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“Vitriolic” – Clear ‘distance’ between Leeds Rhinos players and supporters , says Sky Sports pundits

Leeds Rhinos dejected

A frustrating Super League season for the Leeds Rhinos saw them sink to a new low, as they slipped to an unexpected defeat against Hull FC at the MKM Stadium. After a tight first half, three tries in 10 minutes either side of half-time saw FC race into an unassailable lead.

Despite tries from Ash Handley and Harry Newman, Leeds were never able to build any sustained pressure on the Hull line, thanks in no small part to a series of unforced errors when the Rhinos had possession.

There was audible discontent in the stands from the Rhinos faithful at full-time, and that discontent spilled onto social media after the game, with scores of fans voicing their frustration at the club’s current direction of travel.

Speaking after the game, one of Sky’s pundits expressed his concern that the vitriol in the crowd could be what forced the Rhinos into a decision to change head coach, with Rohan Smith facing more an more questions about his position.

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Wilkins believes Leeds Rhinos fans could soon turn vitriolic

Leeds Rhinos Jon Wilkin

Credit: Imago Images

“You know who gets you sacked and Tony knows this more than anybody, are the people who pay the money to come and watch. So you can get together in the changing room, I understand that, and you can, as a team you can be galvanised.

“I’ve been in, I’ve been at Langtree Park or whatever the stadium is called now the St. Helens home ground the Totally Wicked Stadium. I’ve been there and the atmosphere has been so vitriolic and so negative and it quickly goes south.

“I’ve been at Headingley enough this year to sense it’s there.” Wilkin said.

Wilkin believes that Leeds’ league position is an accurate reflection of the current quality of their squad. Before the season, he predicted they would finish between fifth and eighth and, with the Rhinos currently in seventh place, they are performing in line with expectations.

“But what I’m trying to say is that they do have high standards and high expectations and there’s a distance between the shirt which is the Leeds Rhinos shirt and the people in it and I don’t think the people in it are good enough to to get in the playoffs and win the playoffs.

“I don’t think they’re a champion team they are fourth I said at the start of the season, Brian said fifth is good for them, eighth spot is bad for them. And yet they’re not far off that now.”

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