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“Just a stopgap”: Sky Sports pundits react to Leeds Rhinos signing Brad Arthur

Leeds Rhinos Wilkin, Tomkins, Brad Arthur

Leeds Rhinos narrowly avoided a devastating defeat to London Broncos today, which may keep their fight for a Super League playoff spot alive.

They were taken to golden point extra-time, where Brodie Croft scored the winning kick. However, fans were furious with the performance, and the side were certainly lucky that they were up against a side that made so many mistakes: particularly late on.

It was remeniscent of the defeat to Hull FC that was, ultimately, former-head coach Rohan Smith’s final game in charge at Headingley.

Today was another poor home performance against a side that lost their last two games by a combined 82 points, and that lost 46-8 just two months ago against the Rhinos under Smith.

This means the news that Brad Arthur is set to join the club as head coach until the end of the season could have come with perfect timing, as the Sky pundits noted in the pre-game buildup for Catalans Dragons v Hull KR.

“Just a stopgap”: Sky Sports pundits react to Leeds Rhinos signing Brad Arthur

Leeds Rhinos celebrate

Credit: Imago Images

Almost immediately after the game had concluded, the team – consisting of Brian Carney, Jon Wilkin and Sam Tomkins – discussed the news.

Sam Tomkins said: “Yeah, I think they clearly need somebody to come in. I’m sure he’ll have a few issues after watching today’s performance.

“There’s not much time left for Leeds to turn the form up so someone coming in as soon as possible I think that had to be a priority.”

Jon Wilkin was of the same thinking, and he added:  “The problem is, if you sack your coach midway through the season… coaches’ contracts don’t end until November, so you’re already in a market of people who are looking for work and there’s not that many.

“I know we talk about the same names. It’s Demetriou (former head coach of South Sydney Rabbitohs), it’s Brad Arthur, it’s all of these names that get reeled around.

“It’s a problem that Leeds would have foreseen, so Brad Arthur might well just be a stopgap until they get that man in charge for next year.”

That man could turn out to be Paul Rowley, if the rumours are to be believed, but as he’s contracted through 2025 with Salford Red Devils, they’ll have to be the victors in a fight if they’re to snap him up.

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