The Morning After: Hull KR talisman, injury blows & Rhinos blow hot and cold
The Morning After looks at three talking points from the latest Super League action.
Hull KR talisman
The kicking display from Jordan Abdull last night was as good as I can recall in terms of a game dictated by a player’s boot.
He terrorised Leeds with his kicking all night long as he guided the Robins to a 20-12 victory at a sodden Craven Park.
Abdull and Hull KR played to the conditions. Rohan Smith described Abdull as the competition’s ‘premier kicker’ after the game, and you probably wouldn’t disagree with the Rhinos boss on that one.
You’d hate to be fielding a spiral bomb from Abdull when it’s chucking it down, wouldn’t you?
Abdull has done no harm in putting the Hull KR half-back in Shaun Wane’s thoughts for a potential England recall.
England coach Wane spoke to the media earlier in the week, insisting that his squad will be picked on merit in the run up to the 2025 World Cup in France.
Abdull has a solitary England cap to his name, which came against France in Perpignan at the back end of 2021.
He is near the top of the 2023 Man of Steel leaderboard too, so if he can keep up his form, then there’s no reason why he can’t make more international appearances in the future.
Masterclass puts Hull KR star in frame for England recall
Rhinos blow hot and cold
It is so difficult to make a prediction on Leeds games each week, largely due to being unsure of which Leeds side are going to turn up.
Last week, we saw a tremendous second half comeback from the Rhinos which saw them win 32-22 against Catalans Dragons, who were unbeaten until the game at Headingley.
Everything clicked in that second 40 for the Rhinos, but it was a very different display this week against Hull KR.
Leeds, like most teams, play their best rugby on a dry track but they didn’t play to the conditions against Hull KR, which is exactly what Abdull did, and that was the difference between the two teams.
Rohan Smith bemoans ‘disappointing moment’ that summed Leeds up
Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix
Its not looking good for St Helens, who lost star prop Alex Walmsley just minutes in to their 38-0 win over Wakefield with a hamstring injury.
Saints coach Paul Wellens said after the game last night that ‘it was too early to tell’ whether he will be available for next week’s Good Friday derby against Wigan.
Paul Wellens on Alex Walmsley injury blow
Speaking of hamstring injuries, Wigan are likely be without their star man Jai Field for next week too, with the Australian being forced from the field in Thursday’s 34-6 win at Leigh.
And Leeds winger David Fusitu’a had to be helped from the field in their loss at Hull KR. The Tonga international left Craven Park wearing protective boot after suffering an injury to his left ankle.
It’s never nice seeing players pick up injuries, so let’s hope they all have a speedy recovery and are back doing what they do best sooner rather than later.
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