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Counts for Nothing
Posted by southstander on July 30 2010 - 22:38:24

Leeds Opener

Don't get me wrong...I'd have loved to have won tonights game and knocked the smile off the faces of some increasingly smug Wigan fans faces...but at the end of the day it simply doesn't matter.

Wigan have the hubcap in the bag and we can do nothing better than finish fourth, given the top fives respective run-ins.

This game, therefore was a dead rubber, and the best we could hope was that we came through it unscathed ahead of next weeks semi-final.

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

12

Rhinos

v

Warriors

26

Superleague XV

Round 24

30th July 2010

Counts for Nothing

Lee Smith and Paul McShane were the two Rhinos players to miss out, the former having no-where to play in a fully fit back line, and McShane being sacrificed to bring Rob Burrow back into the seventeen. It had been raining steadily since mid-afternoon and as kick-off approach it intensified so that the teams entered the field in a downpour.

Leeds set out their stall straight away with a short kick-off, and the result of the ball not travelling ten was an early indication that it might be a frustrating night. Wigan benefitted with good ground and then whistle happy (already) 'Saint' Steve gave them a penalty for offside. Coley looked like he was in but dropped the ball on the line. It looked like they were all trying to juggle a bar of soap.

The opening ten was punctuated by mistakes from both sides as Ganson tried to make sure that he was the centre of attention by whistling at every opportunity, including a number which only existed in his own mind. I didn't realise how much I hadn't missed him until he came back.

On ten Wigan got the scoreboard moving with a little bit of good fortune. As they moved the ball wide right Goulding put in a reverse grubber which found the goal area and Leuluai pleased to drop on a bouncing ball. Richards added the extras.


Off Colour
On fifteen Carl Ablett found himself 'on report' after he chased down a kick through and 'cleaned out' Sam Tomkins. The tackle looked good, with Tomkins feet on the floor and the tackle starting on the shoulder, but I'll withold final judgement until I have watched it back off the SKY+ box.

On twenty-five Bailey was penalised for a raised knee in the carry, the first time for years I have seen that one wheeled out from the rulebook, well done Saint Steve for keeping these ancient rules alive! Wigan took full advantage and benefitting from the field position which Ganson had given them Carmont went over on his back and grounded the ball. Richards made it 0-12.

On the half-hour it looked like Wigan would extend their lead but O'Loughlin dropped the ball on the line when it would have been easier to score.

It looked like it would be a comfortable lead for the visitors at half time but when Scott Donald was hit high with a minute remaining Leeds took full advantage and moved the ball around well before Clarkson buried under the tacklers to score. Sinfield goaled on the hooter and the game was well and truly alive at 6-12.

The Warriors had definitely been the better side but it was turning into a good game. The Rhinos players were definitely not preserving themselves for the semi-final, it looked more like they were playing for their places.

Leeds got an extra boost two minutes into the second half when Coley got a ten minute rest from the 'attention seeker' for an offence which no-one saw except the official. Five minutes later and Sam Tomkins lost a Burrow kick through as he tried to return it. McGuire picked up the loose ball and despite being tackled a fast play-the-ball saw Burrow pass to Senior to score. Sinfield kicked the two to level us up at 12-12. It was game-on.

But then it all turned into a bit of a damp squib.

On fifty-two Richards kicked the visitors into a two point lead after Leeds held down in the tackle. Leeds heads really dropped on the hour mark when poor sliding defence allowed Harrison Hansen to go through a gap and score on the angle after an unopposed thirty metre run. As Richards kicked the extras it was an eight point lead and uncharacteristically you could almost see the life draining out of the Leeds players as the constant rain took its toll.


Dropped Two

On sixty-nine Leeds made the fatal mistake of not marking the blind-side and from a play close to the touchline Gleeson went over unchallenged. As Richards missed the extras it was 12-24 and there was still an outside chance for the Champions to get back in it.

On seventy-three it looked like we'd got hold of a lifeline as a Sinfield grubber to the left wing was collected by a sliding Hall, juggled in goal, and touched down. Saint Steve went to Phil Bentham in the video-booth who ruled 'NO TRY'. It was all over.

With five minutes remaining Richards kicked a goal from twenty-five after we stole the ball from Paleaaesina and Wigan ran down the clock to record a league double over us in 2010.

All credit to the lads who put in a lot for an hour. We lost to the better team as just too many of the Rhinos side didn't bring their 'A' game to Headingley tonight. Sinfield, Peacock, JJB, Hall and Webb were all just not firing on all cylinders. But as I said at the outset, what does it matter? Hopefully we came through unscathed, Wigan think we are a pushover ahead of the play-offs and Saints will fancy their chances next week at the Galpharm. We know better.

Oh, and I hope that we haven't got to suffer Ganson again next week.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Burrow33%
8
Buderus27%
6
Hall20%
4
Ablett13%
3
Sinfield7%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
6
Tomkins
2
Donald
24
Goulding
3
Delaney
3
Gleeson
1
4
Senior
1
4
Carmont
1
5
Hall
5
Richards
5
13
Sinfield
2
19
Deacon
6
McGuire
7
Leuluai
1
8
Leuluai
8
Fielden
9
Buderus
9
Riddell
10
Peacock
10
Coley
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Hansen
1
18
Ablett
12
Tomkins, J.
27
Clarkson
13
O'Loughlin
16
Bailey
25
Farrell
7
Burrow
26
Davies
12
Lauiti'iti
29
Tuson
16
Bailey
17
Paleaaesina

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
06-12
Referee:
Steve 'Saint' Ganson
Crowd:
16,622


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