The Trueman Show, Leeds Rhinos errors count: 6 conclusions from Hull FC win over Leeds

Louis Chapman Coombe
Tom Briscoe Hull FC Alamy

Hull FC winger Tom Briscoe in action against Leeds Rhinos

Hull FC ended a run of 11 straight defeats with a solid 18-10 win over Leeds Rhinos, piling the pressure on Rohan Smith.

Tries from Lewis Martin, Denive Balmforth and Cam Scott were enough to steer the Airlie Birds to their first win under interim head coach Simon Grix.

The defeat also condemned the Rhinos to their third defeat in four matches, but it was arguably the worst performance of the lot.

Here are our six conclusions following Hull FC’s resounding victory..

Hull FC stars back with a bang

This year has been tough for Hull FC, however they have missed some key men. The likes of Jake Trueman, Carlos Tuimavave and Brad Fash proved today just how much they have been missed this season.

Man of the Match Trueman, in particular, was influential in the victory. His kicking game consistently put Leeds under pressure, and he steered the ship well. Tuimavave also proved what an asset his is to this Hull FC team with a solid all round performance.

Simon Grix’s side front up

On their run of 11 straight defeats, Hull FC were incredibly leaky in defence. They shipped 50+ points against Huddersfield Giants (twice), Leigh Leopards and St Helens. They were also put to the sword against Warrington Wolves and Hull KR, too.

Despite this, they really fronted up in defence against Leeds, and they had a genuine sense of desperation to defend their goal-line. Their pack stood tall under some early pressure, and even the likes of Lewis Martin fought off much bigger opposition to limit Leeds to just two late tries when the game was already gone.

READ MORE: Leeds Rhinos ratings: 5 players score just 3 as Rohan Smith’s side humiliated at Hull FC

Airlie Birds turning the tide?

The win had been coming for a few weeks for Simon Grix’s men. Following their own humiliating defeat to London Broncos, they have started to turn things around.

They still fell short against Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield Giants, however they seemed to improve week on week in most aspects of their game, and that all came to the fore today against Leeds.

They face a tough run of fixtures, with Warrington Wolves, Salford Red Devils and Hull KR all lined up in the next three rounds, but they can start to feel a bit happier now they have scratched that itch.

A real strong point in their recent performances has been their pack too, and they will need to lean on them in the next few weeks.

Leeds own worst enemy

The Rhinos began the game with some proper attacking intent, and were able to march down the pitch with ease. Despite this though, they couldn’t land the killer blow due to sloppy errors at crucial times.

This then had a negative effect on their attack, as they began to force things in an attempt to score, and this in turn led to more errors.

Rhinos pack fall short

Whilst it was a poor performance across the board from Leeds, their pack was the main reason they fell to defeat.

The middle unit just couldn’t match the impact of their counterparts in Black and White, and this in turn hampered any potential chances.

James McDonnell and Rhyse Martin were used as real strike runners in their victory over Castleford Tigers last time out, however they weren’t able to have the same impact at the MKM. Sam Lisone, Tom Holroyd and Justin Sangare struggled to turn the tide too.

Pressure piles on Rohan Smith

Whilst Leeds still sit in touching distance of the top six, the pressure is certainly mounting on head coach Rohan Smith. The Australian has been given the full backing by the hierarchy at Leeds, and brought in what seemed the perfect spine to play his style of rugby, however they are still plagued with inconsistencies.

The wins have been big, but the losses have been even bigger, and the scoreboard today against Hull FC probably didn’t reflect the comfortable nature of victory. This defeat was also their third in four games, and the two previous defeats to St Helens and Catalans Dragons were again really poor performances across the board.

The introduction of Sporting Director Ian Blease could be what Smith needs to take some of the pressure, or it could lead to a tough conversation.

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