HomeLatest newsLeeds Rhinos talking points: Professional job, destined to be understrength, all eyes...

Leeds Rhinos talking points: Professional job, destined to be understrength, all eyes on Hull KR

Leeds Rhinos got back on track in Super League with a 38-16 victory over Salford Red Devils at Headingley.

The Rhinos desperately needed the win after back-to-back defeats to Catalans Dragons and they got it in some style.

Here, Leeds Live takes a look at the major talking points.

Professional job

Salford went into the match on the back of successive wins over Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity but these are the kind of games teams with play-off aspirations must win with the minimum of fuss.

The Rhinos took a firm grip on the contest in the early stages and went into half-time with a 20-0 lead.

Not for the first time this season, Salford lost their heads and Leeds took advantage without getting drawn into the niggly stuff that marred the fixture at the AJ Bell Stadium last month.

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Balanced threat

It hasn’t taken Harry Newman long to prove that he remains one of the most exciting young talents in the English game.

The 21-year-old made his long-awaited return from injury in Perpignan last week and was a bundle of energy in his comeback game at Headingley, scoring an early try in a performance that will leave fans excited about what he could bring during the rest of the season.

With Newman and Ash Handley on one side and Konrad Hurrell and Tom Briscoe on the other with Kruise Leeming and Brad Dwyer scheming in the middle, Leeds are shaping up nicely for the run-in.

Destined to be understrength

The 21-man squad named on Wednesday suggested the Rhinos were edging closer to full strength but once again there were some unexpected absentees.

Luke Gale, Mikolaj Oledzki and Tom Holroyd missed out against Salford despite being named in the initial squad, joining the likes of Zane Tetevano and Rob Lui on the sidelines.

As Leeds enter a hectic final eight weeks of the regular season, Agar’s hopes of fielding his strongest team or close to it are fading.

Leeds Rhinos’ Cameron Smith in action with Salford Red Devils’ Tui Lolohea
(Image: © SWpix.com (t/a Photography Hub Ltd))

Fans make up for lost time

It was the first game at Headingley since the final coronavirus restrictions were lifted and there was a real buzz about the place with more fans getting their first taste of live rugby for almost 18 months.

The home crowd got right behind their team and the Rhinos responded with an energetic performance.

As the saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. That was certainly the case with rugby league as the sport longed for supporters during the behind closed doors era.

All eyes on Hull KR

The defeats to Catalans saw Leeds drift away from the top six but they are right back in the mix after taking their win percentage to 50.

Hull KR are the team in the Rhinos’ sights and they will return to action in Perpignan tonight after taking the game at short notice.

Whether Rovers win or lose, it has the makings of an exciting run-in that ends with Tony Smith’s side travelling to Headingley for what could be a huge final game in the battle for the play-offs.

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