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Super Leeds, Wembley Bound
Posted by southstander on August 07 2010 - 16:58:35

Super Leeds

The rumour doing the rounds in the twenty-four hours leading up to this crucial semi-final was that Eastwood would make the Rhinos seventeen. When this was announced pre-match it was a massive boost for Leeds, but not quite as big as the news that Leon Pryce would be missing for the Saints.

Leeds had a slight upper hand with a win a month ago and a recent unbeaten run in major games between the two sides, but the bookies couldn't separate the sides calling an eighty minute draw.

We were in for a cracker as the clouds dispersed over the Pennines and the sun emerged.

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

32

Rhinos

v

Saints

28

Challenge Cup - Semi Final

Galpharm Stadium - Huddersfield

7th August 2010

Super Leeds, Wembley Bound

It looked like Saints had drawn first blood when a Leeds pass went to ground and Meli picked up the loose ball and went forty metres to score under the sticks. Bentham referred it to the video referee who saw a Saints hand knock the ball to the ground and ruled out the try. An early sigh of relief from the massed Rhinos fans gathered behind the sticks.

On seven a late hit on Sinfield by Saints Moore allowed the skipper to set the scoreboard moving with a two-pointer from twenty-metres out.

The first half was half way through before we saw the first try, and thankfully it went our way. Webb and Senior combined well with jinking runs before passing out to Hall to cross towards the left flag. Sinfield added the extras for 8-0 and it all seemed to be going to plan, but then the wheels came off.


Superb
On twenty-seven Wellens took a flat pass and then spun over the line in the tackle to ground under the sticks making Fosters conversion a simple one.

Seven minutes later and Cunningham burrowed under the Leeds defence from dummy-half and Foster converted to give Saints an 8-12 lead. Then, as Leeds looked to play to half-time a suicidal flick pass was intercepted by Meli who walked the ball over under the sticks. Foster converted for an 8-18 half-time score.

We'd thrown away a good lead to three really soft tries for the Saints and after early hard work we seemed to have switched off. As the half-time hooter sounded I wasn't at all confident that we'd be able to come back from ten points behind in the second half.

Within a minute of the restart Saints knocked-on criminally in their own thirty and from the scrum Leeds moved the ball left allowing Senior to put Hall over in an acre of space to improve the angle and make the Sinfield conversion a simple one. Back to 14-18.

Three minutes later and Saints shattered thoughts of a fightback with another soft try from short range, this time by Gidley. Foster missed the conversion but the Saints lead was 14-22. The dark thoughts were returning.

We were almost at the hour mark when Senior broke the Saints line on half way and passed inside to the supporting McGuire who juggled the ball three times with his fingertips before regaining posession and scoring under the sticks. Sinfield added the extras for 20-22. We were right back in it.

Four minutes later and the try of the game as Buderus broke and then passed inside to Webb in the tackle. Webb tucked the ball under his arm, evaded the tacklers, ad scored under the posts. Sinfield kicked the extras and gave us the lead at 26-22. Now all we had to do was hold on for seventeen minutes.


Two Crucial Tries

It wasn't going to happen.

On seventy the Saints were back in the driving seat when the FGB backed over the line, ball in hand, of a suspiciously forward pass and grounded the ball. It looked like the ball grounded slightly short but despite Leeds protests Bentham awarded the try without recourse to the video referee. Foster again added the extras and the advantage swung back to Saints at 26-28.

Leeds weren't finished. Three minutes later Peacock tried the smash the Saints line and when halted offloaded to McGuire who dodged the tackles and dove over next to the sticks. Sinny kept up his 100% record for 32-28. This time we managed to keep the Saints out for the remaining seven minutes as they became increasingly desperate and careless.

The hooter came as a blessed relief and signalled the Rhinos progression to their first Challenge Cup final since 2005 and the first trip to Wembley since our victory there in 1999.

Wembley here we come. I can't wait to be part of the Blue & Amber army on the 28th August.

Well done Leeds, thoroughly deserved.


Please vote for your Man of the Match in the front page poll.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Saints
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
1
Wellens
1
28
Smith
30
Foster
4
3
Delaney
3
Gidley
1
4
Senior
5
Meli
1
5
Hall
2
2
Gardner
7
Burrow
12
Wilkin
6
McGuire
2
16
Moore
16
Bailey
10
Graham
1
9
Buderus
14
Roby
10
Peacock
15
Hargreaves
11
Jones-Buchanan
13
Flannery
27
Clarkson
18
Ashurst
13
Sinfield
6
28
McGuiness
14
Diskin
9
Cunningham
1
19
Burgess
11
Puletua
8
Leuluai
17
Clough
15
Eastwood
25
Emmitt

Kick Off:
14:30
Half-Time:
08-18
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
15, 267


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