The Last Tackle: Jamie Peacock On Leeds Rhinos' ''Frustrating'' Decision-Making

The nine-time Super League winner opened up about his former side's struggles
21:35, 02 Mar 2022

Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock MBE has said that his former side need to improve their decision making, if they are to compete for honours this season.

The Headingley club were tipped to be back amongst the title contenders this year after making a number of high profile signings including Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer, but find themselves 10th in the table having failed to pick up a win from their first three games.

Speaking on our weekly Rugby League show; The Last Tackle, Peacock, who won a record nine Betfred Super League Grand Finals, was quick to identify the areas the Rhinos need to improve in after their most recent defeat;

“The frustrating thing about the performance against Catalans, was that in the other games, you’ve seen quite a bit of effort, but in this game the frustrating thing was the decision making. I thought they created opportunities but made the wrong decision every time, and as a fan you can see that, and that’s why the crowd got frustrated at the end.”

It doesn’t get any easier for Richard Agar’s Leeds side, who come up against a Wakefield outfit also looking for their first win of the year on Thursday night, and despite it being early on in the season, Peacock is under no illusions of the magnitude of this fixture;

“It’s almost a must win game, they need to register some points on the league table, there’s been excuses in the last three games, but now I think the team know this is a game they have to win, and it’s going to be a challenge for them.”

Joining Jamie in the studio was back-to-back Man of Steel winner Paul Sculthorpe MBE, and whilst the former Leeds captain has been watching on through a grimace so far, there have been no such problems for Sculthorpe, who has watched his former employers St Helens, continue to dominate.

At the heart of that success is Jack Welsby. The 2020 Grand Final hero has been given the number one jersey this season following the departure of Lachlan Coote, and Sculthorpe likes what he has seen from the 20 year old;

”Welsby is a just a player isn’t he. He plays what’s in front of him, and it’s great to see him coming into the fullback role. We’ve seen a couple of the assists from Jack in the last few games, as well as the running game that he is renowned for, so he’s really making a name for himself.”

On the other side of Billenge Hill, there is cautious optimism rising from the town of Wigan. The Warriors are three wins from three under new Head Coach Matty Peet, and have looked good value for those wins, playing some exciting football in the process.

Perhaps the most exciting part of renaissance for Wigan fans, has been the performance of Jai Field.

There was an air of excitement around the former St George man when he signed for the Warriors ahead of the 2021 season, but a serious hamstring tear in round one would stop his campaign in it’s tracks, and he would go onto only make five appearances.

The start of 2022 could not have been in starker contrast for Field, who has scored four tries in three games, playing in the slightly less familiar position of Fullback, and in an exclusive interview with The Last Tackle, he tells of his relief to have start well this year;

“I stayed here this year and worked on my pre-season and got my body right, so it’s definitely nice to be hitting the ground running at the moment.”

Despite a torrid 2021, Field insists that he regretted the decision to join the Warriors in the Betfred Super League;

“I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. That happened and I just got on with it. I tried my best to get back, I played four games and picked up a groin injury as an overlap from the Hamstring injury but there was never anything where I’d thought I’d make the wrong choice, I just wanted to work to get back on the paddock.”

The Last Tackle is a weekly Rugby League show that is broadcast every Wednesday at 6pm on our dedicated Rugby League Youtube channel. To make sure you never miss a episode, subscribe here - https://www.youtube.com/c/TheSportsmanRugbyLeague

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