All views expressed are those of the author and therefore those of the site.
Sunday saw the Rhinos sink to a new low. A low we've not experienced since the dark inaugral days of Superleague I and the stewardship of Dean Bell. The defeat in Perpignan was the third loss in three games and our fifth in the last seven. Our only two scalps in this six week spell were the Harlequins, and the struggling Hull KR.
The once mighty Rhinos, and it is only nine months since we were three times reigning champions, are now eighth in Superleague XVI. With just six games left there is a realistic chance that we could finish outside the play-off places.
Early season inconsistency could be put down to new coaches, and new ways of doing things, but as we are now approching 4/5ths of the season under McDermott and Lowes, and it is clear that they have no idea to get the best out of the players which Tony Smith and then Brian McClennan had coached to superstardom. We now sit behind sides like Hull FC and Castleford Tigers and we're just three points ahead of Hull KR and Salford Reds. Table position is the only true indication of how far down we've been dragged by the current coaching staff.
The nucleaus of players is basically the same as lifted Grand Final after Grand Final. We've had a few unlucky injuries, and parted with a handful of players The recuritment to the top side in the game which should have been a doddle, has turned into a disaster with the likes of Cross and Hauraki comprehensively failing to deliver.
At the end of 2010 we finished fourth, it was a disappointment but the sides around us had strengthened and we couldn't keep the run going for ever. We fully expected a bounce back this season and perhaps secure another Grand Final appearance, but even the most optimistic Rhinos fans would be unlikely to suggest that we'll be off to Old Trafford come October 2011.
Now is the time for Leeds to cut their losses. As many people have said, McDermott is a nice guy but a lousy coach, and Lowes track record in coaching is far from impressive. Gary Hetheringotn should put his hand in his overflowing pocket and pay off a coaching team who have comprehensively failed to deliver either flair, or results, in a thoroughly depressing 2011.
Unless the club takes swift action I fear that the Rhinos are heading for a wasteland which will take a lot of years to get ourselves out of. Next season, with the re-development of the south stand, we have a large reduction in capacity, but it will probably not matter as season ticket holders desert the side in their droves.
Playing staff are also likely to have seen the 'writing on the wall' and despite the talk of 'contract renewals' expect several to abandon ship in favour of sides who have a chance of lifting silverware in 2012.
Now is the time to act, before we hit that sudden stop at the end.
Come on Gary, if you really love this club, it's time for a change.