Paper Talk: Can Ellery Hanley save Leeds from relegation dogfight?

Ellery Hanley Combined Nations All Stars SWpix
Photo: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix

The impending doom around Leeds and Warrington dominate this week’s rugby league paper talk, as Ellery Hanley is nominated for the Headingley hot seat.

Could Leeds be relegated?

We’re only six rounds in to the season but the unthinkable question is already being asked – could Leeds get relegated?

League Express editor Martyn Sadler ponders the question in his column.

“Unless the Rhinos can demonstrate significant improvement then they certainly will be in danger of relegation.

“Just like every other club in the competition, they don’t have a free pass that entitles them to remain in Super League forever.”

Leeds have of course finished in the bottom four in recent years, before successfully navigating through The Qualifiers.

Rhinos players need to hold their hands up

Leeds’ players will have to start holding themselves accountable for their current situation.

Rugby League Live editor Matt Shaw wrote on Leeds Live: “In the coming weeks, all the talk will be around the next head coach.

“But the focus and the scrutiny needs to be aimed directly at the players. It is they who have not performed, it is they who have been unable to respond.

“At some point they, individually and collectively, need to take some accountability.”

Warrington aren’t good enough

Things aren’t much better at Warrington, who suffered a fourth successive defeat at the weekend.

The Warrington Guardian published the full transcript of Daryl Powell’s post-match interview following the cup loss to Wakefield.

Powell said: “Well we’ve just got beat twice by Wakefield at home, we got beat by Catalans at home – it’s just ridiculous.

It’s clearly not good enough and we have to do something about it.”

Fans voted with their feet, with little over 2,600 attending on Sunday.

Kheirallah saga – no end?

We might not have heard the last of the Mark Kheirallah and Toulouse saga.

The France international full-back has signed for Featherstone after his contract with the Super League new boys was terminated.

He told League Express: “I can’t really comment now as the matter is in the hands of my lawyer.

“All I can say is that I had a ‘pass vaccinal’ and was allowed to play all the games of Super League this season and I just wasn’t picked by the coach.”

Speculation was that Kheirallah, as well as Johnathan Ford, were sidelined by the new rules in France that required professional athletes to be double vaccinated.

While Ford left, confusion reigned on the eve of the season when Kheirallah said he was available to play.

Sensible approach for referees

There seemed to be less yellow and red cards over the weekend, after referees promised to relent.

A meeting between officials and Super League chiefs last week aimed to deal with the disciplinary talking points that have overshadowed the start to the new season.

Dave Craven wrote in The Mirror: “…especially after Mahe Fonua’s farcical yellow card for Castleford last Thursday, all parties agreed it is crucial for the sport’s image that more games, if at all possible, see 13 v 13.

Ellery Hanley – next Leeds coach?

Ellery Hanley should be the new Leeds coach, according to Garry Schofield.

And he should be assisted by Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Danny McGuire.

Writing in his League Express column, Schofield said: “Some people say he’s too old and has been away from the scene for too long. I say rubbish!

“He’s a born winner who demands the best from those around him, but also inspires them.”

It remains to be seen what direction the Rhinos go in.

But there’s no doubting that Ellery Hanley has an aura about him unlike any rugby league personality I’ve ever met.

Support rugby league in the media and subscribe to League Express & Forty-20 magazine, as well as checking out the regular coverage of the sport in The Mirror, The Sun, The Guardian and other national newspapers; the more you read, the more there’ll be. Rugby league paper talk appears on the site every Monday.

About James Gordon 7302 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

1 Comment

  1. If Gary Schofield is sayin Ellery Hanley should be the next Leeds coach you can be pretty sure it won’t be happening.

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