Leeds Rhinos ‘promised so much and produced very little’ as legend highlights Achilles heel 

Josh McAllister
Adrian Morley, Leeds Rhinos

Legend Adrian Morley ‘can’t see’ Leeds Rhinos finishing the season in the Super League play-offs with the former international forward highlighting the side’s inconsistency issues. 

Rohan Smith’s outfit currently sit outside the top six in eighth position and have been hampered with controversies both on and off the field in 2023.

Starting half-back Blake Austin left the club earlier in August amid failed contract negotiations at Headingley Stadium and joined Castleford Tigers in their fight for Super League survival.

Fellow playmaker Aidan Sezer has somewhat underperformed, having now finalised a return to Australia for 2024 with a one-year deal with NRL strugglers Wests Tigers. The 32-year-old Australian has produced 12 try assists in 19 Super League appearances this year, but is yet to register his first try of the campaign.

Highly-rated forward Sam Walters will join Wigan Warriors next season on a three-year deal, while winger Liam Tindall also rejected a contract extension and looks set to continue his career at a rival Super League outfit.

More recently, Nene Macdonald faces an uncertain future with the Papua New Guinea international having been initially granted a leave of absence for the birth of his child in Australia.

The centre was expected to return ahead of the clash with Hull at the MKM Stadium, having been named in the provisional 21-man squad. However, the former Leigh star is still yet to return to England with his Leeds Rhinos future in doubt, despite recently signing a contract extension until the end of 2027.

On the field, the Rhinos have managed just 11 wins from 24, leaving them currently four points behind Hull KR and Warrington in positions sixth and fifth respectively.

Their inconsistency has been the side’s Achilles heel in 2023, with Morley predicting that the side won’t finish in the top six with just three regular season games remaining. 

Adrian Morley: Leeds Rhinos promised so much and produced very little

Speaking on Betfred’s The Last Tackle, the NRL and Super League winner said: “Last year was a fantastic finish for their season. To make the Grand Final is a huge achievement.

“This year, they promised so much and produced very little.

“Inconsistency has been their problem, great one week and poor the next. They’ve given themselves an outside chance [for top six], but it is just an outside chance.

“I can’t see Leeds making the play-offs to be fair.

“For a club as big as Leeds and to have the success they’ve had over the years, to not the make the play-offs after a Grand Final last year… they still can in theory but it’s been a really disappointing year for the Rhinos.”

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