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Kears Tactics Gift Rhinos The Points
Posted by southstander on March 16 2007 - 23:36:43

Getting Better all the Time

The coach needed a win, the players needed a win, and above all the supporters needed a win.

Leeds travelled to a ground where they have not lost during Superleague looking for a victory that would be convincing enough to kick-start their season. They came away having managed to hold on for the win by their fingernails after a calamitous tactical plan in the first half by coach Kear cost his side their top spot in Superleague.

There was nothing clever or pretty about this..it was rugby league at its rawest.

Full report here...

32

Rhinos

v

Wildcats

26

SLXII - Round VI

16th March 2007

Kears Tactics Gift Rhinos The Points

A back injury kept Rhinos best player so far this season, Brent Webb, in the stands and with Lee Smith dropped to the Academy, it was down to Jordan Tansey to fill in at full-back with Ian Kirke finally getting the nod on the bench.

It was a packed house, and with the trouble I had finding a parking space at 7pm, they had all travelled alone. It is always difficult to see the in goal area from the terracing, but with the crowd packed in like it was tonight, it was impossible. The sooner that this Belle Vue ground is no longer in Superleague...the better.

Leeds got straight on with business forcing a Wakefield error as they collected Sinfields kick. It set the trend for a first half that would be dominated from start to finish by the Rhinos, thanks to Kear sending his side out with totally the wrong first half game plan.

Leeds didn't score with their opening attack, but on five minutes they got the scoreboard moving. Keeping the ball alive Leeds made good ground before the ball was moved wide left with a missout pass putting Donald over in the corner. Sinfield didn't manage the conversion, but already the home side were trying to unsettle the Rhinos with lying-on and niggle.

It was quickly becoming evident that into the teeth of a gale, Kears tactics were to delay the play-the-ball and rough us up as much as possible. Gone was the flowing and fast Wildcats football that had served them so well so far this season to be replaced by the tactics that you are more likely to associate with the Giants than the Cats. Klein didn't like it and penalty after penalty followed as Wakefield failed to get the message.

Two quick penalties on thirteen took the Rhinos deep into 'Cats territory and as the ball went left again Senior spun over in the tackle. Sinfield added the extras for 10-0.

On twenty, Senior and Elima saw yellow after two punch ups in the space of a minute and four minutes later they were joined by March as Kleins patience at the Wildcats interference finally wore out.

On twenty-six Sinfield kicked a penalty after the home side were caught offside directly under their own sticks. It was all going fine.


Valuable Goals

On twenty-eight Leeds took advantage of the extra man when Burrow, McGuire and Burrow again carved through the Wildcats defence before releasing Tansey to score under the sticks making the Sinfield conversion a formality.

With five minutes of the half remaining the Rhinos sealed their first half dominance after a Wakefield clearance kick went out on the full and thanks to fast hands, McGuire went over on the angle. Sinfield extended the lead to 24-0 and although we weren't playing brilliantly, Wakefields self destruct seemed to have allowed us to open an unasailable lead.

But as the hooter warmed, Wakefield managed to get in the Rhinos twenty with ball in hand for the first time and served notice that this wasn't going to go all Leeds way. A good passing move saw the referee take out two Rhinos tacklers before Jeffries went in to score. Rooney added the conversion and the sides trooped off with the Rhinos holding a 24-6 lead.

The half-time feeling was that even with the wind at their backs in the second half, the Wildcats would not be able to get back into this one.

But...Kear must have given the home side one hell of a half-time grilling and as they emerged for the second half it was like watching a different side as they carved us apart.


Gave 110%
Just four minutes after the restart a cross field kick was fumbled by Scott Donald and pounced upon by Peter Fox. Rooney missed the conversion.

Three minutes later and as the Rhinos left wing came in-field a great kick to the corner allowed Fox to collect unhindered and cross for his second in three minutes. Rooney goaled to cut the arrears to just eight, now we were starting to panic.

By fifty-four the Rhinos had reverted to Hull KR and Catalans form as Atkins went through the Leeds defence almost untouched to score. Rooney missed again but the Wildcats were just four points adrift in a game where the looked 'dead and buried' at half-time.

It was a nailbiting nine minutes before a McGuire chip caused mayhem in the 'Cats goal area and Bailey collected the loose ball to score. Burrow missed the conversion for 28-20. Three minutes later and a vicious elbow by Moore after a kick from McGuire left Danny flat-out and gave Leeds a penalty on the Wildcats thirty. Moore saw yellow rather than red, an upgrade will surely follow at the disciplinary.

With ten minutes left Burrow kicked a goal after inteference at the play-the-ball and a further yardage penalty for backchat. It was now 30-20 and we could start feeling more confident that the points were ours. There were, however, a couple more twists.

On seventy-seven a nice passing move which ended with a dubiously forward pass to Atkins saw the Wildcats substitute over for his second. Rooney goaled to narrow the margin to four once more. From the kick-off Leeds forced a Wakefied dropout which went out of the full as the home side threw everything they had at scoring a final try. Sinfield kicked the resulting penalty from in-front of the sticks as the hooter sounded on a narrow Rhinos victory.

This was a game which the Rhinos did not win, it was a game that was gifted by a bad John Kear first half game plan. If Wakefield had employed their second half tactics for the full game then I am certain that I would be writing up another losing report rather that this reserved celebration that we got the points.

The Rhinos are still not firing on all cylinders. In spells they showed the potential that they have, but at times they were awful. Good points from the game were Ryan Baileys continuing rehabilitation, Rob Burrows determined runs from mid-field and Ian Kirke finally getting a game (even if it was only for five minutes right at the end).

If we don't buck up our ideas soon then this will be a season of more bad nights than good.


The U21's also picked up the points tonight with a 20-10 win thanks to tries from Smith (2), Michael Brown and Mike Ratu. Smith and Briggs also got goals. Full report to follow next week.



Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Ellis39%
8
Bailey23%
5
Burrow13%
5
McGuire13%
3
Tansey10%
2
Sinfield3%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wildcats
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
23
Tansey
1
21
Blaymire
2
Donald
1
22
Fox
2
3
Toopi
3
Demetriou
4
Senior
1
17
Henderson
20
Gibson
5
Tadulala
6
McGuire
1
6
Rooney
3
7
Burrow
1
7
Jeffries
1
16
Bailey
1
8
Watene
9
Diskin
14
March
10
Peacock
25
Moore
11
Jones-Buchanan
12
McGillivray
12
Ellis
18
Elima
13
Sinfield
5
13
Ferres
14
Lauiti'iti
4
Atkins
2
15
Thackray
11
Catic
8
Leuleui
20
Leo-Latu
18
Kirke
23
Golden

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
24-06
Referee:
Ashley Klein
Crowd:
9,973


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