Leeds Rhinos 2024 Struggles: Overshadowed by High Expectations

Leeds Rhinos Struggle to Find Form Amid High Expectations

Coming into the 2024 season, expectations were high for the Leeds Rhinos as the club bolstered its roster with high-profile signings. However, the wheels appear to be coming off their campaign following another heavy defeat against reigning champions St Helens.

The Rhinos made a significant double transfer, bringing in Andy Ackers and Brodie Croft from Super League rivals Salford Red Devils. They also welcomed Paul Momirovski from the Sydney Roosters and Matt Frawley from the Canberra Raiders. Yet, despite this major investment, Leeds remain well behind the league’s elite teams.

“Last year’s lopsided loss to the Saints seems to have tipped the balance, with the Leeds faithful voicing their displeasure during the team’s sluggish win over Hull FC in late April. Audible chants against beleaguered head coach Rohan Smith were heard at the Totally Wicked Stadium, as the Rhinos’ season threatens to come off the rails.”

The club must now address several pressing issues if they hope to salvage some pride from the wreckage. Firstly, the “Frawley Question” looms large. The half-back struggled to adapt during a previous spell with Huddersfield and has faced inconsistent performances and fan criticism since joining Leeds. Smith must decide whether Frawley can provide the organizational qualities he was brought in to deliver, or if the highly-rated Jack Sinfield should be given an extended run in the side.

Secondly, the Rhinos’ attitude and intensity on the pitch have come under scrutiny. Sky Sports pundits singled out Harry Newman for a perceived lack of effort in chasing down an opponent, highlighting the gulf in commitment between the two teams. If Leeds are to turn their season around, they must match the intensity shown by sides like St Helens.

Additionally, the Rhinos’ forward pack has lacked the necessary punch to compete with their Super League rivals. While Mikolaj Oledzki continues to impress, the pack as a whole has been lightweight, and the club may need to consider a mid-season signing to bolster their on-field presence.

Finally, the future of head coach Rohan Smith has come under scrutiny, with a vocal section of the Leeds support calling for a change. Leeds CEO Gary Hetherington must decide whether to remain committed to his long-term plan with Smith or make a change to arrest the team’s downward spiral.

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