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Red Hot Rhinos
Posted by southstander on July 20 2008 - 00:41:11

Victory

It had been sweltering temperatures all day in Perpignan and as the eight o'clock kick-off neared the sun was still high in the sky and the heat showed no sign of abating.

A capacity crowd filled the Stade Gilbert Brutus and has been whipped to a friendly frenzy by the alcohol that had flowed freely all day, two thousand plus making the trip from wet England to see if our lads can hold on to second spot.

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

37

Rhinos

v

Dragons

24

Superleague XIII

Round 22

19th July 2008

Red Hot Rhinos

With Brent Webb and Ryan Bailey 'left at home' due to injuries, you may have been mistaken for thinking that Leeds were not taking this weeks trip to the south of France seriously. Lee Smith was named at full-back with Ryan Hall on one wing. The forward line did look decent with Leuluai and Peacock starting up-front and JJB and Ellis in the second row. Diskin had passed a fitness test to play, but in conditions with no shelter and temperatures pushing the mid-30's you suspected that stamia would play a key role.

Leeds got off to the best of starts when a delayed McGuire pass almost saw JJB to the line. On the next play Burrow put up a high kick and Smith caught it in flight and crashed over the line. Referee Smith consulted the video ref who ruled 'TRY', we were under way as Sinfield slotted over the extras.

But it was a short-lived lead as on seven minutes, and a little against the run of early Leeds dominance, Stacul went over in the right corner. Smith went to the video again and despite the touch judge having looked to have denied the try, the video official gave it. Bosc goaled brilliantly from the touchline to level the scores.

Leeds continued to have possession and territory but it was the home side who took the lead on thirteen. A high kick was fumbled by Hall and Elima picked it up for a walk-in. Bosc converted for 6-12 and it looked like it might be one of those nights.

Leeds were looking visibly drained, facing into the low setting sun, and when the Dragons scored again on twenty-five you really feared the worst.

A penalty for a Leeds high tackle allowed the Dragons to move down field and Raguin pushed through an almost non existent Leeds defence to score next to the sticks. Bosc goaled again for 6-18 and thoughts were turning to another 'how many'!

We needed the next score, and fortunately we got it.


Jekyll & Hyde

With six minutes of the half remaining Donald made a great break down his wing only to be stopped short. From the play the ball McGuire kicked across field and Raguin tried to knock the ball dead but only put it in his goal area where Ryan Hall pounced to touch down. Sinfield failed to goal but as the half-time hooter sounded relief for the Rhinos players we trailed by eight at 10-18.

Leeds started the second half well. Burrow turned a poor pass into a great move as he picked up a McGuire bouncing ball, stepped past the defender and passd inside for McGuire to cross. Sinfield goaled to narrow the deficit to just two.

On fifty, Hall knocked-on while trying to pick up a Dragons penalty which hadn't found touch. The fightback looked short-lived as Elima bulldozed his way through tired defenders, still struggling for breath to get back into the line. Bosc goaled again for 16-24. Did we have another fight back in us?


Missed Kicks
Three minutes later and we showed more determination. A magical Burrow sidestep saw him through the line, run for twenty, and then put McGuire over for his second of the night. Sinfield missed what looked like an easy conversion for 20-24. We were back within striking distance.

On fifty-nine we hit the front, thirty seconds after the Dragons had a try of their own ruled out by the video referee.

Sinfield took full advantage with a good break down field before passing inside to big Ali to go the last twenty to score. Sinfield goaled for 26-24. Now we needed to hold on.

On seventy-four minutes Donald collected a Dragons chip on his own twenty and zig-zagged through the broken defence to go eighty metres to score. Sinfield again missed the conversion but we had a six point lead.

On seventy-seven Diskin diffused a short kick-off and the Rhinos moved the ball down field and gave Sinfield the change of a thirty metre drop goal which he gratefully accepted. The game was now in the bag, but it had been hard fought.

The icing on the cake came on seventy-nine when a Dragons knock-on gave Leeds a scrum allowing McGuire to make a half break before passing out to Ryan Hall who went thirty for his second. Sinfield goaled to seal a famous and memorable first win over the Dragons on French soil by 37-24.

The importance of this win cannot be underestimated. The lads fought brilliantly in tough conditions to grind out a win which looked all but impossible late on in the first half. It gives us a three point cushion in second, and sets us up brilliantly for next Saturdays semi-final.

This was one out of the top drawer, well played lads, well played.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Burrow40%
7
Lauiti'iti20%
7
McGuire20%
5
Donald13%
4
Peacock7%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Dragons
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
5
Smith
1
1
Greenshields
2
Donald
1
23
Stacul
1
3
Toopi
3
Wilson
4
Senior
11
Raguin
22
Hall
2
5
Pelo
1
6
McGuire
2
6
Bosc
4
7
Burrow
7
McGuire
8
Leuleui
19
Chan
9
Diskin
9
Gorrell
10
Peacock
16
Elima
2
11
Jones-Buchanan
12
Crocker
12
Ellis
13
Mounis
13
Sinfield
4
1
14
Carlaw
14
Lauiti'iti
1
10
Guisset
17
Scruton
24
Casty
18
Kirke
27
Quintilla
19
Ablett
28
Touxagas

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
10-18
Referee:
Ian Smith
Crowd:
9,880


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