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Rampant Rhinos Slay Woeful Warriors
Posted by southstander on March 13 2009 - 23:42:39

Superb

For the second week running Bluey surprised everyone but himself with his seventeen. Matt Diskin had failed to fully recover from a neck injury and with no McShane named in the nineteen we were forced into tonights match without a recognised hooker.

Against a Warriors side who humiliated the Bulls last weekend it looked like we might have a very tough task ahead.

No one was, however, prepared for what would unfold as the Warriors had a nightmare friday the thirteenth and the Rhinos found some of the form that has been missing since last Octobers' Grand Final.

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

34

Rhinos

v

Warriors

10

Superleague XIV

Round 5

13th March 2009

Rampant Rhinos Slay Woeful Warriors

One piece of great news ahead of kick-off was that Brent Webb was going to play some part in tonights game, but it wouldn't be from the start as he was named on a very strong looking bench alongside Peacock, Lauiti'iti and Burgess. The starting thirteen looked weak in the centres with Watkins and Gibson being our only options, it looked like a game we'd have to win in the forwards.

From very early Leeds made their intentions clear, they were not going to get embroiled in a battle of the big boys, instead they were going to move the ball to the back as often as they could and pry open the Warriors defence with speed and guile.

With just a couple of minutes on the clock Rob Burrow kicked a magnificent 40-20 (more like a 40-10) and after some good probing from the scrum to the fourth tackle Watkins picked up a loose ball, moved it out to Sinfield who found Leuluai in space to crash over. Sinfield added the extras and the Warriors were stunned by a great Leeds start.

It got better, and quickly. In the tenth minute a great chip kick by McGuire was missed by a flapping Ainscough and Donald pounced on the loose ball with a centimetre to spare and touched down for the second. Sinfield again goaled the extras, this time from the touchline, and we were 12-0 ahead. It was like we were in a dream....and then we remembered. We did the same last week against the Wolves and then fell asleep for the remaining seventy.

But not this time!

On thirteen a beautiful McGuire chip almost found Lee Smith but the ball was pushed dead for a dropout.

But four minutes later and we were in again. Kirke stepped out of a weak tackle and went thirty before passing outside to Donald who despite appearing to knock on was allowed to pass inside to Sinfield who in turn found Rob Burrow, who was having a great night bossing his troops, to scamper over. Sinfield goaled for 18-0 but in the build up we lost Kirke to a clash of heads and it would be the last role he would play in the game.


Yorkshire Terrier

With ten minutes left in the half Lee Smith emulated the pocket-rocket with his own 40-20. Leeds again probed and prodded before moving the ball left through six pairs of hands enabling Ryan Hall to go in on the overlap. For once the skipper failed with the conversion but it looked like a comfortable 22-0 lead going towards the interval.

Wigan gave themselves a glimmer of hope as half-time approached. A momentary lapse in the Rhinos defence saw Hall knock-on within ten metres of his line. Fast play from the scrum and Wigan moved the ball rapidly left for Ainscough to enjoy a twenty-metre overlap. Richards added the extras for a half-time of 22-6.

This had been great Leeds open rugby. We'd kept the ball alive, scored scintilating tries, and were showing the rest of Superleague the real potential of even an understrength Rhinos side. It had been great to watch and more of the same was required in the second half.

Brian Noble must have stripped the paint off the walls at half time because his charges came out like a team posessed.

Within the first few seconds of the second half a high ball from Richards was missed by Donald and found its way to Leuluai who appeared to score. Smith went to the video referee and the rty was ruled out for offside. On forty-nine it looked as though Gareth Hock had found his way through a gap to score but the eagle-eyed Smith once again refereed it and this time Video Referee Phil Bentham ruled it out for an earlier obstruction. Instead of leading by sixteen we would have been down to four ahead.


Late Try
To add insult to injury we scored on our next posession. A cross-field kick by Burrow was collected in the air by Hall who dropped over the line. Sinny added the extras for 28-6.

The Wigan players, coach and fans couldn't believe it. Two whiskers away from being right back in the match and now they were trailing by twenty-two. It obviously wasn't going to be their night.

On sixty-five Leeds once again got the rub. This time Peacock crashed over off a Sinfield pass and the Video Referee ruled 'benefit of the doubt' for the big fellas try. Sinfield kicked the two for 34-6 and it was all over as the Rhinos made it five from five.

A late consolation from an angled Hock run wasn't converted by the usually reliable Richards and the hooter sounded on a 34-10 win which probably didn't do Leeds domination justice.

This was the Leeds performance of the season so far and could/should have been even more decisive as we totally dominated the game from start to finish. A couple of small scares at the start of the second half were shown to be illegal plays by Wigan and with the exception of a couple of defensive lapses we played the perfect game.

Ablett, Burrow, Sinfield, Leuluai, and Jones-Buchanan all had perfect games. The only slight blots on the Leeds copybook were a couple of bad dropped balls by Kallum Watkins and the injuries to Kirke, Lauiti'iti and Bailey. This was without Diskin, Buderus and Senior...imagine what we'd have been like at full strength.

Final word has to go to Stuart Fielden. How big a mistake, and how much wasted money was he? A shadow of his former Bulls self in the Wigan set-up. Having said that, the way that this side humiliated the Bulls last week must show just how bad Bradford are this season.

Bring on the Saints!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
9
Ablett29%
9
Sinfield29%
6
Burrow20%
4
McGuire9%
3
Hall6%
3
Peacock6%
1
Leuluai3%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
3
Smith
5
Richards
1
2
Donald
1
2
Roberts
23
Watkins
12
Bailey
20
Gibson
4
Carmont
5
Hall
2
28
Ainscough
1
6
McGuire
25
Tomkins
7
Burrow
1
7
Leuluai
8
Leuluai
1
8
Fielden
11
Jones-Buchanan
9
Riddell
16
Bailey
10
Palea'aesina
17
Kirke
11
Hock
1
18
Ablett
14
Tomkins
13
Sinfield
5
13
O'Loughlin
19
Burgess
15
Coley
12
Lauiti'iti
16
Hansen
10
Peacock
1
17
McIlorum
1
Webb
23
O'Carroll

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
22-06
Referee:
Ian Smith
Crowd:
17,677


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