What’s gone wrong at Leeds Rhinos?

Leeds Rhinos head coach Dave Furner.
Leeds Rhinos head coach Dave Furner.
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THE BRITISH game’s most dominant team this century, from 2004-2017 Leeds Rhinos won eight Super League titles, the league leaders’ shield and World Club Challenge three times and the Challenge Cup twice.

Their high point came in 2015 when they completed the treble to send club legends Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai out on a high.

Since then Rhinos have found life tough.

They were ninth in Super League 2016 and ended the season in the Qualifiers, playing outside the top level of the British game for the first time in 113 years.

Though they bounced back to finish second the following year, beating league leaders Castleford Tigers in the Grand Final, 2018 was another traumatic campaign, culminating in a battle against relegation in the middle-eights.

Brian McDermott, the club’s most successful coach, was axed in June and Sinfield returned to the club as director of rugby, appointing Dave Furner, a team-mate from the 2004 Grand Final, as coach at the end of the campaign.

Despite an overhaul of the squad, including five signings – two off them marquee players – and 11 departures, Leeds have begun this season as they left off, winning only one of their opening seven games.

Since the 2015 Grand Final Rhinos have won 55 of 109 games in all competitions, 25 of those victories coming in 2017. Eleven were against lower division opposition in the Challenge Cup or Qualifiers.