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We're Getting Better All The Time
Posted by southstander on July 29 2011 - 22:24:25

A Notable Try
How much benefit would a third consecutive win do for the Rhinos end of season, especially in advance of next weeks Challenge Cup semi-final against our country cousins?

With the Rhinos unbeaten in Superleague at the Willows history would teach us that this would be a simple victory and the two points to continue our late season climb up the table. But what does history really know as a new Salford under a new boss were looking to end their Superleague Leeds hurt.

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

30

Rhinos

v

Reds

22

Superleague XVI - Round 23

29th July 2011

We're Getting Better All The Time

This week McDermott decided that it would be McGuire relegated to the bench as he persevered with Sinfield at stand-off and brought Burrow in as scrum half. Webb, Watkins and Smith were back in the side after missing last week and Jay Pitts replaced Weller Hauraki in the second row. It was a big re-jig and the introduced players needed to gel from the off.

What was clear from the outset was that the home side were going to throw everything at us. They dominated large periods of the opening quarter hour but a solid Rhinos defence repelled their advances. Leeds themselves spurned a couple of good early opportunities before opening the account with a sensational opening try.

A Salford attacking kick to the corner took a couple of richochets before finding Watkins about three metres from his own line. He set off down the right wing, shrugging off a couple of attempted tackles, and on half way he threw a long ball to the supporting Buderus. Danny went twenty before another long pass to Ryan Hall, who went down the left side to score ten left of the uprights. Once he'd got his breath back Sinfield converted for 6-0, slightly against the run of play.

Salford responded badly, Holdsworth putting the kick-off into touch on the full and Sinfield took full advantage of the penalty finding touch ten from the Salford line.


Opener
Leeds used three tackles to probe the defence before the rarest of gems, a Bailey try from five metres out, his first for over four years. I don't know who was the most shocked, Bailey, his team mates or the travelling band of Rhinos supporters. Sinfield retained his composure to add the two for 12-0.

The next twenty minutes were spoiled by Silverwood blowing the pea out of his whistle while reciting the rule book, chapter by chapter. The Rhinos defence again held firm with last ditch tackles protecting the whitewash on more than one occasion.

With four minutes of the half left a Clarkson intercept saw a good break to half way. Leeds worked the ball well down towards the Reds twenty before Ablett threw a back-door pass to McGuire who doesn't need a second invitation to cross the whitewash. Sinfield goaled and a workmanlike half saw us with an 18-0 lead and the poor Reds with nothing to show for a lot of endeavour and invention, thanks to a robust Rhinos defence.

I'm not sure we deserved such a leading margin but I was more than happy to take it.

The Reds came out for the second half as determined as they had ended the first, and they were finally rewarded on fifty-one when continuous pressure saw Patten cross. Holdsworth added the extras for 18-6.

But four minutes later and Leeds were in again themselves.

A brilliant darting and ducking Burrow break from half-way saw him to the Reds twenty, and as he drew the full back he passed inside to the now unmarked Webb who went the last few metres to dive over. Sinfield missed the conversion but we'd a healthy margin at 22-6, and we were going to need it!

On fifty-eight some nice Reds ball control and passing saw them move down the left wing before Lee Smith appeared to drag Broughton over the whitewash for a score. Holdsworth missed the goal but the margin was reduced to 22-10.


Scored

With thirteen minutes left a kick into goal was collected by Vinnie Anderson and grounded for a simple try, and when Holdsworth added the extras the lead was down to just one converted try at 22-16.

The Reds smelt blood.

On seventy-one a high tackle on Jones-Buchanan allowed Sinfield to opt for the two-pointer from twenty metres out, and at 24-16 we just needed to hold on. But we did better than that. On seventy-four good Leeds possession allowed Webb to pick out Smith on the wing and he went ten metres to ground in the right corner. Sinfield converted brilliantly from the touchline for 30-16.

As the clock ran down the Reds got a final consolation when Jewitt dipped his shoulder and fooled the Rhinos defence to score, but despite the Holdsworth goal there were only seventy seconds remaining on the clock and Leeds managed to retain the ball until the hooter sounded their relief at a hard fought victory.

The Reds were no pushover and if the Rhinos defence hadn't been quite so resolute in the first half then we could have been in all sorts of trouble late on.

This was a game where everything seemed to stick, the interceptions worked, and we kept the silly penalties to a minimum. We seem to have more team spirit, a bit of fire and pride in defence and, believe it or not... a semblance of a game plan.

Could we be peaking just at the right end of the season? I think that there is still a very long way to go before we can compete with Wigan, Warrington and Saints, but with three wins on the trot everything is feeling a lot more positive.

Bring on the Tigers and that semi-final!


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Reds
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
1
Patten
1
2
Smith
1
2
Broughton
1
19
Watkins
3
Henry
12
Ablett
20
Gleeson
5
Hall
1
30
Williams
13
Sinfield
5
6
Ratchford
7
Burrow
7
Holdsworth
3
16
Bailey
1
8
Cashmere
9
Buderus
9
Smith
10
Peacock
19
Boyle
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Anderson
22
Pitts
4
Nero
21
Clarkson
13
Wild
17
Kirke
9
Godwin
8
Leuluai
10
Jewitt
1
14
Lauiti'iti
22
neal
6
McGuire
1
18
Sidlow

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
18-00
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
4,024


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