After reaching the Grand Final in 2022, optimism was high at Headingley but Leeds Rhinos fans came crashing back down to earth yesterday when they were thumped 42-10 in Super League’s opening game against Warrington Wolves.
The Rhinos trailed 30-0 at halftime but in the second half crossed with tries from debutants Derrell Olpherts and Justin Sangare.
After the game, England captain Sam Tomkins told Sky Sports that Leeds won’t panic and that Rohan Smith has credit in the bank.
He also said he felt Leeds didn’t play that poorly:
“He has a lot of credit in the bank. When you lose a game you lose by making errors or playing really poorly.
“I don’t think Rohan Smith can be as down as the score line suggests. They were down at 30-0 but completed at 83%.
“It wasn’t that they played terribly today, it was that Warrington were that dominant that they couldn’t get in there.”
Meanwhile, Jon Wilkin questioned Leeds’ hunger after they overachieved in 2022:
“If you’re a player, you probably over achieved getting to that Grand Final so you are feeling good about yourself so in pre-season maybe that hunger isn’t there.
“But I’m telling you know the hunger at Warrington to start well, it was so in abundance it never had to be called upon.
“They played like a pack of Wolves.”
Tomkins’ echoed this point claiming they played like Champions:
“They played like a team that had won the Grand Final last year.”