Wakefield Trinity tore through the under-performing Leeds Rhinos on Friday night. Here’s what happened.
Trinity claimed their second consecutive win over a Leeds team, whose progress came to a screeching halt.
Ash Handley opened the scoring with a speedy breakaway. However, a quick hat-trick from winger Tom Johnstone soon changed the tone of the night. Handley would get another try but by that point, the game was beyond all doubt. Tom Briscoe also crossed for two tries.
Further Wakefield tries from Kyle Wood, Jacob Miller and Danny Brough capped off a splendid performance from Trinity, with Brough nailing a drop goal against a club he always seems to save his best performances for.
The Leeds fans, finally back in the South Stand following a long rebuilding job, were left disappointed by a seemingly heartless and apathetic display from the Rhinos.
Club captain Kallum Watkins, who last season suffered a devastating knee injury, struggled to contain his opposite number Bill Tupou, who ran through Watkins almost at will.
Amongst the Rhinos mistakes and frustration, prop Trent Merrin was sin-binned for dissent with less than ten minutes to go.
With one of the final plays of the game, Tui Lolohea chased down his own kick and tackled Miller as he kicked the ball dead; this led to a melee behind the posts and this further evidenced the sheer frustration Leeds had.
It is clear David Furner has much work to do to keep this Leeds side competitive whilest Chris Chester’s side seem to be moving in the right direction, and towards another successful season.
Johnstone the real deal
Tom Johnstone continues to cement his reputation as the best finisher in Super League. Of his three tries, the acrobat leapt and put down the ball before his body fell into touch was the most impressive. Johnstone is making a strong case as Super League’s overall best winger.
Leeds have a lot of work to do
David Furner will be left scratching his head at what has happened to some of the Rhinos best players. In particular, the performances of Kallum Watkins and Richie Myler looked to be shadows of their former selves.
Leeds’ kryptonite, Danny Brough
For the past few seasons, Danny Brough seemingly raises his game when playing the Rhinos. During his time at Huddersfield, he took charge of some huge games against the Rhinos and almost always emerged victorious. This trend seems to have continued since making the move back to Wakefield. He looked truly in control against the Rhinos.
Leeds youngsters deserve a go
Leeds have started the season with one win from five games and many fans are calling on David Furner to make drastic changes to his side. Young players Callum McLelland, Harry Newman and Tom Holroyd may all be given some minutes in the next few games as David Furner attempts to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Leeds Rhinos 18
Tries: Handley (2), Briscoe (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Wakefield Trinity 35
Tries: Johnstone (3), Wood, Miller, Brough
Goals: Brough (5)
Drop Goals: Brough
Leeds Rhinos: Lolohea, Briscoe, Watkins, Hurrell, Handley, Smith, Myler, Peteru, Dwyer, Merrin, Ferres, Sutcliffe, Cuthbertson.
Interchanges: Parcell, Donaldson, Singleton, Oledzki.
Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Brough, Fifita, Wood, King, Batchelor, Ashurst, Arona
Interchanges: Horo, Pauli, Kopczak, Hirst.