The Debrief: Dreadful Leeds Rhinos attack, Lachie Miller’s worst performance so far, Catalans Dragons make home advantage count

Ben Olawumi
Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith Alamy

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith

Leeds Rhinos were beaten 26-0 over in Perpignan by Catalans Dragons on Saturday evening, with Rohan Smith’s side now having lost five of their first 11 in Super League this season.

The Round 11 clash wasn’t exactly a thriller, but we’ve picked out some talking points, and this is The Debrief…

Dreadful Leeds Rhinos attack

The Rhinos were thumped 61-0 when they last visited the Stade Gilbert Brutus in September on a day which saw Sam Tomkins take the royal p*ss with a late drop goal.

It was nowhere near as bad in defence this time around, and two of the Dragons’ four tries came in the final five minutes with Leeds evidently tiring. Added to that, Catalans were nowhere near their clinical best, fumbling numerous opportunities earlier in the game.

What hadn’t changed for Leeds from eight months ago was an inability to trouble the hosts’ defence at the other end however, with incredibly little for the travelling Rhinos fans to even get excited about.

Smith’s side simply weren’t good enough in attack, and the rare occasions in which they did get themselves into a decent position, there was always an error or a mistake of some description. Even injuries considered, nowhere near good enough. We seem to have written that a few times about Leeds already this season…

Lachie Miller’s worst performance so far

We’ll start by saying Miller has been superb for Leeds so far this season since his arrival at Headingley, a player we have enjoyed watching stand a peg or two above the majority of his team-mates.

But boy did he have a stinker on Saturday evening over in Perpignan, a real nightmare of a performance. It started when he dropped a high bomb early on, and never recovered from there on in.

The Aussie was poor in defence and attack, notably dropping a ball when Leeds were trying to get back into it late on in the second half having been awarded a fresh set of six in the Dragons’ 30 following a knock-on.

Having been struggling with a shoulder issue a few minutes prior, Miller was then sat on his backside by Arthur Mourgue for Catalans’ penultimate try, and that pretty much summed his evening up. We’re sure he’ll be happy to get back on the plane home.

Catalans Dragons make home advantage count

Jon Wilkin, in the Sky Sports studio, deemed Catalans to have put in a performance worthy of ‘five or six out of 10’, and what we think he’s getting at there is that they still have plenty of potential that hasn’t been reached this year.

We’d agree with that, BUT you’re not in a bad position if you’re joint-top of the Super League table 11 rounds in having not reached your potential. The Dragons are one of four clubs now sat on 16 points with eight wins from their opening 11 in 2024.

Steve McNamara’s side tend to make home advantage count, particularly when it starts to heat up temperature wise in the South of France as it has this week, and they did so against Leeds even if they weren’t at their best.

Having been beaten away by both Leigh Leopards and Wigan Warriors in the last couple of weeks, Catalans are back to winning ways and have three of their next four games on home soil, with the other being a trip to St Helens. A big few weeks coming up.