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Rhinos Grind Beef
Posted by southstander on August 08 2008 - 22:33:28

Early Victim

With these two sides having amassed more losses between them in the last month than either normally do in a season, the likelihood was that we were in for a dour affair.

But what we were treated to was a blood and thunder local derby, full of errors and foul play, but nonetheless a great game to watch and one which would keep us guessing right until the very end.

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

28

Rhinos

v

Bulls

18

Superleague XIII

Round 24

8th August 2008

Rhinos Grind Beef

It was a big relief to see Brent Webb and Scott Donald back in the Leeds side for the visit of a Bulls side which has been devastated by injuries over recent weeks, and which had already lost to the Rhinos on four occasions so far this season. The Rhinos team had more of a solid look to it, less youngsters and more old heads, but we were on the back of two defeats and confidence was ebbing to an all time low just as it was most needed. A loss tonight was unthinkable, it would have signified that the wheels were well and truly off the bandwagon. Everyone gave the Bulls no chance, wven the bookies let them have a sixteen point start.

The first notable action of the game was probably the most controversial. As the Bulls pressured Scott Donald under a kick through, Bulls full-back Platt appeared to head-butt Donald as he was tackled over the Leeds goal line. As the tackle was complete Platt then punched Donald in the head and as Rob Burrow came in to drag Pratt of a prone Donald, Platt 'butted' Burrow for his trouble and the fists started flying. The referee appeared to have missed the original incidents and sent Burrow and Platt to the sin-bin, Platts card should certainly have been of the red variety and the disciplinary should make sure that he doesn't play any further part in the Bulls season. Donald was helped off the field and it was the last we would see of him.

As Thaler had already given the goal-line drop-out his decision stood and as Leeds tried to regroup without a scrum-half Jeffries ran the angle and slipped a backward pass to Sykes to score. Harris converted and we were down 0-6. Not the start we needed.

It took until the quarter hour before we registered our first try. A knock-on on the third tackle close to their line and the Bulls were up against it. Leeds probed right and then left before a long pass from Webb found Tansey in Donalds' position on the wing and he crossed in the corner. Sinfield failed to convert.

On nineteen we hit the front. Diskin broke brilliantly through a gap from acting-half and went from the Leeds forty to the Bulls ten before offloading (suspiciously forward looking) to the supporting Burgess who scored with his first touch of the football. Sinfield converted this one and the SouthStand found its voice to become the Rhinos eighteenth man.

On thirty-three we extended. A Senior break, Burrow scamper, crash onto the ball at pace from Peacock and precision offload to Scruton allowed him to drag his tacklers over to score next to the posts. Sinfield made it 16-6 and it looked like we were well on our way.


Big Game

But the Bulls weren't about to throw the towel in.

On thirty-five Evans stole the ball off Smith after a kick to the corner and strolled over the line. Harris goaled for 16-12.

On thirty-nine it looked like we were going to go into the interval trailing as Finnigan broke towards the line. When it looked like he'd outrun the Rhinos defence Senior came from nowhere and dislodged the ball in the tackle. It was worth six points to the Rhinos and ensure we held the half-time lead.

Having been denied just before the break, it took the Bulls just three minutes after it to regain their early lead. A kick on the last was knocked backwards by a Bulls hand, right on the Rhinos line, and Godwin collected a waist high ball to walk over and touch down. Harris added the two for 16-18. This was not in the script.


Hard Work
The Bulls held the lead to the hour mark when their indiscipline cost them a couple of quick penalties which gave us good field.

We used up the five and then on the last McGuire put in a kick into the Bulls in-goal which was grounded by Ablett just before his foot hit the dead-ball whitewash. The referee went to the video and the call came back good. With Sinfield off the field Burrow slotted over the goal for 22-18.

On seventy-two the game looked sewn up as McGuire crossed but the referee, and most of the 17k crowd, saw the double movement and the try was scratched. The Bulls then threw everything at us and just when you thought the dam was sure to break a couple of mistakes took the pressure off the Rhinos.

With seconds remaining the Rhinos forced a goal-line dropout and worked the ball down to the line before Diskin, the Sinfield went close, the latter putting in a great pass to McGuire who this time managed to ground the ball over the line first time. Sinfield kicked the conversion as the hooter sounded and the Rhinos celebrated a 28-18 win and a fourth in four against the old enemy.

This wasn't a pretty game and had no finesse or flair to wonder at. What it did have was guts and determination as two sides, neither of whom are on their game, slogged it out. In the end a determined Rhinos ground out the win, and we're thankful of it. That should be enough to secure second, although four more points are required to be absolutely sure.

Hopefully we'll gain some confidence out of this, and build on it next friday against our country cousins. Four in four going into the play-offs must now be the aim.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Peacock35%
8
Diskin24%
6
Ellis15%
4
Smith9%
1
Tansey6%
1
Burgess3%
1
Burrow3%
1
Kirke3%
1
Smith3%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Bulls
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
Platt
2
Donald
2
Halley
19
Ablett
1
24
Sykes
1
4
Senior
3
Evans
1
5
Smith
25
Tadulala
6
McGuire
1
22
Jeffries
7
Burrow
1
6
Harris
3
8
Leuleui
8
Vagana
9
Diskin
9
Newton
10
Peacock
10
Lynch
18
Kirke
15
Cook
12
Ellis
19
Finnigan
13
Sinfield
3
13
Langley
24
Burgess
1
27
Johnson
21
Tansey
1
23
Nero
28
Worrall
20
Godwin
1
17
Scruton
1
18
Kopczak

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
16-12
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
17,508


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