Kruise Leeming’s Leeds Rhinos exit explained

KRUISE LEEMING will no longer be a Leeds Rhinos player after requesting a release from his contract.

The news broke late last night with head coach Rohan Smith confirming Leeming wanted to leave following his side’s 14-8 loss to the Castleford Tigers.

On Sky Sports, pundits Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Barrie McDermott were dissecting the issue, with the former explaining just why Smith prefers running halfbacks rather than a running hooker.

“With Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer, you want the ball in their hands,” Jones-Buchanan said.

“When he’s playing more direct it’s them stepping on the outside foot. When you talk about ball control, you step off the outside you’re heading back towards the ruck, you’re playing square with forwards inside and out and inevitably it arrests that defence.

“Rohan is a big believer that when halfbacks run, good things happen and when halfbacks get tackled a lot then opportunities present themselves. He encourages that and we’ve seen the fruits of that over the last few weeks.”

Barrie McDermott, who is also hailed as a stalwart at Headingley, believes that Jarrod O’Connor is better suited to Smith’s style of play.

Another former Rhino, Barrie McDermott, also added his thoughts and stated that Jarrod O’Connor was a better fit for what the Rhinos are looking for.

“Jarrod does what he’s told and that’s a strength within that triangle of decision-makers,” McDermott said.

“Jarrod is tough and leads the line defensively. When it comes to decisions on who should get the ball, nine times out of ten he’s making the best decision for the team.

“Kruise has a rugby player’s brain and he thinks, you contrast him to Paul McShane, his addition is exactly what Castleford need, and Leeds need Jarrod O’Connor.”