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Leeds Make Hard Work of the Win
Posted by southstander on June 14 2009 - 18:33:00

Two Try Watkins

Both sides entered the game of the weekend knowing that a win would see them above Hull KR and into second, while a loss (albeit a heavy one in the Rhinos case) would see them plummet to fifth.

At the moment you can't be sure whether you will be watching the Jekyll or Hyde Rhinos. We can be brilliant and awful in equal measure. And today we were both!

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

20

Rhinos

v

Giants

12

Superleague XIV

Round 16

14th June 2009

Leeds Make Hard Work of the Win

It was a strange looking teamsheet that I opened with thirty minutes to kick-off. The Rhinos were missing, as we already knew, McGuire, Peacock and Hall on England duty and Kirke with a fracture. But who'd have expected Diskin at stand-off. Not me...that's for sure.

Watkins took Halls place on the wing and Rob was in for McGuire. Leuluai and Bailey were the opening prop gambit with Burgess and Worrall on the bench. Huddersfield were not without their own absentees with Moore and Crabtree newly arrived back from Paris and Kirmond out with a fractured cheekbone. What would these two makeshift sides deliver, Thierry Alibert would add to the lottery.

The opening half hour was an exhibition in forward defensive play and contrivance to bomb scoring chances when it would have been easier to score. The first real scoring opportunity came on sisteen when Smith passed to Donald on a massive overlap only for Scotty to fumble and knock-on with the try line ten metres away. A shocker. On seventeen Burrow was flattened off the ball by Andy Raleigh, missed by all five officials but not the fifteen thousand crowd or mercifully the Rhinos physio who was quickly on to render first aid.

On twenty-seven, and with the line begging, Buderus failed to pick up the ball from acting half-back as the line was open in-front of him as the Giants defence struggled to get back. Leeds should have been twelve up, but two awful mistakes meant that it was the Giants who opened the scoring on thirty-three.

Fast hands down the left saw Dvid Hodgson over in the corner but as he tried to improve the angle he looked to have put a foot in touch. Both the in-goal judge and the referee were happy he hadn't and awarded the try. Brett Hodgson added the extras for 0-6.

On thirty-seven Leeds chance number three was bombed when Burgess knocked-on two metres out with no-one left to stop him. This was rapidly followed by the fourth when a superb Smith kick to the corner saw Donald win the foot race and then knock-on as he tried to collect in-goal to score.


Four Kicks

Rather than a 24-6 lead, we trailed 0-6 and Bluey must have been scratching his head as to how a side who had totally dominated a match could be trailing at half-time. Attacking towards the Carnegie Stand in the second half we needed to do a great deal better.

But the start of the second half was also a disaster.

With it just two minutes old Brown went through a massive Leeds gap to score and with Brett Hodgsons conversion the visitors had a twelve point lead, the lads must have been feeling like they had had their pockets picked.

On forty-six the Rhinos finally got on the board.

Leeds had forced back-to-back dropouts under the sticks and on the second they worked the ball left before Senior passed brilliantly from the ground and allowed Watkins to step over a mass of bodies to score. Sinfield added the extras. At last we'd reached our potential and actually held to the ball all the way to the line.


Buddy Good Game
On fifty-five it looked like the Giants may have been back in it when JJB threw an intercept pass but fortunately Donald chased back and put in a crucial try saving tackle.

On sixty-five JJB hit the post when trying to fall over the line and was kept out but two minutes later a good break by Rob Burrow and a fast play-the ball enabled Alibert to penalise the Giants offside under their own sticks. On the fouth tackle Leuluai powered over the line with three tacklers attached to score and Sinfields extra two tied up the scores.

A dubious Leeds penalty on seventy-two saw the skipper back himself and slot over a two pointer from thirty metres out on the touchline for 14-12 and now there was only one side who was going to win.

With three minutes left, and the Giants on a rare attack, a ball out wide right was intercepted by Kallum Watkins on his own ten metres and he went the length of the field to score under the sticks as the Giants defence wilted. Sinfields extras took us to 20-12 and the Rhinos ran the clock down to take the victory and second place.

This was far from top class Rhinos and some of the handling mistakes near the Giants line were dreadful. That said we dominated the game without a key playmaker and the pack leader. Watkins deputised brilliantly for Hall and didn't put a foot wrong and Sinfield was stronger in defence than he has been for a number of weeks. The Giants matched us man-for-man in the pack but we were in a different class in the back.

The Giants want to count themselves lucky that our handling was so poor, otherwise this could have been a fifty plus Leeds points haul. As it was they hung-on and even at the death it could still have gone either way. Had Watkins intercept gamble backfired it could have been a Giants try in the corner and a very different story.

An exciting game, because of the errors so probably best forgotten as we focus on next weekend and the trip to the big smoke.

Oh, and Alibert had a shocker - this guy isn't up to it.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Watkins33%
8
Leuluai22%
6
Lauiti'iti17%
4
Buderus11%
4
Worrall11%
2
Sinfield6%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Giants
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
Hodgson, B.
2
2
Donald
2
Aspinwall
3
Smith
11
Lolesi
4
Senior
4
Whatuira
23
Watkins
2
5
Hodgson, D.
1
13
Sinfield
4
3
Brown
1
7
Burrow
7
Robinson
8
Leuluai
1
10
Griffin
9
Buderus
24
Lunt
16
Bailey
16
Mason
11
Jones-Buchanan
13
Wild
18
Ablett
12
Raleigh
14
Diskin
32
Mossop
12
Lauiti'iti
6
Fulton
19
Burgess
15
Jackson
20
Gibson
9
Faiumu
21
Worrall
33
Sculthorpe

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
00-06
Referee:
T. Alibert
Crowd:
14,934


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