Against all the odds, Leeds came up with a gutsy and dramatic win over Hull FC yesterday to inch closer to the play-offs in one of the greatest Magic Weekend games ever.
Plenty of Leeds’ senior players were key of course. Kruise Leeming was the match winner, Brad Dwyer caused Hull endless problems and Richie Myler was superb playing a mix of fullback and scrum-half.
However, it was the Rhinos youngsters who really caught the eye and in the years to come we might look back at how significant this night was in their development.
The reigning Young Player of the Year Harry Newman came up with a stunning try and an even more impressive assist in a man of the match performance. Meanwhile, Jack Broadbent showed experience beyond his years in the pivots and poached a superb score.
But one of Leeds’ unsung heroes on the night was 17-year-old Morgan Gannon. The second-row has had an outstanding season even establishing himself as the first choice left sided backrow in Alex Mellor’s absence. He’s even trusted to do 80 minutes and did so again last night as he produced a third brilliant performance on the bounce after claiming the man of the match against Huddersfield before starring in the win at Wigan. He was rested against Wakefield and Leeds curiously slipped up but he was back against Hull FC and at times dominated his much older opponents.
Since debuting against St Helens in the Challenge Cup, he’s earned rave reviews in and out of the Rhinos’ camp. Some fans have likened him to Adrian Morley in the early days of his Leeds career whilst Richard Agar has continuously stated that he trusts the youngster despite his age.
Last night, however, he earned the highest praise from a Leeds legend.
Brett Delaney impressed at Headingley during his nine season stint with the West Yorkshire club winning three Grand Finals and two Challenge Cups.
Although signed as a centre to replace Lee Smith in 2010, he soon settled into life as one of the league’s best backrowers meaning he is in the perfect spot to praise Gannon’s recent performances.
After Leeds’ win yesterday, he immediately took to Twitter to say this about the Rhinos’ latest starlet: “Massive effort once again by Morgan Gannon as a 17 year old lad to play 80mins I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him at Leeds Rhinos. A very special talent and a great lad to coach so definitely one to watch for the future well done again.”
Massive effort once again by ganno @MorganGannon13 as a 17 year old lad to play 80mins I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him at @leedsrhinos a very special talent an great lad to coach so definitely one to watch for the future well done again bra. 💯🤙🏽
— BRETT DELANEY (@brettdelaney15) September 4, 2021
I, like Delaney, look forward to what Gannon does in the future not just in the next few years but in the next few weeks as he helps Leeds in their play-off push.