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Rhinos Splash and Grab
Posted by southstander on May 16 2009 - 18:21:20

Officials Arrive

Every now and again Superleague throws up a game which is truly extraordinary.

Last night was one of those occasions as the two sides took to the field in the midst of a biblical downpour, the pitch black sky illuminated by lighting as the field rapidly became submerged and eight thousand supporters sought shelter wherever the could find it.

Leeds set off in fine fashion, but Castleford had the staying power to come back and give us one of the most nail-biting finishes imaginable.

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

24

Rhinos

v

Tigers

22

Superleague XIV

Round 13

15th May 2009

Rhinos Splash and Grab

Although its was the same seventeen as played at Murrayfield it was a different thirteen who took to the rain sodden and rapidly sinking Jungle pitch for the clash against one of 2009's surprise packages, the Castleford Tigers. Kevin Sinfield had reverted back to loose-forward with McGuire being given a start at stand-off. Carl Ablett dropped to the bench, but as the game unfolded he wouldn't be there for long.

Conditions were atrocious and both sides found keeping hold of the ball a challenge.

On five minutes Cas lost the ball on the Leeds thirty, early in the tackle count and the Rhinos made great strides downfield before Rob Burrow found a gap, escaped an attempted tackle, and slid over next to the posts. Ian Smith went to the video referee to rule on a double movement but the try was given. Sinfield goaled a far from simple conversion from straight in front of the posts as the rain lashed in his face. A great start.

To minutes later and a crunching Leeds tackle dislodged the ball from the Tigers carrier. McGuire picked up the loose ball and sprinted through the puddles to score under the sticks. Sinfield again added the extras and we were as stunned as the Cas fans by a great start.

The alarm bells started ringing on ten when with Burrow already off the field with a deadleg, Scott Donald was 'roughed up' by the Castleford tacklers and had to be helped from the field.

Both were lost for the rest of the game.


Two Tries

As Leeds tried to patch up the holes left by Burrow and Donald, it seemed to be Cas who had the immediate problem adjusting and picking up the right man. On the twelfth a nice right left passing move involved Senior and Ali Lauiti'iti before Ryan Hall benefitted from an inside pass and went over. Sinfield missed the conversion from out wide but we were scoring at more than a point a minute. It was looking bright...in the darkness.

After the Rhinos had battled the conditions to get their sixteen points, the Tigers took advantage of them to open their account.

On seventeen Ryan Hall made a total mess of collecting a simple pass and put the ball to ground. Jones hacked the loose ball forwards and dropped on it to score. Dixon converted for 16-6.

On twenty-two it looked like we'd re-established our lead as a McGuire grubber was touched down on the line by Buderus. Multiple watches of the replay couldn't determine if it was Buderus or a Castleford defender who grounded the ball first but rather than Leeds getting the 'Benefit of the Doubt', the video referee favoured the home side.


Winng Kick
On the half-hour the Tigers got right back in it when a grubber kick on the last was brilliantly touched down by Dixon as Lee Smith tried to kick the ball clear. The Tigers kicker failed to convert his own try and the teams headed to the dressing rooms to look for new kit with the Rhinos having the slenderest of six point leads.

The rain had eased by the time we started the second half, but large areas of the pitch were under water.

The Tigers started the half the brightest and with it just three minutes old the Rhinos defence just opened up and allowed Rangi Chase to score under the posts. Dixon added the conversion and squared up the scores. It was the home side who were definitely gaining the upper hand.

But on forty-nine the Rhinos regained the lead when a McGuire grubber came back of Castleford legs into the arms of the Rhinos stand-off who dove over. Sinfield kicked the goal for 22-16. There was still a long time to hold on.

Hold-on we did until fifteen minutes from the end.

On sixty-five a high bomb was missed by Brent webb, and as Lee Smith tried to pick up from the puddle that the ball landed in Shenton hacked it forward and dropped on the ball to score. Dixon converted and once again we were level, this time at 22-22.

Both sides prodded and probed looking for the winner. An attempted Castelford Tigers drop goal with a couple of minutes left went wide and Leeds launched a final attack. With fifteen seconds, and three tackles remaining Danny McGuire put in a grubber. Just as you were thinking that we'd blown it, the Tigers defence knocked on and then picked up the ball from an offside potition. Ian Smith indicated a Rhinos penalty close to the sticks and within twenty of them. Sinfield, cold as ice, stepped up and slotted over the ball to the sound of the hooter and the travelling Rhinos fans went crazy as the Tigers supporters added tears to the wettest of all occasions.

This was more of a spectacle than a game. It is rare to watch games in such conditions, and even rarer to see ones which end in such dramatic fashion. All credit to the players of both sides who kept going to the very end, and congratulations to the the Rhinos who took the luck where they could find it and picked up the two points.

Oh, and did I mention it rained a bit?


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
McGuire38%
8
Senior25%
6
Sinfield13%
4
Buderus8%
2
Hall4%
2
Jones-Buchanan4%
2
Kirke4%
2
Peacock4%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Tigers
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
23
McGoldrick
2
Donald
2
Dixon
1
3
3
Smith
4
Evans
4
Senior
3
Shenton
1
5
Hall
1
5
Wainwright
6
McGuire
2
21
Faumuina
7
Burrow
1
7
Sherwin
8
Leuleui
8
Sargent
9
Buderus
6
Chase
1
10
Peacock
15
Higgins
17
Kirke
11
Ferres
11
Jones-Buchanan
14
Jones
1
13
Sinfield
4
13
Westerman
14
Diskin
16
Feather
19
Burgess
17
Boyle
18
Ablett
12
Clayton
12
Lauiti'iti
20
Ford

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
16-10
Referee:
Ian Smith
Crowd:
8,082


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