HONEST Leeds Rhinos winger Ryan Hall admits the squad do not deserve to be Super League leaders.
Thursday’s 31-24 home loss to Castleford Tigers allied to St Helens’ win over Wigan Warriors last night mean champions Saints have now usurped Leeds from top spot.
That is despite the West Yorkshire club going six points clear of the rest on April 17.
However, they have won just two league games from seven since and were 18-0 behind inside just 15 minutes against Castleford.
Although they showed spirit and adventure to fight back and level at 24-24 heading into the latter stages, ostensibly they slipped up again.
Ordinarily, in those situations, the six-time Grand Final winners would push on and secure the points.
But Hall, 27, said: “I don’t know really (what happened.)
“We haven’t been very good for the last couple of weeks and it showed again.
“Cas are a quality side and they deserved the win. They did to us what they planned to do and we just let them do it. Going 18-0 down is not great. We gave ourselves a bit too much to do.
“We did it in great style at the back end of the first half to get within two points (16-18) – a goal kick away – so we came back in at half-time quite happy.
“We concentrated on the fact we had turned it around and had got back on the horse. But in the second we just didn’t carry on where we left off.”
It is one of the most competitive Super Leagues in years but Hall – who scored his 10th try of the season on Thursday – is unmoved by that escape clause.
“We’d rather be 10 points clear if we’re being deadly honest but that isn’t the case and you have to be the best side to be at the top,” he said. “And I don’t think we are the best side in the competition at the moment.”
Hall has twice won the Grand Final from fifth with Leeds and he admitted: “We’ve always got it in us to be a quality side – we’ve shown aspects of it here and there. But to be a championship-winning side you have to do it for 80 minutes for most weeks and we’ve not done that for quite a while now.”