Leeds defence was just not up to scratch against Catalans and they really need to sort that out for Friday night.
I am not sure what is going on but they just don't seem to be able to coordinate in defence and in attack they are just not consistent enough. They had a good spark for about ten minutes but after that they went off the boil and it was all Catalans.
This is a must win for them and they have got to perform. They are in 8th position, and we are not used to seeing this Leeds side so far down the table.
This is a side that has won the Grand Final on three occasions in the past four years. They still have that same team but I am beginning to wonder if they have that same team spirit. It does not seem to be coming out in there play and they seem to be getting a little frustrated and are trying far too much.
He is not the sort of player who looks at putting players through the gap; he has made his fortune on taking on the opposition, showing his side step and his power.
Quotes of the week
They need to go back to basics and concentrate on doing the simple things very well - make sure their defence is solid and then work hard at it.
I believe a few of their top players are still carrying injuries and you cannot afford to do that in super League.
I am expecting big performances from some of their big names. Against Catalans I thought Danny McGuire had his worse game for some time - perhaps he is one of those with an injury.
We know the quality of McGuire, he is a tremendous stand-off who loves to take on the defence. However last weekend he was taking the ball at first receiver which is just not his style at all. He is not the sort of player who looks at putting players through the gap; he has made his fortune on taking on the opposition, showing his side step and his power. He has to do that against Hull or they could miss out on the play-offs and that would be a huge shock.
For Hull, well I think their forwards have begun to gel and young Tom Briscoe has been really influential. He is only 21 years of age but he really is an inspirational player for them. He was their leading try scorer last year and this year he already has 16 tries to his name.
He has this knack of knowing exactly where he should be and the ability to go round players with a step - he is difficult to put down and if he finds some space then Leeds could pay dearly.
It amazes me that Leeds who have so many great players who have gelled before are just not clicking this season. Maybe they can do it on Friday night - they'll have to or they will be out of the play-offs.
Danny McGuire: Leeds will want him to be at the centre of everything against Hull. They will need him to control the game and not playing at first receiver like he did against Catalans.
The black and whites know that Leeds are in a bit of a wobble so the opening twenty minutes is going to be very, very tough. If Hull can get on top of Leeds in that opening salvo then Briscoe has the ability to add to his try scoring tally.
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John Baptiste says...
Couldn't agree more that we need to go back to basics. I disagree that it's team spirit I feel that the instrumental members of the squad are simply past their prime and aren't playing at the same level that they were when we won grand finals for fun. The defence this season has been uncharacteristically poor and inconsistency is the problem. Against Hull KR just over a month ago we were fantastic in terrible conditions and I thought the tide had turned; how I was wrong. The team seems to lack leadership and tactics under McDermott, although I strongly believe that a transitional period is needed to bring in new blood at the club.
Posted 09:55 15th July 2011
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