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Sam Tomkins has brutal say on Leeds Rhinos title credentials

Leeds Rhinos Head coach Rohan Smith and Sam Tomkins

Leeds Rhinos came up short against St Helens despite a scintillating start to the game especially from electric fullback Lachie Miller.

So who better than arguably Super League’s greatest ever fullback and Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons legend Sam Tomkins to assess the quality of the Leeds Rhinos number one.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Tomkins said of Miller: “Just for his vision, he’s clearly a space player. He recognises wherever the space is, either side of the rook.

“He can step off both feet, he breaks tackles, he’s strong through his hips, so when someone does get a hand on him, he’s not necessarily getting tackled. His spatial awareness, deception, I think he’s a really good player.

“And the fact that we’ve only seen him in pretty poor weather in the last few months would make you think that later on in the season he’s certainly gonna be a star for this league side.

“I think some players suit teams and sometimes when a player goes to a club and it doesn’t quite work out, it’s not necessarily the player as an individual, it might be that they don’t fit in, well he’s the perfect full-back. If he was on the St Helens side I don’t think we’d see any of that.”

Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan added: “He’s the type of player that sells tickets because that’s what you want to come and see when you come to an athletic game in any sport, anybody can relate to what he’s doing there and it’s just outstanding it might be a little bit, I’m not making comparisons of Brent Webb.

“Well if he’s only gonna get better you can only get more and more excited about what he’s doing because he just does things completely against the grid, completely original, unique and he’s exciting to watch.”

Leeds Rhinos style of play rules them out of title contention

Credit: Imago Images

Despite praising Miller, when pressed on Leeds’ style of play, Sam Tomkins wasn’t sure that brand of rugby can deliver a first Super League title since 2017.

Tomkins said: “I think the style that wins you the comps is what Saints have. The best sides, I believe, are predictable. They’re predictable because you know exactly what they’re going to do. Just stopping it is a different thing. Saints are machine-like, that’s what they’ve been like over the last few years and I think the best teams do that. Leeds play a really attractive style of rugby. It’s high risk at some points and I think they’ve always got a good spell in a game, they’ve always got a good spell.

“Tonight the good spell was the first 40, the second 40 they didn’t have it in them. I think with that high energy, the enthusiasm, the push, the support style of play you can’t do for 80 minutes. Where the other style, contrasting what Saints have got, you can do for 80 minutes you can be robotic and machine like and you know you know over time over a season you’ll get enough results.”

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