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Could have been Eighty
Posted by southstander on August 15 2008 - 23:19:54

Hat-trick

In all truth, the Tigers blew their chance of Headingley glory when they lost to the kids in June. Tonight was always going to be about the senior squad completing the job that the youngsters started six weeks ago and shattering the dreams of those making the short journey up the road to the big smoke.

Leeds were still without a handful of first choice players but those in the side were determined to build on last weekends success against the Bulls and raise the confidence level on the way into the play-offs.

And...securing second spot was up for grabs.

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

54

Rhinos

v

Tigers

12

Superleague XIII

Round 25

15th August 2008

Could have been Eighty

Right from the outset the Tigers showed the way that they were going to operate. After having first use of the football, to no avail, then then set about laying on and niggling in the tackle from the first Leeds carry. As the Rhinos completed their first set of six, with a Sinfield bomb, hooker Moore launched the elbow at the skippers head, fortunately spotted by the linesman. Had it been later in the game then Moore would almost certainly have seen red, but so early in and as for Platt last week, it was just a yellow. Lucky boy.

The Rhinos took full advantage. On four minutes Peacock went over but was held up and from the ten metre play-the-ball the ball was moved left and Webb put in a long pass for Gibson to receive down the wing and cross for the opener. It was as though Ash had been away for five minutes rather than the five month lay off that he has had. Sinfield converted well and we were six up.

On ten a clear Rhinos knock-on was missed by the officals, despite the Rhinos almost stopping, and two plays later French referee Alibert gave us a penalty on the Cas twenty. McGuire went for the line but dropped the ball. Alibert said backwards and Senior picked it up and flipped it back to the supporting Burrow who jinked over. Sinfield failed to goal, hittingthe upright, but it was ten in ten. Fingers crossed we could keep this up.

But rather than build first the brakes came on and then we went into reverse.

On twenty it was the Tigers who got on the board. A bounce pass from Westerman was collected by Owen who went in on the overlap. Dixon converted to reduce the arrears to just four.

Five minutes later and it was the Rhinos turn to cross. A beautiful passing move through half a dozen pairs of lightening fast hands saw Lee Smith cross on the overlap. Sinfield missed the kick as he did three minutes later when Smith turned provider.

On the last, as the Rhinos pressured the Tigers line again, a Sinfield kick to the corner was knocked back into play as Smith was tackled into touch. Ablett was on hand to pick up and fall over the line. The Sinfield miss geave us an 18-6 lead.


Had he been away?

The last scoring action of the half came just after the half hour when Ali Lauiti'iti devastated the Tigers defence with two great fends to cross from ten metres. Sinfield kicked the extras and we held on, despite a spirited Cas effort to take a 24-6 lead into half time.

Leeds were in total control and it was a little surprising that the lead wasn't more. Sinfield had missed three kicks, and the Castleford try was a soft one. It should have been closer to a thirty point lead than the eighteen we had.

It was a good start to the second half too.

On forty-six a Burrow grubber on the last was collected just short of the line by Jordan Tansey, already sliding over on his knees. He collected cleanly and grounded the ball. This time Sinfield found his touch and converted for 30-6. Any hope that the travelling fans might have had was now extinguished.


Two Pointer
On the hour a Tigers kick found touch on the full and the Rhinos used the gift to work the ball down the right before a brilliant flip pass from Ellis found Webb who slid over for a simple try. Sinfields conversion gave us 36-6.

But then we were hit by ten minutes of Tigers pressure.

On sixty-five Leeds were forced to drop out and Cas used the posession well before Dorn found a gap and crossed. Dixon converted for 36-12, but there was no need to panic.

The last ten minutes were all Leeds.

On seventy-one we scored a forty metre try out of nothing as Burgess broke and found Burrow who in turn passed to McGuire to go the last twenty to score under the sticks making the sinfield conversion for 42-12 a formality.

Three minutes later and on the last tackle the ball was kept alive well and moved to the left for Tansey to go over off a Senior pass. Sinfield converted from the touchline for 48-12.

The very final action of the game was a Tansey intercept on his own forty and then a sixty metre run to the line, unopposed, to score under the sticks. Gareth Ellis, on his last home regular round game before departure down under, was give the ball and slotted it between the sticks for his first (and almost certainly last) conversion in Leeds colours.

It was a confident and thorough Leeds performance with a worrying ten minute 'sleeping' spell in the second half. Very little in the Castleford ranks worried us, and we did well to keep our cool under the provocation of repeated lying on and niggles in the tackle.

Great to see Ash back and having a good game and all credit to Burrow, Burgess, Smith and Peacock, all of whom had great games.

Final word has to go to Mr Alibert who was absolutely dreadful. I've called for this guys inclusion in Superleague in the past but after seeing him twice this season at Headingley, he simply isn't up to it. He missed some absolute howlers, gave confusing signals, and was only bailed out of some major mistakes by his touch judges.

All in all though, a good night at the office and second place all but mathematically assured. Now, can Saints lose two of their last three?


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Peacock25%
8
Tansey21%
4
Burrow14%
4
Ellis14%
4
Lauiti'iti14%
2
Webb7%
1
Smith4%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Tigers
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
2
Donlan
2
Smith
1
21
Owen
1
19
Ablett
1
3
Shenton
4
Senior
4
Dixon
2
20
Gibson
1
5
Wainwright
6
McGuire
1
23
McGoldrick
7
Burrow
1
1
Dorn
1
8
Leuleui
15
Huby
9
Diskin
20
Moore
10
Peacock
14
Higgins
12
Ellis
1
11
Guttenbeil
18
Kirke
16
Lupton
13
Sinfield
6
13
Westerman
14
Lauiti'iti
1
8
Leafa
17
Scruton
9
Henderson
24
Burgess
27
Catic
21
Tansey
3
28
Sargent

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
24-06
Referee:
Thierry Alibert
Crowd:
17,354


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