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Leeds Giftwrap Saints Win
Posted by southstander on March 19 2011 - 21:16:11

Opener
The mid-table status of tonights televised game belied the importance to both sides, both of whom were desperate for the win to get up amongst the early season leaders.

Leeds and Saints were both without a number of stars, the Rhinos giving a debut to new sensation from Featherstone Zak Hardaker, and over sixteen thousand gathered for what they hoped would be a humdinger.

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

16

Rhinos

v

Saints

30

Superleague XVI - Round 6

19th March 2011

Leeds Giftwrap Saints Win

From the early exchanges it was clear that both sides were up for the game and were going to give it everything that they'd got in the quest for the two points. Ferocious hits were exchanged with daft plays and bizarre tactical decisions sprinkled with a fair helping of strange refereeing calls from Mr Silverwood.

Both side were feeling each other out in an end to end encounter but neither could find the penetration to break the others line. Until the eighteenth minute that was when Hardaker went over in the right corner off a long pass. A debut first try against the Saints and the Rhinos players celebrated before seeing that Silverwood had referred it upstairs. The video referee saw, on first look, that Hardakers little toe was on the line and the try was ruled out. Leeds were reeling.


Quality Try
Four minutes later and the Saints turned the tables, with a little help from Mr Silverwood. The visitors appeared to knock-on in the Leeds twenty but rather than giving the scrum to Leeds the referee gave it to the Saints. On the last tackle they moved the ball out left and Foster went over in the corner. He added the extras for 0-6.

Leeds bossed the next ten minutes and on thirty-five Leeds moved the ball down their left and Sinfield and Ablett were both involved before Hall picked the ball up off his boot laces and outmanouvered the defender to score in the corner. Sinfield kicked the two for 6-6, and thats how the half ended.

The Rhinos had probably just shaved the half in terms of ball and position but there were no complaints that it was all-square at the break. Expectations were high for the second half.

The second half couldn't have got off to a better, or more controversial start.

Leeds took the early attack to the Saints and a Watkins offload, which looked suspiciously forwards, was juggled inches from the floor by Hardaker who finally regained control to touch down brilliantly with one hand. Sinfield failed with the goal from the touchline but we were 10-6 up and ahead for the first time in the game.

On fifty the Rhinos let in the softest try of the night when a cross field kick to the Rhinos in-goal looked as though it would be a simple Senior diffuse in goal but Shenton thought better and rose above him to snatch the ball and ground over the line. Foster added the two to give the visitors the lead.

Seven minutes later, and on for Buderus, the SouthStander.com sponsored Paul McShane went over brilliantly from acting half-back to score one-handed. Sinfield kicked the two and we were back in the lead, but it would be a lead we would quickly relinquish and never regain.

On sixty-three the Saints took advantage of a penalty awarded when Watkins offloaded after his ball carrying arm had grounded. They exploited a big gap in the Leeds defence which allowed Meli a simple walk in try and the Foster goal took the score to 16-18.


Good Game Again

Five minutes later and Leeds once again became their own worst enemies. Jamie Jones-Buchanan gave away a stupid penalty and then got a hand in the tackle and knocked the ball on to give the visitors the opportunity to apply pressure which saw Wellens crash over Rob Burrow for a try. Fosters goal widened the margin to eight at 16-24 and the game was as good as over with twelve minutes left.

Leeds tried to get back in the game, and there is no doubting this sides committment, but we squandered a couple of scoring chances with dropped balls and forward passes. When the Saints went over again for Fosters second, which appeared to be touched down on the dead in goal line, it was game over. Foster maintained his 100% kicking record on the night and the visitors had a seemingly bit fourteen point win at 16-30.

Leeds controlled this game for long periods of time and gave everything that they had got to try and get the win, but there is something not quite right with the way that they are being asked to play their rugby under Brian McDermott. We are making too many blind passes, keeping the ball alive when we should be taking the tackle, and not supporting one another in the defensive line. This was our game for the taking and we simply handed it to Saints.

I appreciate that Gary Hetherington has asked Big Mac to bring back the flair and entertainment but to be honest I would rather we ground out the two points week-in, week-out. This is already looking like a dead-rubber of a season and we can't be losing home games against supposedly weaker opposition. I am sure that some of the moves look unstoppable on the training ground but it only takes 20 to 30% going wrong and we look like a right bunch of numpties.

Wakefield away next week, so at least another banker for two points! A loss next week and Mr Hetherington must need to start to consider whether retaining McDermott, or maintaining a winning side is his priority.

Big plaudits for Hardaker who had a great debut and Sinfield, Burgess and Webb who tried everything that they had.


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
Wellens
1
27
Hardaker
1
2
Gardner
19
Watkins
3
Shenton
1
4
Senior
5
Meli
1
5
Hall
1
22
Foster
2
5
13
Sinfield
2
25
Gaskell
7
Burrow
20
Lomax
11
Jones-Buchanan
8
Perry
9
Buderus
9
Roby
17
Kirke
10
Graham
14
Lauiti'iti
16
Clough
20
Hauraki
13
Flannery
12
Ablett
11
Puletua
21
Clarkson
14
Moore
24
McShane
1
18
Ashurst
18
Burgess
17
Wheeler
15
Cross
21
Magennis

Kick Off:
17:45
Half-Time:
06-06
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
16,034


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