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Dragons Slain
Posted by southstander on May 13 2011 - 23:14:30

The Architect
With fifth place up for grabs, and two sides both unbeaten for at least four games, we all knew that we were going to be up against it.

Catalan Dragons were the visitors to a rain soaked Headingley but arrived with a casualty list which was starting to resemble that of the Rhinos. It was likely to be a war of attrition, but who would be the side to come out on top?

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

30

Rhinos

v

Dragons

06

Superleague XVI - Round 14

13th May 2011

Dragons Slain

Lauiti'iti and Bailey were todays omissions from the nineteen with Hardaker getting a start on the wing and Lee Smith given the full-back berth.

The opening exchanges were vicious, and dominated by the Rhinos who forced five Dragons drop-outs within the first fourteen minutes. Despite the unrelenting pressure some sensational last-gasp Dragons defence, coupled with some poor Rhinos decision making, meant that it would be the twentienth minute before the Rhinos could turn their dominance into points.

Sinfield was the architect of the breakthrough with a flat miss-out pass into the hands of Hall who after a couple of abortive chances earlier managed to get outside the defending winger to score in the corner. Sinfield added the extras and we'd a 6-0 lead.

Leeds relinquished the chance to kick a penalty goal on twenty-five when awarded a penalty under the sticks and opted to run the ball, handing over after five tackles.


Opener
The half-time hooter was a relief to players and supporters alike. The players had run their blood to water with barely a mistake or penalty, just rigid defence. The crowd were feeling starved of points and hoped that the half time talk would lead to more of them in the second half.

Leeds had the posession and position to have been thirty points in the lead, but the Dragons played their part in keeping us out.

Ten minutes into the second half and Leeds once again chose to run the ball with a two-pointer begging. This time they took full advantage when after Peacock had gone close Sinfield found Leuluai with five metres to go and dive over to score. Sinfield goal gave us 12-0.

On the hour the Dragons go themselves back into it with their first visit to the Rhinos twenty in the second half. Driven close to the line Henderson dove over from acting half-back as the Rhinos tried to form a defensive line. Bosc kicked the conversion for 12-6, slight nerves started but surely we couldn't throw away a game that we'd dominated from the first whistle?

On sixty-nine Sinfield settles the nerves kicking a penalty awarded by the 'unpredictable' Hicks for pushing at the play-the-ball. 14-6 and a bit of breathing space.

It was in the last ten that the Rhinos turned on the style and gave us a respectable final scoreline.

On seventy-one Leeds benefitted from an outrageous forward pass which the whole ground, excepting the officials, had seen (the SouthStand were already groaning at a blown chance). Allowing play to go on Delaney passed out to Hardaker who flew down the wing for thirty metres to score in the corner.

Sinfield missed the conversion but at 18-6 the game was in the bag.


Two Tries

On seventy four a break by Buderus found supoprt from Hall who was hauled down on the Dragons forty. From the next play Sinfield put in a sensational cross field kick to the right corner after spotting the winger out of position. Hardaker knew exactly what was coming and sprinted down the wing to catch the ball on its first bounce and round behind the sticks making the Sinfield conversion for 24-6 a formality.

Three tries in two games, not bad for the youngster from Featherstone.

As the hooter warmed it was up to Burrow to put the icing on the cake. Taking the ball on half-way he stepped and dodged, eventually turning Stacul inside out and leaving him eating grass as the pocket-rocket went over under the sticks giving the skipper a simple conversion for 30-6.

In the end the scoreline reflected the Rhinos dominance but for seventy minutes the Dragons really made a game of it. You could hear the Tigers bubble bursting from Headingley as they went down to a big nilling at Warrington and the Rhinos lifted themselves to fifth in Superleague.

The Rhinos ground out the first half with solid defence and more than a modicum of patience. In the second half the gaps started to appear as an exhausted Dragons paid the price for intensive first half defence.

Big commendations for Sinfield who was in everything, Burrow who buzzed around the Dragons like a hornet and Brett Delaney who had one of the best games that I've seen him have in Rhinos colours. Oh, and don't forget the pack, they were awesome in defence with a collection of the biggest hits we've seen all season.


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Dragons
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
2
Smith
5
Stacul
27
Hardaker
2
2
Blanch
3
Delaney
15
Baille
4
Senior
27
Pala
5
Hall
1
19
Vaccari
13
Sinfield
5
4
Sa
7
Burrow
1
6
Bosc
1
8
Leuluai
1
8
Ferriol
9
Buderus
9
Henderson
1
10
Peacock
22
Fakir
11
Jones-Buchanan
12
Raguin
22
Pitts
13
Mounis
12
Ablett
24
Baitieri
17
Kirke
14
Gigot
20
Hauraki
20
Simon
18
Burgess
21
Martins
24
McShane
28
Touxagas

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
06-00
Referee:
Robert Hicks
Crowd:
13,273


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