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Happier Easter
Posted by southstander on April 09 2012 - 17:45:42

Four Try Haul
When I saw the Rhinos teamsheet I have to admit to being somewhat deflated and rather confused. The nineteen man squad named bore little resemblance to a line-up which was named with Lee Smith at scrum-half, Rob Burrow returning to the first team but at hooker, Ablett in the centres in place of the injured Watkins and Ryan Bailey named at loose forward.

I feared the worst against a Broncos side who beat us twice last season and who were due a change in their 2012 fortunes.

A poor bank holiday attendance, a mini-full of who were wearing London colours, braved the rain in the vain hope that we'd get a decent game.

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

52

Rhinos

v

Broncos

10

Superleague XVII - Round 11

9th April 2012

Happier Easter

The Broncos set out their stall early. They were here for the two points, and against what could best be described as a 'patched together' Rhinos side they must have fancied their chances. They knew that the start would be important and for the opening twenty minutes they laid seige to the Leeds line. Some good Leeds defence, much of it last ditch, kept the visitors at bay, but the signs early on looked ominous.

You felt that it was only a matter of time before the Broncos would go over for the first try, but after absorbing the onslaught it was the Rhinos who broke the deadlock.

On Leeds second attack deep into the Broncos half, in the twenty-third minute, Ablett finally found a gap after stepping twice, and stretched out to ground the ball on the line. Sinfield failed to goal the conversion and it was very reminiscent of friday nights loss at Odsal. Absorbing loads of pressure and getting the first try. We all hoped that was the end of the similarity.

On thirty our nerves were settled when Ben Jones-Bishop found room down the right wing to cross off an Ablett pass while the stand-in centre had his back to the opponents line. Sinfield kicked the goal for 10-0.


Scored Two
Three minutes later and we were in again.

A brilliant Burrow break down the centre of the field found Sinfield in support but the skipper was tackled just short. A fast play-the-ball and three pairs of hands finally saw a long pass to Hall to score on the overlap. Sinfield failed to add the extras from the touchline but the Broncos would need to score three times to get past us.

By recent benchmarks this was a comfortable lead, and it felt good.

Three minutes before the break we added a fourth try and again Ablett was the provider. He went through a gap and broke for forty metres before passing to Smith, who then found Jones-Bishop to go over in the right corner for his second. Once again Sinfield failed with the boot but we were taking an 18-0 lead into the sheds and we'd have definitely taken that before kick-off.

After a great opening twenty the Broncos had started to tire and were dropping off the odd tackle and leaving the odd gap. Leeds had exploited it well, without really clicking, but it was a Rhinos performance which had been built on a superb opening twenty minutes of defence to keep the visitors scoreless.

The second half started badly for Leeds, just as we were looking for them to build on their good opening forty.

On forty-three some quick hands saw Dixon over in the left corner on the overlap, benefitting from two quick penalties awarded by the ever-enigmatic Mr Hicks. Witt missed the conversion. Three minutes later and the Broncos were in again, again after Leeds were penalised, this time for holding down.

Two plays from the penalty and Dorn found a gap to run the angle and score. Witt added the extras and it looked like game-on again at 18-10, but we needn't have worried. The Broncos had finished their scoring in a three minute blitz.

On fifty-one the Rhinos scored try five of what would end up a ten try haul.

A kick on the last by Sinfield was gathered by a flying Hall who landed a few metres short and ran over to score. The skipper kicked the extras for 24-10.

On sixty-two Sinfield was again the kick-provider for a carbon copy try as Hall again rose above the defence (although he did look to have been offside when the kick came in) to take the ball and ground for his hat-trick. Sinfield again goaled and the Rhinos were easing out of sight at 30-10.

The sixty-seventh minute saw a Broncos knock-on in their own twenty and from the back of the scrum the ball was swung wide left through fast hands for Hardaker to put Hall in for his fourth. Sinfield failed from the touchline.


Another Two

We weren't finished yet.

On seventy it was Lee Smiths turn to beat his man and make a good break down field. Supported by Webb inside and Hall outside the makeshift scrum-half opted for Webb who accelerated to the line to dive over next to the sticks. Sinfield goaled for 40-10.

Two minutes later and the individual try of the game as Hardaker went for sixty metres fending off half a dozen tackles to scramble over and score. Sinfields goal made it 46-10 and now it was looking like a rout.

We broke the fifty with a beautiful piece of Webb magic after he collected a Sinfield grubber on the first bounce and flicked a pass backwards, without looking, straight into the hands of Hardaker to cross for his second of the afternoon. Sinfield added the two for 52-10 and a commanding bounce-back from the disappointment of the last three games.

The team looked crazy on paper, but against opposition from the bottom three it worked on the pitch. Smith had his best game of the season and actually looked more at home at scrum-half than he has on the wing or at full-back. Ablett played brilliantly in the centres and Bailey tackled himself to a standstill. Burrow was as massive difference and his return showed us what we'd been missing for the last few games. Singleton played well off the bench, and the rest of the forwards did all the hard work which enabled our back to 'fill their boots'.

We are still a long way from the side who played so well against Manly and Warrington, but this was a lot better than recent weeks. Once we have McGuire, Jones-Buchanan and and fully fit Peacock (because he wasn't today) then we are going to be a much different prospect.

Next up, basement side Wakefield in the cup next friday, now that is one that the lads will be up for.

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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Broncos
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
5
Robertson
2
Jones-Bishop
2
21
Dixon
1
12
Ablett
1
3
O'Callaghan
4
Hardaker
2
19
Sargison
5
Hall
4
2
Colbon
13
Sinfield
6
6
Witt
1
14
Smith
7
Gower
20
Griffin
8
Kaufusi
9
Burrow
9
Randall
10
Peacock
13
Clubb
18
Clarkson
20
Cook
15
Delaney
11
Rodney
16
Bailey
12
Bailey
17
Kirke
1
Dorn
1
9
McShane
10
Bryant
8
Leuluai
15
Temata
23
Singleton
18
Krasniqi

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
18-0
Referee:
Rob Hicks
Crowd:
13,109


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