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Robins Robbed by Rugged Rhinos
Posted by southstander on July 17 2009 - 23:26:37

The Lee Smith Show

Is it really the middle of July?

Arriving at Headingley tonight, after a day of torrential rain you could be forgiven for thinking that it was the middle of October. In fact this was Grand Final weather, pure and simple.

The only cloud bigger than the one hanging over the Headingley pitch was the one over the Rhinos seventeen which was without the skipper who failed a late fitness test and super winger Scott Donald who had been taken ill.

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

24

Rhinos

v

Hull KR

14

Superleague XIV

Round 21

17th July 2009

Robins Robbed by Rugged Rhinos

Mike Ratu was in the nineteen and was joined on the bench by Rhinos debutant Dane Manning wearing the 27 shirt. Watkins got Scotts wing berth and Ablett was at loose forward in place of Sinfield. Lee Smith would take the kicking duties in a different looking Rhinos side. It wasn't what we'd expected and hopefully would mean Justin Morgan throwing his gameplan out of the window.

As the sides took the field it was apparent that the Rhinos would be defending the Carnegie Stand and playing into the teeth of a gale and driving rain. Advantage KR for the first half, and with the elements effecting the game so severely going in at half time level would be a like a victory.

It took just one minute and fifty seconds for the Rhinos to make a mockery of the conditions and get the scoreboard, with its increasingly erratic appearance, ticking. KR had spilled the ball in their own twenty and Leeds used the five from the scrum to probe the Robins defence. On the last McGuire put in a perfectly weighted grubber which sat up under the sticks for Webb to dive on top of to score. Smith kicked from in front of the sticks and we were off to a cracking start.

But as we looked to built on a great start, KR found their feet and tackling and rather than let us over for more points they had the audacity to take control of the game. And boss it they did for most of the next twenty minutes with only last gasp Rhinos defence keeping the visitors at bay.

On twenty-two, and after a couple of lucky Leeds escapes, a grubber kick caught the Rhinos defence flat and Welham slid in to touch down as the ball crossed the line. Dobson kicked a simple goal to level the scores.

Three minutes later and we should have had the lead back when a sensational Burrow pick-up and break through half a dozen attempted tackles saw Leeds to the KR thirty. A nice pass inside to the supporting McGuire should have seen him clear to the try line but the ball slipped from his grasp along with a certain six points.


Leeds Opener

With five minutes to the break another short grubber kick from KR went behind the Leeds defenders who stood and watched as Cockayne dove on the loose ball to score. Dobson kicked the extras for a 6-12 scoreline, nothing less than the visitors deserved, but as they would say in the 100m at an athletics meeting, 'wind assisted'.

Right at the death Cockayne went for a drop goal but it was well charged down by Ablett who hacked it forwards twice before losing a foot race to touch down which saw the KR defence kick the ball dead in goal as the hooter sounded.

You felt that we'd hung on against the worst of the conditions and against a concerted KR attack. The visitors defence was excellent but we were still in it, we just needed to get early points with the second half wind.

Rather than the Rhinos opening the second half scoring it was the boot of Dobson after Senior had tackled around the neck in front of the Leeds sticks. Now 6-14 and you could sense the urgency amongst the crowd and players for Leeds to start playing.


Big Game
It took until the fifty-fifth minute before Leeds hit back with a try. A stupid KR penalty on their own line allowed Leeds a fast play-the-ball and as the ball moved right McGuire went close before passing inside to Peacock who stretched out to ground the ball just over the line. Smith kicked the extras and we were within two points.

On sixty-one it looked like we were in again when a brilliant Burrow break saw him put a looping pass to Hall who went over in the corner. Thaler, from a long way behind play, ruled forward pass, a shocking decision. We'd proved that the tries were there to be scored.

Leeds were leaving it late again as the clock moved to seventy and we were still behind.

On seventy, and after incessant Leeds pressure, KR knocked-on on the first tackle. Leeds pushed to the line and Buderus spun out of a tackle to drop over the line. Smith converted and we'd hit the front at 18-14.

As KR tried to get over for a winner themselves gaps started to appear and after seventy-three Smith found a gap and went eighty metres down the right wing to score in the corner. He converted brilliantly from a puddle on the right touchline for an unassailable 24-14 hard fought Rhinos win.

The makeshift Rhinos side seemed to have the belief, possibly borne out of several last ditch wins in 2009, that they would be picking up the points and they kept their cool and ground out a tough win against an accomplished and able KR side. New boy Manning had a stunning debut and didn't put a foot wrong and the forwards put in a massive amount of work, especially in the first half.

Rob Burrow had a great game and as ever Danny Buderus looks devastating off the bench, a real class act. Sinfields kicking game was undoubtedly missed but his team mates put in a workmanlike performance and ultimately deserved the two points.

We do need to try and get out of this play ten, rest twenty, mentality that we are in. Onwards an upwards to the JJB next week for 'The Big One'.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Lauiti'iti32%
8
Peacock23%
5
Buderus18%
5
Smith18%
4
Manning5%
4
McGuire5%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
KR
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
28
Cockayne
1
23
Watkins
2
Fox
3
Smith
1
4
4
Webster
4
Senior
19
Welham
1
5
Hall
5
Colbon
6
McGuire
6
Cooke
7
Burrow
7
Dobson
3
8
Leuleui
8
Fozzard
14
Diskin
9
Fisher
10
Peacock
1
20
Vella
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Newton
12
Lauiti'iti
12
Galea
18
Ablett
13
Murrell
9
Buderus
1
18
Wheldon
19
Burgess
24
Lovegrove
27
Manning
3
Walker
29
Ratu
15
Fitzhenry

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
06-12
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
16,192


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