YEP Jury: Why a feeling of déjà vu is frustrating Leeds Rhinos fans

Sometimes, just sometimes, one gets a sense of déjà vu – some experience so similar but not quite tangible enough to ‘put one’s finger on it’.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 8:30 am
Zane Tetevano is expected to make a big impact on his return for Leeds Rhinos against Salford Red Devils. Picture: Steve Riding.

Frustrating? Maybe. Frustrating for Leeds Rhinos fans? Most definitely, as recent matches appear more akin to the movie Groundhog Day than real-life events.

And our YEP fans’ jury is certainly not immune to the déjà vu malaise. Here’s what they have to say on the issure ahead of Rhinos’ Super League encouner with Salford Red Devils:

Katie Burrows

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Huddersfield Giants half-back Aiden Sezer could be the missing piece of the jigsaw when he joins Leeds Rhinos next season. Picture: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia.

There was certainly a feeling of déjà vu last Friday – once again we had a really strong start and a decent lead at half-time, only to come out in the second half and concede four tries in 15 minutes.

It was disappointing to lose both matches to Catalans in a similar fashion but, to be as close as we were against the team, is a step in the right direction.

This week’s big announcement was the signing of Aidan Sezer on a two-year deal. This is exactly the signing we needed, and I’m looking forward to seeing Sezer partner with Luke Gale in the halves.

I’ve seen talk about his age – whether we needed someone younger – but, when you compare Sezer to James Maloney at Catalans (35) and see how pivotal he is there, I don’t think age is a concern.

Leeds Rhinos captain and scrum-half Luke Gale will finally have a recognised 'six' to work with when Aidan Sezer joins from Huddersfield Giants next season. Picture: Ed Sykes/

We face Salford back at Headingley tomorrow and I’m sure the atmosphere will be fantastic. If we can build on our first-half performances from the past two weeks and cut out the silly errors and poor discipline, we should manage a comfortable win.

Gavin Miller

It was Groundhog Day for Leeds away at Catalans last week.

Just seven days after a good first-half showing followed by a second-half capitulation, Leeds had a good first half followed by a second-half capitulation.

It was, as I’ve said, Groundhog Day for Leeds Rhinos away at Catalans last week

I am, however, more optimistic about this Friday’s game against Salford.

Currently laying in beautiful sunshine on the south coast of England, I am making my way home to Yorkshire on Friday expecting to see a strong Leeds performance and two competition points.

My optimism is based on Salford Red Devils not being particularly good but also on the basis of more returning Leeds players.

Zane Tetevano has been a huge miss for Leeds and I am expecting his inclusion in the team to reap the rewards.

That experience and class is perhaps just what Leeds have missed in the last couple of weeks. Putting themselves into winning positions but not being able to hold on. Two points please Leeds.

Ian Sharp

Getting struck by lightning twice is a one in nine million chance and yet we managed to do it in a week, which must be a world record.

I’m not sure what excuses will be rolled out this week as to the rubbish second-half performance.

Over both weeks, we have been the best part of 20 points up with 40 minutes to play – and then pressed the self-destruct button.

It’s not good enough, to have any chance of getting in to the top-six – never mind the top-four.

These games, with such an advantage at half-time, should be put to bed. No ifs, no buts, no excuses.

Yet again certain players are not pulling their weight, and some can’t catch or defend.

The sooner we cull some of this expensive wood the better, and get a proper ‘six’ in place.

Unless we get another u-turn this week we should see a pretty full HQ on Friday night, against a struggling yet tenacious Salford side.

I am sure if we perform like we can, it will be bouncing. Don’t turn up in the second half, and we will let you know.

Christine Kidd

Watching Rhinos against Catalans on Friday night was a bit like déjà vu.

Leeds scoring 18 points in the first half, defending well and being in front on the scoreboard even though Catalans had done most of the attacking. Then a very different second half with Catalans getting reward for all the attacking they had been doing and keeping the Rhinos scoreless.

I’m not sure what lessons Leeds can learn from this and maybe it might be better just to move on to the next game on Friday against Salford Red Devils. The good news for the Rhinos is that a number of players will be back and available for selection after suspension and isolation. Handley, Martin, Tetevano, Oledzki and Vuniyayawa will be welcome additions to the 21-man squad. It will be great to see proper crowds back at Emerald Headingley after all this time and a good win should be on the cards.

Good news for next season with the signing of Aidan Sezer to partner Luke Gale in the halves. This could make 2022 a very exciting season with a great combination of youth and experience.

Matt Fowler

I could probably just copy and paste last week’s report such were the similarities in performance. Great first half, poor second half.

Errors and ill discipline have haunted this team for several seasons and, until we can get on top of that, we will continue to struggle. There are signs we are getting better, going for long periods in games where we are competitive and looking the better team against all opposition, but we need to improve even further.

Our forward pack is looking very promising, even with Zane Tetevano and Mikołaj Olędzki missing last week we were still able to get on top of a very good Catalans team for large stages of the game. The signing of Aiden Sezer could well be the missing piece of the jigsaw for next season. No disrespect to Rob Lui but Sezer is a step up in class and, hopefully, he strikes up a formidable partnership with Luke Gale behind a young formidable pack.

This week it’s back to Headingley in front of what will be the first large, unrestricted crowd we have had in 16 months. Let’s hope it kick-starts our push for the play-offs.

Adam Anderson

It was like a carbon copy of the first game versus Catalans Dragons, absolutely superb first half and then capitulation in the second half.

It was like the lads didn’t come out of the sheds at all and it was such a disappointment to watch.

This week, we play Salford which will be tough again as they are starting to get some wins under their belt and helping themselves in their fight for survival.

We need to be on top from the get-go, it’ll be great to have Handley, Vuniyayawa and Tetevano back on the pitch.

I am hopeful we can get ‘back on the horse’ with the two Super League points up for grabs and then push on into the play-off spots.

It will be great to see stand-off Aidan Sezer in a Leeds Rhinos shirt next season.

We know what he’s capable of on the field and he will work very well with scrum-half Luke Gale, and Richie Myler.

Congratulations, by the way, to St Helens who won the Challenge Cup last weekend in what was a superb game.

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