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Rhinos Leave It Late
Posted by southstander on June 17 2011 - 22:59:08

Saviour McGuire
The Rhinos travelled to deepest darkest Wales (well Wrexham) to take on the leagues basement club with every expectation of making it four from four against Iestyn Harris's men in 2011.

Big Mac was so confident that he rested Ablett and let Hauraki have his first competitive start against his former team-mates.

The rain was falling as the sides took the field, and everyone knows we always win when it rains!

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

12

Rhinos

v

Crusaders

07

Superleague XVI - Round 18

17th June 2011

Rhinos Leave It Late

The Rhinos kicked off defending the end populated by the six or seven hundred hardy Rhinos fans who'd made the soggy friday night journey.

It was very clear from the early exchanges that this wasn't going to be a spectacle for the purists as both sides made mistake after mistake and conceeded regular penalties keeping referee Thaler busy. It was the Crusaders who had the best of the early showings and as early as the seventh minute the Rhinos were on the back foot forced to defend three sets including a drop-out and a daft penalty close to our line. We survived the three but as we looked to built out from our line Smith knocked a slippy ball on and gave the home side possession at the scrum.


Struggled
The Crusaders made good use of the ball and on the third tackle ex-Rhino Peter Lupton slid over to score the games opening try. Witt missed what looked to be a simple conversion as he slipped on making contact with the ball.

Following the try play seemed to get even sloppier with more lost ball and daft penalties, the conditions really not helping the game as the rain continued to fall.

The Crusaders definitely had the best of the half and the Rhinos didn't get inside the oppositions twenty with the ball in hand.

Five minutes before the break and the Crusaders missed a gilt edged chance to double their lead when Sammut lost the ball while attempting to ground it, Thaler was in the right place and had no hesitation in ruling out the try.

It had been a shocking first half for Leeds, time for a legendary McDermott team talk!

Leeds started the second half in a much better frame of mind. Sinfield kicked a forty-twenty in the opening seconds but we couldn't capitalise as Peacock knocked on when attacking the line. On fifty the Rhinos should have converted two sets in the Crusaders twenty into points but Delaney knocked-on (for the third time tonight) with the line open in front of him.

On fifty-four Witt kicked a penalty awarded against Webb for carrying into the tackle with his elbow raised and you just got the feeling that it might not be our night.

On sixty Hauraki went close but hit the corner flag before grounding the ball and then on sixty-eight we finally broke the Crusaders tough defensive line as a Buderus scoot, neat pass to Peacock and offload from the England skipper to Danny McGuire allowed Mags to skip around the defence and score under the sticks. Sinfield goaled and the scores were level at 6-6.

With such a low scoring game you now felt that the side to kick a one-pointer would likely win it, and it was the Crusaders who converted the first opportunity in the seventy-third minute when Witt kicked on the third tackle from twenty metres out.


Winner

All that the home side had to do now was hold on for the last seven minutes, as they had stoically for the opening sixty-eight.

But with three minutes left Ali Lauiti'iti, twisting and turning, found his was to the line and dropped to the floor to ground on the whitewash. Thaler pointed to the spot and a narrow three point lead was increased to five thanks to the Sinfield conversion.

With seconds left the game was still not won as Leeds knocked on in their own twenty but panic from the Crusaders saw an early grubber which was mopped up and the clock run down.

Take nothing away from the Crusaders, their defence was excellent, and despite the Rhinos getting every 50-50 decision from an unusually generous Thaler they almost held on for a famous victory.

But Leeds were as awful as the Crusaders were good. This was simply not good enough for a team with aspirations for top four, in the end the best side on the night lost, and we got very, very lucky.

Delaney had a shocker, everyone now knows how to play Burrow, and some of the positional stuff from Sinfield left a lot to be desired. It was a happier journey home than it looked as though it was going to be with twelve minutes left, but there was still a strong feeling of dissatisfaction.

One thing is for sure, the South Stand won't put up with that if they get served it again next week against the Bulls.


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Crusaders
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
27
Tansey
27
Hardaker
5
Reardon
2
Smith
3
Martin
3
Delaney
2
Thomas
5
Hall
4
Mellars
6
McGuire
1
6
Witt
1
1
7
Burrow
19
White
8
Leuluai
10
Bryant
24
McShane
9
Withers
10
Peacock
8
O'Hara
11
Jones-Buchanan
13
Winterstein
20
Hauraki
12
Chan
13
Sinfield
2
23
Lupton
1
14
Lauiti'iti
1
21
Johnson
9
Buderus
7
Sammut
10
Hbailey
16
Flower
17
Kirke
15
James

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
00-04
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
3,035


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