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Best Team Lost
Posted by southstander on March 09 2009 - 10:39:30

Twelve Points

After last weeks lesson in rugby league from the Manly Sea Eagles, the Rhinos were looking for a confident performance against the bottom of the table Warrington Wolves.

It was a game that we needed to win to return to the top of Superleague, but when Blueys line-up was announced, you had to wonder how seriously he was taking it.

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

20

Rhinos

v

Wolves

14

Superleague XIV

Round 4

8th March 2009

Best Team Lost

The Rhinos seventeen was names without Diskin, Senior and Kirke, all of whom were named in the original squad. Danny Allen had been drafted in to a young and inexperienced looking side indicating that it must have been injuries keeping the three Senior players out of the team.

Leeds set off like a team inspired. The game was just two minutes old when a McGuire grubber kick was fumbled by the Wolves defence and Carl Ablett was in position to pounce and touch down for the opener. Sinfield kicked a tricky conversion in the strong wind and we were eight up.

Three minutes later and stand-in hooker, Paul McShane, kicked a rare Rhinos 40-20. From the resulting scrum we took three plays before a nice inside ball ended up in the hands of Sinfield to cross from five metres. He added the conversion to his own try for 12-0 and we wondered whether a cricket score was on the cards.

But early optimism soon faded, as Warrington awoke from the opening five minute slumber to spend the remainder of the game bombarding the Leeds try line.

On fourteen a high tackle by Burgess gave the Wolves a penalty. Good field position was gained from the kick and three plays later Lee Broers went through a gap to score. Hicks missed the conversion but the Wolves were right back in the game, and starting to gain the upper hand.


Leeds Opener

The home side then bombarded the Leeds defence and it was only resolute tackling, and a catalogue of Warrington handling errors which stopped the Wolves romping into a big lead. Leeds were simply hanging on, as mistake after mistake in the Rhinos twenty eased the pressure on the visitors.

On thirty-three Sinfield took advantage of a penalty on the Wire twenty to extend the lead to 14-4, but just before half time Leeds were penalised for offside on their own line and Higham went over from acting half-back.


Scored Winner
The half-time was 14-10 to the visitors, but how we were still ahead is a mystery. Warrington threw everything at us, and they weren't playing like a bottom of the table side.

It was now a question of how long we could hold out.

The start to the second half saw more of the same. Leeds struggling to get outside their own half as wave after wave of Wolves attack was thwarted at the last gasp.

The dam broke on fifty-seven when two stupid penalties disoriented Leeds and allowed the Wolves to move the ball wide right for Hicks to cross in the corner. He failed to convert his own try but the scores were level at 14-14.

It seemed like the game was slipping from us. We were really up against it with the home crowd getting behind their side and the Rhinos fans struggling to be heard.

Then with ten minutes to go we got the miracle that we'd been hoping for.

A McGuire grubber on the last was collected in-goal by Riley who returned it to his twenty before being tackled. In the tackle the ball came loose and found its way into the hands of McGuire who stepped left and then right before diving over to score, as the Rhinos fans went barmy. Sinfield kicked the goal for a 20-14 and now we had to hold on for the remainder of the game.

The Wolves redoubled their effort and went close twice, both times dropping the ball close to the Rhinos line and when the hooter eventually sounded, after what seemed like an age, we had held on for the points and a famous win.

This was another poor Rhinos performance as we were battered by a keen and spirited Wolves. We looked to have a lot more shape with McShane on the field but we couldn't find a way through a strong Wolves defence. Warrington will get their first win very soon, and then will kick on towards mid-table.

On the afternoon the best side lost, but it's two pouints to Leeds and back to the top of the pile.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
McShane40%
8
Sinfield33%
6
Jones-Buchanan13%
4
McGuire7%
4
Smith7%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wolves
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
3
Smith
19
Riley
2
Donald
23
Hicks
2
23
Watkins
3
Gleeson
20
Gibson
4
King
5
Hall
2
Johnson
6
McGuire
1
6
Briers
1
7
Burrow
7
Monoghan
10
Bailey
8
Morley
26
McShane
9
Clarke
19
Burgess
10
Rauhihi
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Anderson, L
18
Ablett
1
24
Harrison
13
Sinfield
1
4
13
Anderson, V
26
Allen
15
Wood
8
Leuluai
2
Mitchell
12
Lauiti'iti
14
Higham
1
10
Peacock
17
Pickersgill

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
20-14
Referee:
Saint Steve Ganson
Crowd:
9,863


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