Former Great Britain star and top Rugby League pundit Phil Clarke has admitted that Leeds completely proved him wrong in 2015.
After their Challenge Cup victory against Hull KR at Wembley in August, Clarke infamously stated he thought Leeds would not win another game in 2015; they eventually sealed a spectacular treble by beating Huddersfield in the final round of the Super 8s before defeating St Helens and then Wigan in the Grand Final.
And Clarke told Sky Sports that the Rhinos deserve a huge amount of credit for what they have achieved – and admitted he’d made a mistake in writing the Rhinos off so soon.
“The following year they rectified that and they clearly showed, even though I wrote them off actually towards the end of the season – I said they wouldn’t win another game – they proved me wrong with a remarkable comeback with Ryan Hall’s try at Huddersfield,” he said.
“To win a treble in a team sport is an amazing achievement nowadays and Leeds deserve all of the credit.”
After losing a number of key names at the end of the season, many have feared Leeds will be weaker in 2016 – but Clarke says the Rhinos could be even stronger instead.
“Of course players like Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai will be missed but Leeds’ senior management have proved over the last few years that they get nine out 10 decisions right, whether that be the coach Brian McDermott or the chief executive Gary Hetherington.
“On the basis that they are going to make more good decisions than bad ones I think they will only be even stronger.”