As the Super League season draws closer, we look at how Leeds Rhinos will fare in 2018.
The Rhinos are coming off a disappointing 2018 season, marred by injuries, which saw them play in the middle 8’s. This was far below expectations coming into the season. Leeds will be looking to bounce back and a top four finish is not out of reach.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Konrad Hurrell (Gold Coast Titans), James Donaldson (Released), Tui Lolohea (Wests Tigers), Trent Merrin (Penrith Panthers), Dom Crosby (Warrington Wolves), Callum McLelland (Rugby Union)
Ryan Hall (Sydney Roosters), Joel Moon (Retirement), Jimmy Keinhorst (Hull Kingston Rovers), Brett Delaney (Featherstone Rovers), Mitch Garbutt (Hull Kingston Rovers)
Warrington Wolves (A), Wigan Warriors (A), Salford Red Devils (A), St Helens (A), Wakefield Trinity (H)
WHAT TO EXPECT
Rhinos fans go into the 2019 cautiously optimistic. New head coach David Furner has made some impressive signings and the first few games will shape just how far this team is expected to go. The club will be looking to forget their dismal 2018 season and a few wins early on in the season will go a long way in regaining the fans’ full support. The Rhinos face Warrington and Wigan in the first two games of the season which will provide the perfect test for this side.
Richie Myler will be hoping that he can recapture his from from last season, where he was a rare bright spot in an otherwise under-performing Rhinos team. Now with much of his supporting cast returning from injuries, most notably captain Kallum Watkins, who suffered an ACL injury in May.
New signing Trent Merrin was seen as something of a coup when Leeds secured his services for the 2019 season. However Merrin will know he cannot rely on his reputation and a good early season showing will quickly make him a crowd favourite at Headingley. His metre making is something the Rhinos desperately needed from their forwards last season. Half back Tui Lolohea is also expected to add some creativity to the Rhinos’ game, which was also missing last season following the departure of Danny McGuire.
Leeds’ opening four fixtures are all away, with the first two at last Year’s grand finalists Warrington Wolves and WIgan Warriors. During this stretch they will also face a trip to St Helens. This will be a huge test for a Rhinos team that have not had much match experience playing together. The Rhinos will however be favoured for their Magic Weekend fixture against newly promoted London Broncos on the 26th of May.
Top Tryscorer – Ash Handley
Top Pointscorer – Kallum Watkins
Club Player of the Year – Kallum Watkins
WHERE WILL LEEDS RHINOS FINISH?
Matt P to insert interactive poll