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Rhinos Win Arm-Wrestle with Vikings
Posted by southstander on April 23 2005 - 22:00:54

Super Sinny
Every man and his dog was expecting an absolute walkover for the the Rhinos as they travelled to the Halton Stadium to take on the struggling Widnes Vikings.

But the Rhinos were without all the 'Mc's'; McDermott, McDonald, McGuire, McKenna, and a makeshift pack would be met head on by a Widnes team that were prepared to mix it and put the Rhinos off their flowing game.

In the end this was a bit of an arm-wrestle, and whilst the two points were never really in doubt, the home side made us work hard for them.

42

Rhinos

v

Vikings

20

Superleague X

23rd April 2005

Rhinos Win Arm-Wrestle with Vikings

The early onslaught came from the Vikings, who forced a goal-line dropout and came close to opening the scoring in the first couple of minutes. But on the Rhinos first attack, with three minutes on teh clock, we got the scoreboard ticking over. Dunemann, Burrow and Sinfield all combined well to put JJB over, although the final pass from the skipper did look a trifle forward. Sinfield booted the goal, as he would all evening, and the Rhinos were 6-0 up against the run of play.

Another three minutes passed and the Rhinos were over again. This time Calderwood and Lauiti'iti combined to both make good breaks before a pass inside to Sinfield to scoot over. Sinfields conversion took us to 12-0 and it looked as though it might be an easy night.

But then the wheels came off Rhinos bandwagon in spectacular fashion.

On sixteen, and with Widnes taking the upper hand, Millard scooted from dummy half after JJB had been penalised for a ball steal. Myler converted for 12-6.

Two minutes later and the 'erratic' Ian Smith sent Sinfield to the sin-bin for a professional foul in holding down a tackled player to allow his defensive line to form. Something which Widnes got away with unpunished all night!


Don't Mess

With Sinfied missing, the Vikings took full advantage when a superb grubber kick on the last hit the Rhinos post padding and bounced into the hands of Frame who dropped over the goal-line to score. Mylers boot levelled the scores at 12-12 and a small element of doubt was starting to creep into the minds of the travelling masses from Leeds.

Sinfield had just made it back out of the bin when we were once again reduced to twelve. Julian O'Neill threw a punch at Bailey in the tackle, and the got one back...with interest. O'Neills nose was spread across his face, and both players took a ten minute rest to cool off.

On thirty-two, the Rhinos re-established the lead with a great pass on the last allowing Botham to run ten metres and score under the posts. Sinfield made it 18-12. With just seconds left to the half-time hooter Senior took a short pass off Burrow and stepped out of two tackles on a fifty-metre run to the line. The goal meant that we took a hard earned 24-12 lead into half time.

Widnes had stuck to their game plan and got into our faces. We didn't like it! They were still in touch, but only just. The Rhinos needed to play simple football and the result would come.

It took six minutes of the second half before the Rhinos registered another try. A Mathers short grubber on the last was picked up by Ellis on a charge and he crashed over the line for a try on his return from injury. Sinfield made it 30-12 and we could all breathe a sigh of relief. That was the game winner, we just needed to 'shut up shop'.

Two Try Peanut
On fifty-nine Leeds were camped on the Widnes line and after Ward went close, he offloaded in the tackle to allow Sinfield to get his second of the night on his way to a personal points haul of twenty-two.

On sixty-one, Calderwood chased Barnett for fifty metres before hauling him down, and forcing him to lose the ball, just ten short of the Rhinos line. A tackle as good as scoring a try as Barnett looked certain to get the four.

But it was brief respite for the Rhinos as three minutes later a massive gap in the Rhinos line allowed Millard over for his second. Myler failed to convert and the Vikings were still well adrift at 36-16.

With ten minutes left the Vikings got the sniff of a comeback when a long ball allowed Barnett to crash over in the corner, but as Myler once more missed the conversion, the home side were still sixteen points adrift. Time was running out.

The final nail in the coffin for the Vikings came on seventy-three when a short ball inside from Burrow allowed JJB to cross for his second of the match. Sinfield slotted over his seventh (out of seven) in the match for a 42-20 Rhinos victory.

All credit to Widnes, they came with a plan and stuck to it, giving us one hell of a fright on the way. At times Leeds were their own worst enemy as they tried to do the clever stuff, often surrendering posession. We came to the Halton Stadium having believed the pre-match hype that it would be a walkover, but the Vikings never considered lying down.

This was a potential banana skin, and one that we have slipped on in previous seasons. In the end we got a win without playing great rugby and now look forward to the game against the Giants next friday night at Headingley. Perhaps we can concentrate a bit more then!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Sinfield29%
8
Jones-Buchanan24%
8
Dunemann19%
4
Burrow15%
3
Bailey3%
2
Botham3%
2
Mathers3%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Vikings
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
14
Hulse
2
Calderwood
28
Viane
3
Walker
1
Connolly
4
Senior
1
3
Moule
5
Bai
30
Barnett
1
13
Sinfield
2
7
7
Myler
2
7
Burrow
29
Durbin
8
Bailey
8
O'Connor
14
Dunemann
9
Millard
2
18
Jones-Buchanan
2
12
Stankevitch
11
Lauiti'iti
11
Cassidy
16
Poching
16
Frame
1
20
Ellis
1
13
Finnigan
15
Ward
10
O'Neill
22
Scruton
31
Alcock
23
Smith
17
Mills
21
Botham
1
20
Smith

Kick Off:
18:05
Half-Time:
24-12
Attendance:
6,524
Referee:
Ian Smith


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