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Rhinos Stuff the Pia Donkeys
Posted by southstander on May 07 2005 - 00:24:30

Trois Tries
From the moment that the wooden balls of Leeds and Pia emerged as a pair from the heavy red velvet bag, there must have been mixed emotions for the French side.

On one side they were thrilled at the prospect of travelling to the home of the World Champions and playing in-front of the best supporters in the game. On the other they must have feared that they were likely to be on the end of one almighty drubbing.

Tony Smith took no chances, naming the strongest seventeen that he had at his disposal to take on the semi-professionals who had made the 1,000 mile journey to be only the seventh French side to ply their trade on the hallowed Headingley turf.

70

Rhinos

v

SM Pia

00

Challenge Cup

Round 5

6th May 2005

Rhinos Stuff the Pia Donkeys

Tony Smith gave his namesake Lee his full Rhinos debut in place of Marcus Bai who has returned home to be with a seriously ill brother. McKenna was drafted in to the centres to replace the injured Chev Walker, and Bailey made his return after being rested last weekend. There was plenty of firepower on the bench with McDermott, Ali, and Scruton. SM Pia were an unknown quantity to most in the stadium, containing a large percentage of Frenchmen, some with UK rugby league experience, and a smattering of Aussies. It would be interesting to see how the early exchanges would pan out.

The opening three minutes proved that Pia had not come to Headingley to lie down and conceed a record score. But, neither had they come to seriously challenge the Rhinos Cup aspirations. Pia gave as good as they got in the opening exchanges, but just three minutes in and the Rhinos were on the board.

Dunners received the ball on the Pia forty, and ten metres in from the right touchline. He put a sneaky chip oover the top which bounced beautifully for Calderwood to collect in full flight and scramble past the tackler to score. Sinfield failed to add the conversion with a poor attempt but we were on our way.

On eleven minutes a couple of outrageous dummies from Burrow were both bought by the Pia defence and he went over on the arc from forty metres. Sinfield again failed to convert, he was off-colour tonight.

Three minutes later and we were ober again. Dunners was again instrumental as he broke down the centre field and flipped out a pass which Ellis somehow managed to keep hold of and carry under the posts to score unopposed. This time Kev kicked the goal and we were 14-0 ahead.

The Pia defence had been solid and only a combination of luck and skill had allowed the Rhinos to break through, there was nothing for the Pia players to be ashamed of.


16-Point Haul

The Pia defence held strong for the next quarter hour, as any hope of the Rhinos breaking records evaporated.

On twenty-nine a McDermott barge, and Lauiti'iti break saw a pass inside for Mathers to go over under the sticks making Sinfield conversion a formality. Sinfield had now got up to a 50% success rate and we were 20-0 ahead.

Two quick tries in the last five minutes of the half put the outcome beyond any doubt. On thirty-five minutes, McKenna stepped out of two tackles to score a superb forty-metre forwards try (despite being a centre tonight). Sinfield converted for 26-0. With two minutes of the half remaining, Calderwood crabbed across field and put in a miss-out pass to Senior, which was almost intercepted. Senior broke to the line and flipped the ball to Lee Smith to crown his debut with a try. Kev failed with the conversion and the Rhinos took a 30-0 lead into the sheds.

Pia were down, and obviously going to lose the game, but they were not disgraced. Their front-line were putting in an awesome effort, but multiple mistakes with the ball in hand was all-too-often conceeding valuable territory.

Leeds started the second half as they had ended the first, in the Pia goal!

On forty-two the Rhinos turned defence into attack as a scrum on their own ten was won, the ball fed to McKenna who put Calderwood through a gap to go ninety metres and score under the posts. Sinfield made his tally five from seven.


Two Try Debut
On fifty-four Scruton added his name to the ever extending list of Rhinos scorers, with a superb solo effort from the half-way line (which will no doubt see him up on a charge before the PFU in the not too distant future). Burrow took over the kicking duties and duly oliged for 42-0.

Pia were starting to tire, but all credit to them, they were still fighting hard and making the Rhinos work for every point.

Just past the hour mark and Calderwood took advantage of the lack of knowledge of the visitors. After a Pia kick had gone dead-in-goal, Calders took a quick twenty tap to himself and went eighty metres to score under the sticks. The French side were bemused, but the South Stand was cheering. Burrows goal edged us near to the half century ar 48-0.

On sixty-five we were through it as JJB put Smith over in the corner for his second of the night. Burrow went close with the conversion, but not close enough, fifty-two-nil.

There now followed three tries in eight minutes as the Rhinos well and truly stuffed the Donkeys.

On sixty-eight Lauiti'iti had the strength to break a tackle and find Mathers in support. Richie went to the Pia twenty before flipping out a sensational back-door pass ro Burrow who ran the angle to score. He converted his own for 58-0. On seventy-three Ali Lauiti'iti ran a right-to-left line and found JJB who crashed over in the corner. Burrow added the extras from the touchline and it was 64-0.

The last try of the night came in the seventy-fifth minute when JJB put Mathers over from close range. Burrow slotted over the two for a 70-0 victory which was far more hard-fought than the scoreline suggests.

The South Stand gave the Pia players an ovation, and so long as they can forget the humiliating scoreline, I'm sure that they will have enjoyed their trip to HQ.

This game tell us very little, except that I think that Pia would give the likes of Leigh and Widnes a decent game. It was nice that the Rhinos defence shut-out Pia, who have been free-scoring in earlier rounds, and get another nilling under Tony Smith.

From our perspective, we are in the hat, and just two games away from Cardiff. Bring it on!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
Burrow38%
Mathers17%
Calderwood13%
McKenna8%
Ellis6%
Smith6%
McDermott4%
Jones-Buchanan4%
Scruton4%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
SM Pia
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
2
1
Gomez
2
Calderwood
3
2
Athiel
12
McKenna
1
3
Mendez
4
Senior
4
Chaubet
23
Smith
2
5
Piguelmal
13
Sinfield
5
6
O'Reilly
7
Burrow
2
4
7
Greseque
8
Bailey
8
O'Farrel
14
Dunemann
9
Bosnich
15
Ward
10
Garrabe
18
Jones-Buchanan
1
11
Bansept
16
Poching
12
McMillan
20
Ellis
1
13
Brousse
10
McDermott
14
Rovira
22
Scruton
1
15
Humbert
11
Lauiti'iti
16
Traversa
21
Botham
17
Ambert

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
30-00
Attendance:
7,705
Referee:
Karl Kirkpatrick


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