Phil Clarke identifies why Leeds Rhinos’ attack hasn’t clicked in 2022

It’s no secret that Leeds Rhinos have flattered to deceive so far in 2022.

Tipped to be one of the front runners going into the season after the recruitment of four major signings on the back of a semi-final appearance last year, Leeds have won just one game in the opening five ahead of tonight’s game against Salford Red Devils.

One of their major problems has been their inability to score points poaching just eight last week in defeat to Hull FC. In total, they have the second worst attack with less points scored than bottom club Toulouse Olympique.

This is a bit surprising given Leeds brought in Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin to boost their attack. So, it has to be asked, what is going wrong for Leeds in attack?

Phil Clarke said on Sky Sports that it’s down to the absence of two key players. The former Wigan man echoed Salford coach Paul Rowley’s belief that Richie Myler’s injury has adversely affected Leeds’ attack. Myler was involved in over 20 tries last year notching over 15 assists in 2021. The 2020 Lance Todd Winner was keeping Jack Walker out of the side at the end of that campaign and Walker is still acclimatising to being back in the fold after a year out injured.

Clarke also believes that Harry Newman’s absence has been a big blow saying: “They’ve missed Harry Newman. With speed and power, he’d have scored some points.”

He’s right, in the one game Newman played he scored and assisted before going off injured against Wakefield.

He was also critical of Blake Austin stating that “he’s deteriorated” identifying that his try per game record has halved since his outstanding season in 2019 for Warrington Wolves when he came to close to winning the Man of Steel. Interestingly though, Austin has scored twice already for Leeds this season scoring on debut against Wigan and against Catalans.

Moreover, Clarke believed Leeds pack hasn’t been good enough calling on a stat last week that showed the Rhinos making half the metres Hull made when comparing their opening sets.

So there’s plenty for Richard Agar to fix in tonight’s game.

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