Wakefield 22-28 Leeds: Player ratings and three major talking points

Wakefield and Leeds met in today’s first game and dished up a scintillating West Yorkshire derby. Leeds started the better taking a quick 4-0 advantage but exhilarating attack from Wakefield saw them head 16-4 in front. Leeds battled back to take the halftime lead and did enough in the second half to hold onto the win.

1. Johnstone’s one of the most exciting players in the league

Johnstone was rightly crowned man of the match after a sublime brace of tries. The first was particularly special as he jinked around Tom Briscoe and went the length. In the second half he gave Wakefield a real chance of winning going 80 metres having claimed a Luke Gale kick. He caused Leeds endless problems with his pace and strength. If he stays fit he’ll be one of the best players to watch in the competition and will be in the running for the England squad.

2. Leeds miss their outside backs

Leeds were missing four of their first five squad numbers today and it showed. Young centres Alex Sutcliffe and Jack Broadbent impressed with a try each and Broadbent made a special break in the first half. However, they simply couldn’t cope with Wakefield on the break as Johnstone and co got on their outside. Had Harry Newman and Ash Handley featured they might have been more difficult to break down and also been more clinical in attack.

3. One-on-one strips the order of the day

For so long one-on-one strips have been a rarity but adoption of the NRL rules saw two in one half for Leeds and three in total from the Rhinos. They were incredibly smart with how they did it with players dropping off the tackle allowing one man to steal the ball as the rules now allow. It continually helped Leeds get out of trouble and gain momentum.

Wakefield Trinity

21. Alex Walker – 6

18. Innes Senior – 6

4. Reece Lyne – 6

3. Bill Tupou – 8

2. Tom Johnstone – 9

6. Jacob Miller – 8

7. Mason Lino – 7

8. David Fifita – 8

19. Jordan Crowther – 6

10. Tinirau Arona – 6

11. Matty Ashurst – 8

12. Kelepi Tanginoa – 6

13. Joe Westerman – 7

Substitutions

23. Josh Wood – 6

17. Chris Green – 7

22. Adam Tangata – 6

16. James Batchelor – 6

Leeds Rhinos

16. Richie Myler – 8

2. Tom Briscoe – 6

27. Jack Broadbent – 8

21. Alex Sutcliffe – 7

24. Luke Briscoe – 6

15. Liam Sutcliffe – 6

7. Luke Gale – 8

8. Mikolaj Oledzki – 6

9. Kruise Leeming – 7

10. Matt Prior – 7

11. Alex Mellor – 7

12. Rhyse Martin – 6

13. Zane Tetevano – 7

Substitutions

14. Brad Dwyer – 8

17. Cameron Smith – 6

20. Bodene Thompson – 7

25. James Donaldson – 7

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