and always will be.
I like to focus on my own team and to hell with any other teams.
Yes, I always appreciate good rugby being played by other clubs and I’ll applaud it when I see another team create a try on the back of some fantastic teamwork and also when a team has stopped their opponents scoring a try by being ruthless and strong in defence.
Following Leeds these last couple of years has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride which has resulted in us seeing Leeds put in more poor displays than good ones, so I’ve certainly had enough on my plate watching Leeds without having to endure what another team is doing.
And that’s not just me being blinkered as I explained earlier on in this piece.
Let’s hope we have a brighter future Leeds!
Another week closer to Super League returning and this week we’ve been asked to write about other teams, apart from Leeds Rhinos, that we like, respect, or just have as a second team.
I have broken mine into two categories, teams I have a respect for and then my other team. I have to say I do have a grudging respect for the likes of Wigan and Saints.
Wigan have a great history, like Leeds.
Way before Super League was a twinkle in the RFL’s eye, in the 1980s/90s, they were pretty unbeatable and Saints have been one of the best teams in the Super League era too, even though we beat them in Grand Finals most of the time! I don’t have a second team in our league, as I just could not bring myself to do it, but I do have one in the NRL and my team is the Brisbane Broncos.
Over the years we have had a few players join us from them and like us they have one hell of a stadium and a great history in our amazing game.
Now I am off to disinfect myself for saying nice things about the Pies!
This week we’ve been asked to write about our second favourite team after Leeds Rhinos.
I enjoy watching any game that’s on Sky, but Hull Kingston Rovers are usually the team that appeals to me most. Particularly, I enjoy the Hull derby, probably more than the majority of games.
Hull KR have a lot of ex-Leeds players in their squad and have done for quite some time.
Their fans are friendly and you can have a good laugh with them when mingling in the pubs or walking to or from the ground.
With this I’ve also thought about my favourite NRL team and I’ve gone for Canberra Raiders.
They have quite a lot of English players in their ranks who are playing consistently well at the moment.
I’ve enjoyed seeing John Bateman become a magnificent player and possibly one of the best in the world and with that I’m excited to see how another ex-Wigan Warriors’ player George Williams goes in that team.
So far, he’s been playing very well.
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