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Rampant Rhinos Wallop Warriors
Posted by southstander on April 16 2005 - 00:08:04

Now 11 in 10
The jammed roads around the JJB, even my 'special short cut', meant that the Wigan public were turning up in their droves to see the World Champions. Some would be holding onto the hope that their patched up side of kids and semi-fit players could defend their fortress, but most will have been there more in hope than expectation.

A good following from Leeds braved the atrocious weather to almost fill the north stand (at least from where I was sitting), to see a side without Ellis, McKenna and the suspended Ward look to open a four point gap over Saints.

38

Rhinos

v

Warriors

14

Superleague X

15th April 2005

Rampant Rhinos Wallop Warriors

Torrential rain welcomed the two sides onto the pitch, with the Rhinos defending the north stand. It was clear that Wigans best tactic would be to muscle up to us in the opening period, and hope to get a lead which they could defend as the Rhinos turned on the style. Early hit-ups were fierce from both sides, but withe the Rhinos having the early advantage. Walker went close early on with a good break, and then on five minutes he dropped the ball over the line thanks to attention from the Warriors defence.

This early shock kicked the Warriors into action. On eight minutes McDermott dropped the ball in the tackle, and Bailey compounded the error with a high tackle. The penalty gained good metres and from the tap, Moran put Radlinski through a gaping hole in the Leeds defence to register the first score. Tickle goaled and the home fans were in 'dreamland'.

Tempers had frayed early on between McDermott and Seuseu as the sides two enforcers looked to establish supremacy. It boiled over on ten when the pair went for one another, three of Seuseu's team mates joining in before the referee intervened and showed both protagonists the yellow card.

It was the eighteenth minutes, with Barrie still in the bin, before the Rhinos registered their first points. Wigan had been resolute in defence up until this point, but a Sinfield interchange with Dunemann and a long ball to Senior wide left saw the Rhinos top try scorer over the line.

Sinfield converted brilliantly from the left hand touchline to level the scores.


1st Choice 7

With the bad boys back from the 'bin', Wigan regained the upper hand. Walker spilled the ball in the tackle, gifting the ball to the Warriors inside the Rhinos forty. The home side moved the ball well and as the Rhinos defence failed to slide, Walker was left massively exposed to let Radlinski in for his second. It was no less than the Warriors deserved. They had been the better side so far and Tickles conversion gave them a deserved lead at 12-6.

It looked like this might be a tough one. Wigans moves were working, and Leeds seemed a little unsettled, making uncharacteristic mistakes.

But on twenty-five, we were back on level terms thanks to a Wigan knock-on, a sensational inside pass from Burrow, and a barnstorming run by Willie Poching. The video referee ruled that Willie had grounded the ball, but his smile on the big screen had already given the game away. Sinfield goaled to tie the scores up at 12-12.

To be honest, I'd have settled for that at half time, we'd been in a real arm wrestle, but the lads had one last score in them that would give me a grin into the break.

On twenty-nine Senior grabbed his second try of the night (for the second week running) after Bai had forced a breaking Moran to spill the ball. Laitit'iti and a palm back from Burrow went straight into Keiths hands and he dove over. Sinfield missed with the touchline attempt but it mattered not as we took an undeserved lead into half time. The second half would, however, be a different story.

Once again the Warriors tried to muscle-up at the start of the second half, but the 'heavy' tactic took their attention away from ball handling, with catastrophic effect. The home side did get the first points of the second half, on fifty-six, thanks to a Tickle penalty after a Bailey high tackle, but it would be their only points in a second half dominated by the Rhinos.


2nd Rhinos Try
On fifty-nine the Rhinos scored the first of four devastating tries in a twenty-minute period.

Sinfield kicked-off following the Tickle penalty and with a single bounce in the field of play the ball bounced over three Warriors players and into touch, giving the Rhinos head and feed.

Three plays later, and after Walker went close, Dunemann put a short ball inside to the onrushing Botham who slid over for his second try for the Rhinos. Sinfield goaled for 22-14.

On sixty-five a desperate cross-field kick by Dunemann was collected, and passed, in one move by Willie Poching. The ball went wide left to Bai who crossed in acres of space. Sinfield didn't add the two but we had breathing space. There was still fifteen minutes to go, but the famous 'Wigan Walk' had started as their fans realised that the Champions were in a different class.

On seventy-two, the skipper saw a gap, and as the tacklers converged on him he slipped the ball to Lauiti'itiu who crossed for the second game in succession, a massive grin on his face. This one was under the posts and Sinfield converted for 32-14. The trickle of 'walkers' turned into a flood as the eastern stand emptied like there was a bomb scare.

As the clock counted down to another Rhinos victory, the Rhinos had one last trick up their sleeves. On seventy-eight a Burrow grubber took a ricochet off a Warriors defender, straight into the path of Calderwood who dribbled the ball over the line and touched down to put the icing on the cake. Sinfields conversion made it 38-14 for a totally comprehensive Rhinos victory.

The Rhinos bandwagon rolls on, and tonight we made a mockery of the 'Fortress JJB' claims. This was tough early on as the Warriors put up an excellent first half fight. I was relieved to be winning at half time, but as the second half wore on it was increasingly apparent that the first half efforts had taken their toll on the home side.

Four points clear at the top of Superleague, all we need now is a decent London win over our nearest rivals Saints tomorrow evening. Come on you Broncos!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Dunneman29%
8
Sinfield24%
6
Senior19%
4
Burrow15%
2
Bai3%
2
Lauiti'iti3%
2
Poching3%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
1
Radlinski
2
2
Calderwood
1
2
Dallas
3
Walker
4
Vaealiki
4
Senior
2
14
Brown
5
Bai
1
3
Aspinwall
13
Sinfield
5
6
Orr
7
Burrow
7
Moran
8
Bailey
8
Seuseu
14
Dunemann
9
Newton
10
McDermott
10
Guisset
16
Poching
1
12
Tickle
3
11
Lauiti'iti
1
20
Hansen
18
Jones-Buchanan
19
Wild
23
Smith
18
Godwin
6
McGuire
22
Allen
22
Scruton
23
Colbon
21
Botham
1
27
Hargreaves

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
16-12
Attendance:
16,022
Referee:
Karl Kirkpatrick


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