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Quarter Season Report
Posted by southstander on March 30 2006 - 08:44:27

Top Man

We have reached the quarter point of Superleague XI and with just one loss we are well poised to pounce in second place.

We have by far the best attack (252 points so far) and the second best defence (leaking just 77), so it can only be classed as a pretty good start to the season.

We take a look at the players who contributed so far this season and score them out of ten.

Carl Ablett - (7) - Small amount of game time in his debut. Did nothing wrong but difficult to judge.

Ryan Bailey - (7) - I just can't work Ryan Bailey out. He has all the physical and mental attributes which should mean that he is the top british prop, but he nearly always falls short in the delivery. Lots of good work so far this year, but lost of mediocre stuff too.

Rob Burrow - (9) - Two seasons ago I didn't think that this lad would make it...but how wrong can you be. Instrumental in every move we make, with an amazing propensity to hit the line. Tackling like a demon.

Matt Diskin - (6) - Still not back to his best eighteen months after his injury. Being used in strike rotation with Millard and confusing the opposition in doing so. Always a poacher, but not managing to break the line with the frequency I'd like.

Scott Donald - (7) - Still to be convinced. Some great try saving tackles, and a steady stream of tries, but not the speedster that we lost in Calderwood. Perhaps just need to get used to a different style of play.

Gareth Ellis - (6) - Almost anonymous so far this season. Works hard but doesn't stand out.

Chris Feather - (8) - Definitely improved from last season. A bit more aggression and go forward but still not the finished article. Chris's last drink in the last chance saloon.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan - (8) - Had hit storming form, being my Man of the Match against Saints, before picking up an injury in training. Unable to get into the side since. Great promise.

Ian Kirke - (9) - The best of the youngsters as far as I'm concerned. Has stepped up to the plate and is awesome in attack and defence. Taller, but with a similar build to JP but with the skill of a young Adrian Morley. A great prospect.

Ali Lauiti'iti - (7) - Blows hot and cold. When he's hot he's unstoppable, but when he's cold he has an awful propensity to do something stupid with the ball.

Danny McGuire - (10) - Back in scintilating form and scoring tries 'just for fun'. An amazing poacher of tries, but can score the spectacular long distance efforts. Controls the game, as a good stand-off should. Gary Schofield without the arrogance.

Richie Mathers - (8) - Always eager, always there when needed. Can still be caught out of position when we turn attack into defence, but with Scott Donald and Keith Senior chasing back well, he has able cover. Faultless enthusiasm.

Shane Millard - (8) - A revelation. I thought that this was a stinker of a signing which gave out all the wrong signals, but the Hetherington/Smith partnership has once again proved to be a shrewd one. We seem to move up a level when he comes off the bench.

Jamie Peacock - (8) - JP was definitely a great signing for Leeds but for me he doesn't break the line enough to be rated above an eight. Struggles to hit the ball at speed, and perhaps not allowed to get wide enough. I'd rather he be in the Blue & Amber than playing for the opposition.

Willie Poching - (5) - One season too far for big Willie? Immediate impact off the bench, but wanes quickly. Needs to step up again.

Nick Scruton - (6) - Being used out of necessity rather than desire. Still not hit top form, and he leaves you wondering if he will make the grade at Headingley. Some good hits and some good carries, reminds much of Danny Ward a few seasons ago.

Keith Senior - (6) - What's the matter Keith? Very disappointing so far this season, but then the London game was the first time that we saw him without heavy strapping on his leg. Great try saving tackle in the 78th minute at the stoop but a lot still to prove.

Kevin Sinfield - (10) - Faultless. Kev has been immaculate this season with the boot and with his captaincy. Being spelled in most game by Smith, something we are not used to seeing, but it does seem to work. The consumate professional and clubman. Not as phased by the arrival of JP as I feared.

Lee Smith - (8) - Done little wrong. Big boots to fill in Marcus Bai, but with a totally different style of play. Dependable under the high ball, but occasionally shows a lack of experience with the ball in hand. Great prospect.

Jordan Tansey - (7) - Small amount of gametime in France and didn't do anything wrong.

Chev Walker - (9) - Mysteriously absent last sunday, and apparently unsettled at Leeds. Chev has been in great form this season but I have a suspicion that his heart isn't 100% in it. Room for improvement, which would make him the best centre in Superleague.

Danny Williams - (7) - Looked like he was going to take his chance after Lee Smith picked up an injury, but then took a knock himself. Good try-scoring debut at Saints, but showed some naivity trying to go outside Jamie Lyon on two occasions. A good prospect who should get more game-time during the season.

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