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What Cost the Two?
Posted by southstander on August 06 2007 - 06:39:16

Serious Loss?

Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun!

Today the Rhinos showed both in equal measure as a terrible first half was eclipsed by a sensational second as the 'Quins wilted in the intense capital sunshine.

The Rhinos needed a confidence boost, and with one of their best halves of rugby this season, they got it.

Full report here...

54

Rhinos

v

Harlequins

20

SLXII - Round XXII

5th August 2007

What Cost the Two?

It was the same seventeen that had made a total porridge of the last two matches as Nick Scruton was once again asked to be the water carrier. Sinfield started at hooker and for once, Jamie Peacock got a start in the second row as Leuleui and Bailey were named starting props. The conditions were sweltering as the teams took to the field.

The initial minutes of the game were hard and fast and position and possession were not capitalised on. After seven minutes Brent Webb was put on report for a high tackle, and within sixty seconds, Bentham was crossing the hands again for the same offence. Brent looks set for a few games rest.

Seconds after Webb conceeded his second rash penalty, the 'Quins moved the ball right and with a massive overlap, Sykes walked the ball in. He missed his own conversion but his side had a 4-0 lead.

The thirteenth minute was unlucky for Rob Burrow. He fell awkwardly in a tackle and was helped off the field, the last we'd see of him today, and possibly for a few games. It was starting to look like we might be down to the bare bones of the squad for the run-in. Could the visit to London be more costly than just the two points?

On seventeen, Thackray got the Rhinos back on track and into the lead. A delightful step from twenty metres outwitted the Harlequins defence and the big guy got the four, added to by the boot of Sinfield. Four minutes later and Webb had tested the referees patience once too often, this time he was despatched to the sin-bin for his third high tackle of the game. Now we were really up against it.

Too many penalties meant that the Rhinos defence would inevitably break, and one minute after the Webb sin-binning Scott Hill spun over and Sykes added the extras for 10-6.

Webb was still off the field when a delighful inside ball from Danny Orr allowed McLinden to stroll over for a simple try. Sykes converted and Leeds were trailing by 16-6 with ten minutes of the half to go.

Despite being back to the full complement, the 'Quins defence held strong and they guarded their lead to half-time.


Jekyll & Hyde

It had been a lacklustre first half from the Rhinos and we looked like we may be staring down both barrells of a fourth loss in five games. It was starting to feel a little humiliating, what we needed was for our lads to show a little pride.

Leeds started their second half scoring on forty-six when Hopkins knocked on inside his own twenty. Two tackles from the scrum and Webb went over under the sticks. Sinfield converted to narrow the deficit to four. On forty-nine a delightful McGuire 40-20 gave Leeds the much needed territory and on the last tackle of the six, Jordan Tansey grubbered the ball to himself and stepped out of a tackle to cross the whitewash. Sinfields goal gave the Rhinos a narrow two point lead at 18-16. We just needed to stretch it a little and hold on.


18 Point Haul
On fifty-four Ali Lauiti'iti earned a penalty by appealing for a ball steal. Two plays later and Sinfield had the strength to take two defenders with him and stretch over to score. He added the extras and a visibly tiring home side were 24-16 down as the Rhinos great second half continued.

Just after the hour mark and McGuire was provider as a great ball found Ellis in a position to storm over next to the sticks. Sinfield conversion saw a 30-16 lead and we'd turned a potential disaster into what was looking increasingly like a comprehensive victory.

On sixty-four, and with the 'Quins pushing at the Leeds line , Sheriffe fumbled the ball and it was picked up by Scott Donald on the Leeds ten metre. He set off down the wing and the defenders gave up the chase seeing him cross next to the sticks. Sinfield made it six from six and opened the lead to twenty points.

On sixty-eight it was turning into a procession. A Leeds penalty after a cynical Sykes trip on Tansey allowed Leeds to move the ball to the right and put in a sensational fast pass to allow Peacock to cross. Sinfield seventh goal of the afternoon gave us 42-16, it was game over and mission accomplished.

With seven minutes remaining, Danny Orr got a meagre consolation try after dribbling the ball through the Rhinos defensive line. Sykes missed the conversion, the 'Quins confidence was in tatters.

Leeds still had two more tries in them.

On seventy-five Keith Senior picked up a Broncos kick through and broke downfield before passing to McGuire who went the remaining forty metres to score. Tansey converted brilliantly from the touchline. With two minutes to go, Webb completed his transformation from demon to angel as he took a Senior pass and crossed for his second of the afternoon from twenty metres. Tansey once again added the extras and the Rhinos had a 54-20 win.

The Rhinos put in as good a second half as you'll see and destroyed the home side. If only we'd played like that for eight it would have done our points difference a massive benefit. A lot of it was down to fatigue on behalf of the 'Quins but with the Rhinos effectively being down to sixteen men after the loss of Burrow, Smith used his interchanges a lot more wisely than McDermott. Well played the Rhinos.

This could the the confidence building platform that we need to kick on from, but at what cost? Burrow looked in a lot of trouble as he came off, and I suspect that Brent Webb will have a visit to Red Hall pencilled in his diary for tuesday night. We may be somewhat under-strength for the visit of Salford next friday.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
McGuire41%
8
Thackray32%
6
Sinfield12%
5
Webb9%
4
Peacock3%
4
Tansey3%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Quins
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
2
1
McLinden
1
2
Donald
1
2
Wells
3
Toopi
3
Sykes
1
2
4
Senior
4
Smith, T.
25
Hall
28
Sheriffe
6
McGuire
1
6
Hill
1
7
Burrow
7
Orr
1
16
Bailey
8
Temata
13
Sinfield
1
7
9
Randall
8
Leuleui
17
McCarthy-Scarsbrook
11
Jones-Buchanan
18
Gafa
10
Peaocock
1
12
Hopkins
12
Ellis
1
23
Paul
14
Lauiti'iti
14
Rinaldi
15
Thackray
1
13
Purdham
23
Tansey
1
2
20
Grayshon
18
Kirke
29
Mbu

Kick Off:
12:35
Half-Time:
06-16
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
3,734


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