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Leigh Horror Show on Friday 13th
Posted by southstander on May 13 2005 - 23:49:08

Another Three
For many players and supporters alike, this was a first trip to Leigh.

A good contingent made the journey from Headingley for the first of a double header against the second bottom side, and most expected that the Rhinos would run in a decent score.

Smith rested Senior, but recalled fellow GB international Chev Walker, apart from that, the Rhinos were unchanged from the side that drubbed SM Pia in last weeks Challenge Cup tie.

60

Rhinos

v

Centurions

04

Superleague X

13th May 2005

Leigh Horror Show on Friday 13th

As the sun slipped away behind the ASDA Supermarket, the evening turned bitterly cold. Leigh opted to use what remained of the sun, asking Leeds to face into it in the first half, but with a strong wind at their backs, you did wonder if it was the right tactic.

Leigh fared well early on, and with seven minutes showing on the clock, they came close to being the first to register points. Leeds were defending close to their own line when the home side spilled the ball, right into the hands of Kevin Sinfield. Sinfield immediately found Calderwood who went ninety metres to score. The Sinfield goal gave the Rhinos a 6-0 lead, somewhat against the run of play.

Some clumsy handling cost both sides, before Leigh scored their first, and only, try of the night after seventeen. A grubber kick to the corner on the last turned Mark Calderwood inside out and Jones was first to pounce on the ball and score. He failed to convert his own score, but Leigh were within two and any neutral would think that the sides were evenly matched. But that is as long as the Leigh bubble lasted, it was about to burst in a massive way.

In the twentieth minute, and on the last tackle, a long ball wide from Sinfield was carried by Calderwood and then passed to Lee Smith to go over on the overlap. Sinfield converted for 12-4.

Five minutes later and Lee Smith should have been awarded a penalty try after the ball was stolen as he tried to ground it. Instead, Laughton gave Leeds a penalty and as the ball was moved to the right, Burrow collected a bounce pass, flat footed the Leigh defence and went over unopposed. Sinfield added the extras for 18-4, normal service had been resumed.


24-Point Haul

It was now a procession of Rhinos tries as they dominated action. I think that Leigh scarcely completed a set of tackles, often losing the ball early on in the count.

On twenty-nine, Leigh coughed up the ball on the last, right on the Leeds line. Poching picked up just five from his own whitewash and passed to Calderwood who went ninety-five to score. The Leigh chasers had given up by half-way. Sinfield goaled and it was now 24-4, the two points already in the bag.

There was one more try before half-time. Lauiti'iti went close, and from the play the ball, McDermott was waiting at first receiver to take four tacklers over the line with him. Sinfield missed one of his easiest opportunities of the night and the Rhinos took a 28-4 lead into the interval.

There had been little first half atmosphere, except the Leigh crowd accusing the Rhinos and the referee of cheating. The temperature was plumetting and most travelling supporters were using their energies to keep warm.

Leeds scored early in the second half, to further demoralise the home players and support. With the half just two minutes old and on Leeds first attack, Leigh stole the ball. From the resulting play, Lauiti'iti offloaded the ball to Smith who went over in the corner. Sinfield failed to convert.


Another Two
On fifty-six, a great ball from Walker put Mathers through a gap. He was brilliantly caught and tackled, but a fast play-the-ball allowed Sinfield to crash over to score the try. Sinfield goaled for 38-4, and as news that Hull were drubbing Saints at the KC, it looked like we'd be going four points clear.

On fifty-nine Leigh went close to scoring their second ofthe night, but somehow Liam Botham came away from the Leeds line with ball in hand. He passed the ball to Sinfield who went eighty metres before passing inside to the supporting Calderwood for his hat-trick. A selfless act to allow Calders his second consecutive trio! Sinfield goaled to open up a forty point margin.

Three tries in ten minutes would then put the icing on the Rhinos cake.

On sixty-four, and with the Rhinos camped on the Leigh twenty, Burrow jinked past three attempted tackles to score. Sinfield converted to bring up the half century.

Four minutes later and the Rhinos kept the ball alive brilliantly, through half a dozen offloads before Walker crashed over in the corner. In Sinfields' absence, Smith attempted to kick but missed his target.

The last try of the game came on seventy-four when Leeds took full advantage of a penalty awarded for a ball steal. The ball was moved right, and Sinfield went over for his second of the night. The two he added with the boot took the score to 60-4, and the Rhinos had not really got out of first gear.

This was easy for Leeds, and the players played like they knew it would be. The Leythers posed no threat whatsoever, and the Rhinos seemed to treat the game more as a training exercise. Good handling, good offloads and intelligent play all contributed to an easy win, and one which could have been a lot greater if we'd really wanted it to.

Abrams side must be dreading the return game next friday night at Headingley - 100+ anyone?


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Senior39%
8
Calderwood29%
6
Smith12%
4
Bailey8%
3
Burrow6%
2
Lauiti'iti4%
1
Mathers2%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Centurions
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
26
Owen
2
Calderwood
3
1
Cooper
12
McKenna
8
Jackson
3
Walker
1
9
Jones
1
23
Smith
2
27
Feaunati
13
Sinfield
2
8
2
Duffy
7
Burrow
2
24
Wilshire
8
Bailey
4
Fleary
14
Dunemann
18
Rowley
15
Ward
13
Leafa
18
Jones-Buchanan
20
Stapleton
16
Poching
31
Stevens
20
Ellis
10
Kent
10
McDermott
1
11
King
22
Scruton
15
Marshall
11
Lauiti'iti
21
Sturm
21
Botham
32
Mears

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
28-04
Attendance:
5,000
Referee:
Ron Laughton


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