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Saints Stun Sloppy Rhinos
Posted by southstander on May 27 2005 - 22:49:23

Leeds MoM?
Every now and again you have to accept that it isn't going to be your day. For me, the realisation came three minutes into the second half of tonights 'thriller' at Knowsley Road when Saints took a twenty point lead and the Rhinos players heads went down.

We simply 'weren't at the races' as the Saints got on a roll and took us apart with a sensational play-the-ball and ferocious defence.

All credit to Daniel Anderson, he'd got his new charges up for this one, and the best side on the night definitely took the two points. For Tony Smith, it's back to the drawing board.

24

Rhinos

v

Saints

38

Superleague X

27th May 2005

Saints Stun Sloppy Rhinos

The Rhinos received the kick-off, attacking the biggest travelling support I've ever seen at Knowsley Road. We were filled with optimism, but the more cautious amongst us knew that Saints were an unknown quantity with their new coach. It didn't take long for Rhinos supporters fears to be quelled as with just two minutes and fifty seconds on the clock, the Rhinos opened the scoring.

The Rhinos first attack on the Saints line saw a Dunemann miss-out ball bounce into the hands of winger Bai who stepped over the line to score an unopposed try. The chants of 'Easy, Easy' would prove a little pre-mature, but we were off to a cracking start.

Saints struck back on eight when Paul Anderson was adjudged to have grounded the ball when he barged over the Leeds line off a short Long pass. Mathers and McKenna appeared to hold the big guy on his back but the video referee ruled in Saints favour. Long goaled to give the Saints a lead that they wouln't relinquish all night!

Three minutes later and the Saints rocked the Rhinos with another try. A lightening fast play-the-ball contributed to flat foot the Leeds defence and Albert breezed over on the overlap, improving the angle to ensure Long added the two.

Sinfield narrowed the gap by two points with a penalty after a Cunningham pass hit Long in the face and bounced back into Cunninghams hands (offside). It was 12-6 to Saints but Leeds were still right in it.


Error Strewn

Leeds optimism didn't last long. On twenty, Leeds were penalised after a Dunemann ball steal and Long took advantage of a groggy Poching to step past the Leeds defence and over for a soft try. He converted and it was 18-6. Now it was starting to look a little ominous, but we had faith.

That faith evaporated on twenty-nine when the speed of Saints once again caught the Rhinos out. This time Vinnie Anderson scored with a fingertip grounding, a try which only the video referee and Anderson thought was a try. Long goaled again.

On thirty-seven, Long slotted over a penalty after Senior was ludicrously ruled to have attempted a one-man spear tackle, but it was to prove an opportunity for the Rhinos. A short Leed kick-off was collected brilliantly by McGuire. From the play-the-ball McDermott broke well before using Sinfield on the inside and then JJB to run the last twenty to score under the sticks. Sinfield converted and the half-time hooter sounded with the scores at 12-26. We were just in the game, by our fingernails!

Half-time optimism took just three minutes of the second half to be shattered.


Gave 100%
A penalty against Mathers for a high tackle (and it was!), allowed Saints deep into Leeds territory. Saints used five tackles to drive, and the Hardman rolled over the line to score. Longs goal made it 12-32, now it was all over!

On fifty it looked like it might get very embarrassing. Leeds were given offside and a brilliant pass from Roby put a flying Sculthorpe over. Long again converted for 38-12.

Leeds had two consolations as the Saints finally started to tire.

On sixty-six an awkward Calderwood kick towards the posts, on the last, was caught by JJB who fell over the line for his second. Burrow, in the absence of Sinfield, converted.

Leeds had the last say on the nights scoring when Burrow and McGuire both made breaks before JJB crossed for his hat-trick. Burrow converted his second in two attempts for a final score of 24-38.

This was a game to forget. A mediacore Leeds performance was totally upstaged by a senational Saints who got on one of their famous rolls. It was always going to be a tough game, but the Saints players keen to impress their new boss rose to the occasion and were by far the better side on the night. No complaints...now, Hull at home next week is our chance to get the show back on the road!

Final mention is a big 'round of applause' for the fantastic turnout from Headingley who stayed to the bitter end and sang their hearts out to support the lads. Brilliant, you added a little cheer on what was otherwise a bleak night for all Leeds fans.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Jones-Buchanan52%
8
Dunemann16%
6
Ellis10%
4
Burrow8%
3
Mathers6%
2
Bai4%
1
McKenna2%
1
Poching2%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Saints
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
20
Hardman
1
2
Calderwood
5
Albert
1
12
McKenna
3
Lyon
4
Senior
4
Talau
5
Bai
1
2
Gardner
13
Sinfield
2
6
Hooper
7
Burrow
2
7
Long
1
7
8
Bailey
8
Fozzard
14
Dunemann
9
Cunningham
15
Ward
17
Anderson P.
1
16
Poching
11
Gilmour
18
Jones-Buchanan
3
27
Anderson V.
1
20
Ellis
13
Sculthorpe
1
6
McGuire
15
Bennett
10
McDermott
19
Graham
11
Lauiti'iti
21
Roby
21
Botham
24
Fa'asavalu

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
12-26
Attendance:
14,246
Referee:
Karl Kirkpatrick


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