Sky Sports pundit Barrie McDermott says Leeds must treat the risk of relegation seriously as they approach the Easter period.
The Rhinos remained bottom of Super League after a 45-26 defeat to Hull KR on Thursday night, and could enter the Easter weekend four points adrift at the foot of the table if London can win this weekend or Wigan or Huddersfield win either this week or next.
They have now lost eight games already this season, and when asked by presenter Brian Carney if the Leeds’ top five hopes were in tatters, McDermott said that wasn’t the only worry.
He said on Sky Sports: “It’s difficult, but yes.
“They have something else that they need to get control of, and that’s not finishing at the bottom.
“Relegation is a very real possibility for the Leeds Rhinos.
“Easter is a defining time in any season. I’m not saying it’s all done and dusted if the Rhinos are at the bottom, because we always see a late surge, we always see a team that runs late, like Catalans last year.”
In the two previous seasons with the top five play-offs from a similar length season, anything more than 10 defeats was too many to reach the top five, according to Carney.
Leeds host Huddersfield on Good Friday before travelling to Wakefield on Easter Monday.
They then have home games with Hull KR and Castleford, either side of a trip to Salford, before the Magic Weekend clash with London.