Is there a better running half back in Super League at the moment? In my opinion no there isn’t. Joel Moon is tearing teams apart with his dancing feet and quick thinking – not only that but his defence is second to none, he is tenacious and magic all in the same breath. Moon’s move to half back has been a revelation, it’s not only seen his best form reappear but it’s inspired Danny McGuire and given the whole team a new dynamic.
Danny McGuire missing for the majority of the previous season was no doubt a huge loss for Leeds and played a huge role in the disastrous season the Rhinos suffered. So, in the 2017 season the Rhinos needed a settled half back pairing who could guide the team around the pitch in attack as well as defence. Moon has always had something special but at centre sometimes didn’t see as much of the ball as the Rhinos would have liked – how could the Rhinos solve that? Easy shift him into an area where he can get his hands and feet on the ball and stand up some of the bigger middle men – who must be still dizzy days later after facing Moon, his dazzling feet and slight of hand has made even some of the best look foolish this season! With ten tries to his name already this season Moon is looking to take Leeds back to Old Trafford.
This weekend the Rhinos will look to avenge a mauling at the hands of the Catleford Tigers – whose own half backs have been dazzling – early season at the Jungle the Tigers put 60 on a well below par Rhinos side. Cometh Magic Weekend, territory where the Rhinos have a less than favourable track record, can Moon outshine Gale and Roberts? The Rhinos will need more than Moon’s running game, they need McGuire to take charge of the kicks on the last and give the big boys a platform to work from! The Tigers have made it their speciality to score back to back tries and blitz their opponents within a magical 5/10 minutes, the Rhinos aren’t going to stop Cas scoring but they do need to manage the period after a Cas try better then most teams have this season. Set completion will be key but if Moon can show anywhere near top form surely the Rhinos will improve on their early season embarrassment… Huge battles all over the pitch for the Rhinos: Parcell v McShane, McGuire v Gale, the battle of the wingers, Briscoe and Hall v Eden and Minikin. Who will prevail? Can the Rhinos avoid and mauling and put on a charge against Cas?