YEP Jury’s verdict on Luke Gale, victory over Salford and the trip to Hull tonight

Our panel of Leeds Rhinos fans give their thoughts on Luke Gale, the victory over Salford Red Devils and the task ahead tonight at Hull FC.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 5:45 am

KATIE BURROWS

It was a good win on Friday against Salford Red Devils and great to see Headingley pumping again.

Luke Gale being dropped for the game – and later stood down as captain – is the big talking point this week.

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Harry Newman celebrates scoring Leeds Rhinos' opening try against Salford. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The club have drawn a line under it, so we as fans need to do the same.

On to this week and Sky TV changing fixtures to suit their schedule not only means I won’t be able to attend the Warrington Wolves game (boo hiss), but that we play three games in a space of eight days. So much for player welfare!

We travel to Hull FC this evening, before we’re back at Headingley on Sunday night to face Warrington; we’ve then got another home game on Friday, August 6 against Castleford.

This is all assuming none of the matches are postponed due to Covid-19, which is looking pretty likely at this point.

Luke Gale is back in contention to face Hull FC. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

From the next three games, I’ll be hoping we come away with two wins from the three, so we can really start to make our push for the play-offs.

GAVIN MILLER

Much better, much better, much better from Leeds last week. A solid all-round performance, 20-0 up at the break and only a couple of long-range efforts and individual tries in the against column and two points nicely secured.

Leeds had to get the win without ‘former’ captain Luke Gale who was dropped for the game against Salford and has subsequently had the captaincy stripped from him for conduct unbecoming of a Leeds captain.

Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar. Picture: Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos/SWpix.com.

Gale has admitted to an argument with Richard Agar and then subsequently walking out and not training, but despite both parties drawing a line under it, it remains to be seen if Gale is still a Leeds player next season.

With indiscipline and age against him as well as a strong link with Warrington half-back Blake Austin, we could see a totally new half-back pairing next year.

Hull away tonight is another different proposition, I have no idea how Hull will perform or what kind of team they will put out, but Leeds are approaching something like a full team so it will be interesting to see how we perform against a team who are better than Salford, but not in the same league as Catalans.

Therefore, I’m predicting a tight game, no blow out score and if Leeds keep their discipline and put together the plays I know they can, a small Leeds victory is on the cards.

ADAM ANDERSON

It was great for the lads to get the win under their belt on Friday night against Salford Red Devils after two losses against Catalans.

Harry Newman is going to get fitter and fitter with every game that passes and I cannot wait to see him in full flow.

It was also good to see Callum McLelland on the field and playing very well at that.

I think that if the club did manage to keep hold of him for the 2022 season, then we could have a real star to pair with Jack Sinfield in the years to come.

The game wasn’t without its controversy though, with the Luke Gale fiasco.

The club has released a statement this week and for me that is the end of the saga. We’ve been through many fiascos over the years and come out of the other side a better team, let’s hope this is another one of them.

Tonight we travel over to Hull FC who are a team that have made a name for themselves this season, but will be without some big key men, so hopefully we can take all our opportunities and bring home the two points.

CHRISTINE KIDD

The big surprise last Friday was the absence of Luke Gale from the Leeds Rhinos teamsheet.

It has since been announced that Gale was dropped and has had the captaincy taken away from him. The club are keeping quiet on exactly what has happened but let’s hope it doesn’t affect the team unity that has been so good recently.

Once again the Rhinos were well in charge at half-time against Salford so everyone was keeping fingers crossed that they didn’t lose it in the second half.

There was no need to worry as Leeds continued to score in the second half to come away with a good win despite having to shuffle the team when Liam Sutcliffe didn’t return to the field after half-time. Kruise Leeming was influential in the middle and Harry Newman got his name on the scoreboard once again.

Next up, Leeds have two games in four days. Hull FC tonight and Warrington on Sunday. Not an easy task for any team but Leeds should have more players back and two wins could be on the cards.

MATT FOWLER

Firstly, it was great to be back inside Headingley with a sizeable crowd through the turnstile. The noise must have lifted the players and it certainly made the game more enjoyable.

The performance was good considering another makeshift half-back pairing was in place and had to change through the game following Liam Sutcliffe’s head knock.

Konrad Hurrell seems to have shaken off his injuries and is playing with some real spite. His defence still has me worried, but he is really worrying the opposition again with his powerful running.

His centre partner Harry Newman is also looking a real threat and our attack in general has lots of points in it.

Another run of games in a short space of time is now upon us and will be crucial for our play-off hopes.

We hopefully have some forwards to come back to help with the workload and who knows what our half-back partnership will be?

Luke Gale appears to have upset someone in camp so let’s hope it can be resolved and we can really start climbing the ladder.

IAN SHARP

As we were Krusie-Ing – pardon the pun – to another 20 point half-time lead, I did wonder, would lightning strike for a third time in as many weeks?

Surely not I thought. Then yet again we dropped off. Salford got into the game, got some points on the board and were looking the better side.

It is quite a worry that this keeps happening after half-time, do we think that we have done enough to win and hold out for 40 minutes?

Surely this can’t be the message that Richard Agar and Sean Long are giving out.

It was a strange teamsheet and sparked off the conspiracy theorists, but I reckon it was to give Luke Gale a rest and see what Callum McLelland could bring with his contract coming up.

I think the kid needs a few seasons at a mid-table club to hone his craft before he gets a spot in our starting line-up.

It’s away to Hull FC tonight, and with two big packs it will be a good test to see where our boys are at.

It’s never easy to go there and win, but I’d expect us to keep the winning run going.

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