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Simply, Not The Best
Posted by southstander on June 03 2011 - 22:46:12

Angel & Demon
Sweltering temperatures welcomed us to the perfect weather night in Widnes after we travelled to take on the Saints in a game of massive Rhinos importance.

Big Mac almost named 1 to 13 with the exception of the season injured Keith Senior who was replaced by Featherstonian and Leeds try machine Zak Hardaker. This was as close to first choice as we could get this season, and we were up against a side without many of their own stars through their own injury crisis.

We bring you all of the action here......

16

Rhinos

v

Saints

42

Superleague XVI - Round 15

3rd June 2011

Simply, Not the Best

After last weeks crushing home defeat to the Wolves this was a make-or-break game for the Rhinos. A win and we were still in the chase. A loss and we were probably in 2011 terminal decline. The lads looked like they knew the importance as they entered the arena, the pitch now eighty percent in the shade as the sun dipped. What sun there was left was in Leeds eyes.

On five minutes, and on the back of some excellent Rhinos defence in attack, Carl Ablett was held down in the tackle by Wilkin and Sinfield opted for safety first and slotted over the penalty from twenty metres out.

Three minutes later and it was Melis turn to give the penalty for stripping the ball in a two man tackle. Rather than take the simple two Sinfield this time found touch and Lee Smith went close in the left corner but lost the ball under pressure as he went to ground it.

Fourteen minutes and Gaskell kicked a forty-twenty. From the scrum the Saints used all their tackles before a grubber appeared to be touched down by Shenton. Bentham went to the video referee who must have been gutted to hit the 'NO TRY' button for Shenton bouncing the ball. The Saints were edging their way back into the game.

On twenty-one it looked like Roby was in after a speedy break down the right wing. Webb chased back brilliantly and managed to get an ankle tap which grounded Roby and he spilled the ball as he stumbled. An inch more pace and Saints would have taken the lead.

On twenty-three Saints were again penalised on their own twenty and Sinfield took the sensible decision to kick the penalty for 4-0.


Opener
From the kick-off Wilkin crashed into McGuire from the kick-off leaving the Rhinos stand-off on the turf and needing treatment.

On twenty-eight we got the first try of the game, and it was Graham who spun over to ground one-handed off a 'flat' Roby pass after Delaney had conceeded a goal line penalty for interference at the play-the-ball. Foster added the extras and Saints had the lead at 4-6.

With three minutes left Leeds went close but McShane found Roby with the pass rather than Sinfield.

We'd held our own in the first half. We'd had more chances than Saints, but they'd taken their opportunity the best. It was all a bit reminiscent of last weeks first half.

The customary Rhinos second half collapse started just two minutes in after Webb had dropped the ball in-goal on a kick return. Saints moved the ball to the post and Lomax offloaded to Roby to crash over next to the sticks. Foster goaled and now we were 4-12 down.

Fifty-one and a Sinfield kick was caught by Meli on the half-way line. The big Saints centre went fifty metres untackled to score. Foster kicked the two and we were now in all sorts of trouble. We'd not crossed the whitewash for well over two halves of rugby, and at the moment we weren't showing any signs of doing so.

Fifty-six and Meli went down the left wing finding Lomax supporting inside to cross. All far too easy for the home side as the Rhinos buckled in defence yet again. Foster added the simple extras for 4-24. It was all over.

Four minutes later and Soliola found Moore to cross for the fifth unanswered try of the night, again under the sticks to make the Foster goal a formality. Now it was 4-30 and we were heading for another pasting at the hands of one of the top four.

It was like we were already on the coach on the way home.


Solid kicking

Fifteen minutes to go and Wellens was the latest in the Saints procession after Leuluai had been penalised, twice, for interference and then back-chat. Foster added the two from wide for 4-36. It was simply humiliating. We were now at the stage where I'd not have complained if a big hole opened up for us all to fall in.

On sixty-seven a Leuluai ball steal took everyone by surprise. Leeds moved the ball downfield and despite a poor Delaney pass going to ground JJB managed to pick up the loose ball and spun over the line for a try. Sinfield added the two and we'd at least scored a try (our first in 114 minutes), and hit double figures.

On seventy a Shenton knock-on gave Leeds head and feed on the Saints ten. Leeds moved the ball left and Webb put Smith over for another consolation and our second try in three minutes (like busses!). Sinfield added the two from the touchline for 16-36.

With a minute left Sinfield threw a sloppy pass which was easily intercepted by Gaskill to cross and make the Foster conversion a simple effort for 18-42.

Forget the late Leeds flourish, this was awful, truly abonimable. If Brian McDermott has any credibility left, and I fear he has little, then he needs to get this shower of has-beens to buck up their ideas in defence and learn to keep their mouths shut. The discipline is terrible, the defence worse, and the respect for the ball pitiful. There were few bright points in this game tonight and it is one I'd rather forget, quickly.

There is patently no plan 'B', and I doubt that there is even a plan 'A'.

League season over, time to get rid of the coaching muppets, clear out some of the dead wood, and use the rest of the season to build for 2012.

The only way is down!


Please vote for your Man-of-the-Match in the front page poll.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Saints
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
Wellens
1
27
Hardaker
28
Makinson
2
Smith
1
3
Shenton
3
Delaney
5
Meli
1
5
Hall
22
Foster
7
6
McGuire
25
Gaskell
1
7
Burrow
20
Lomax
1
8
Leuluai
10
Graham
1
9
Buderus
9
Roby
1
10
Peacock
15
McCarthy-Scarsbrook
11
Jones-Buchanan
1
4
Soliola
12
Ablett
12
Williams
13
Sinfield
4
11
Puletua
14
Lauiti'iti
14
Moore
1
24
McShane
7
Eastmond
20
Hauraki
19
Dixon
24
McShane
21
Magennis

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
04-06
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
9,062


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