In a situation so often decided by individual moments, there are few better to have on your side than Jonathan Rowe.

The 21-year-old has come up trumps time and again when Norwich City need him, providing moment after moment of personal intervention as his team-mates struggle strategically.

Against Hull, against QPR, against Ipswich, against West Brom, against Hull again. The list goes on. But in his third attempt to add Leeds to the tally of victims, Rowe came up short.

It's hard to blame him for that, given the context around his selection. The longest stint he'd played since returning from a hamstring injury last month was 34 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Bristol City, and he hadn't started since January.

For that reason, combined with David Wagner's preference to slowly bed players back in, his inclusion in the line-up would have been a surprise had the German not been so optimistic in his pre-match press conference.

Taking all of the fitness context away, it was no surprise at all. It takes an almighty level of discipline and principle to deny a player as good as Rowe in such a huge game, and anyone who's watched the youth international this season will understand why.

Even if he was at 50pc there was still a greater chance for him than most of some match-winning brilliance, and it was a risk Wagner knew he had to take.

Much like the game as a whole, however, Rowe flattered to deceive on the day.

His involvement in possession was extremely limited, with a first opening to stretch the legs presenting itself only midway through the first half. On that occasion he burst forward and threatened three defenders clearly familiar with his talents, but lacked the support to do something productive with the ball.

There were other brief interactions with Jack Stacey, who eventually backed him up, but they tended to be much earlier in the build-up than they often have been.

In the involvement stakes Rowe wasn't alone, with many of his team-mates' defensive contributions their best. Josh Sargent was incredibly quiet, Gabriel Sara barely got a kick and Marcelino Nunez was unsuccessful in his attempts to force an opener.

The more significant worry for fans was where Rowe's struggles came from, and whether they'll seep into the trip to Yorkshire.

Attached to his inclusion was a very conspicuous ticking time bomb that was his ability to remain at his best, with even his fittest displays this term seeing him tail off in the latter stages.

By half time it was clear that there were few drops left to squeeze out of the winger, and any contribution would be needed in the early stages of the second period.

But within five minutes of the restart it became apparent that Rowe was a spent force, and Christian Fassnacht's warm-up was met with a resignation of the former's failure to produce the moment many had hoped for in NR1.

With an enormous Elland Road date looming and a potential return to Wembley for the West London native, however, the opportunity to grab the spotlight hasn't disintegrated yet.

In that sense 60 minutes was a huge plus for Rowe, and by the end of the campaign he may even be reaching his peak. There were positives in yesterday's performance, not least his reliable defensive rotation with Stacey, but the first leg came just a little too early.

Verdict: A solid enough performance without hitting the heights Norwich fans know he can. A lot of that was to do with match fitness, which was unsurprisingly lacking after four months without a start. Combined well with Jack Stacey offensively and defensively, but will hope to be more potent in the second leg.

Rating: Six out of 10.