For the second season in a row, Leeds have started the season with five defeats in six games, but this time it feels a lot worse.
That’s perhaps due to the fact Leeds were hit by a massive injury crisis at this stage last season. The likes of Luke Gale, Rob Lui, Jack Walker, Richie Myler and Ash Handley all had lengthy spells on the sidelines at the start of 2021 but for most of 2022 Leeds have had a mostly strong squad with both first choice halfbacks still available in Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer.
Of course, there is a natural urge to compare 2021 and 2022 especially for optimistic Leeds fans. After a poor start last season, the Rhinos went on to finish fifth and play in the Super League semi-final.
However, Head Coach Richard Agar has dismissed this noting the “concerning and worrying” start Leeds have had to the season.
“The way we’ve fallen apart there tonight is concerning and worrying,” Agar said after the game, “We’ve had a couple of no shows against Wigan and Hull which are really concerning.
“I think we’ve proven we can’t cope with some of the better players we’ve got out of the team as well as we thought we would be able to. I felt at the start of the year we had a squad capable of coping a lot better than this.
“We had exactly the same record at this point last season and we ended up in the penultimate game of the year.
“When I look back to that we had a lot of disruption in our line-up, makeshift halfbacks every weeks but we were competing a lot better for long periods.
“Right now we’re competing for periods and then not competing. It’s one where we’ve got to give a lot of thought to where we are at this moment in time.”