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Unfathomable
Posted by southstander on May 27 2011 - 23:32:45

Only Leeds Try
It was benchmark night for the Rhinos. A chance to see whether six games on the bounce was an indicator of the continued improvement, or whether we were just kidding ourselves thanks to a few victories over minor sides.

We were up against the league leaders and champions elect, Tony Smiths Warrington Wolves, a side who beat us comfortably earlier in the season.

What we'd end up with was a night of the unfathomables.

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

06

Rhinos

v

Wolves

42

Superleague XVI - Round 15

27th May 2011

Unfathomable

The Rhinos team selections was, to put it bluntly, wierd. Big Mac decided to start with McGuire at scrum half and Sinfield at stand-off with Burrow confined to the bench and McShane not even making the side. Ablett was in the centres for the injured Senior and Weller Hauraki, out of favour for several games a few weeks ago, was at loose forward. You believed that there must be some kind of masterplan, but as the game unfolded it was apparent that there wasn't.

The game launched at a frantic pace and was punctuated by frequent ferocious tackles from both sides. Bodies were repeatedly put on the line by both sets of players and in the early stages the bizarre refereeing choice of James Child seemed to be paying off as he let the game flow and turned a blind eye to high tackles and blatant offsides. The opening ten minutes was scoreless but it looked like we were setting up for a classic.

On ten it was the visitors who opened the scoring, a little against the run of play. Some good Wolves passing culmintaed in a five metre forward pass, missed by the touch judge and the in-line referee, and Briers gladly accepted the referees incompetence gift to score next to the sticks. Hodgson converted for 0-6.

Over the next ten minutes the Rhinos had ample ball and opportunity but on ninteen the Wolves extended their lead after Ryan Hall shot out of the line and missed a tackle leaving a big gap down the right wing for Joel Monaghan to score in the corner. Hodgsons goal gave us 0-12 and we felt a little hard done by to be trailing, let alone by twelve.


Oops
On twenty-six it looked like we were back in it when after speeding the play-the-ball we moved the ball right and Hardaker appeared to go over in the corner. The referee went to the video which clearly showed that Zak had been dragged to touch before grounding the ball and the try was denied.

On thirty-four Delaney looked to have opened the Leeds account but dropped the ball in the act of scoring. We should have been all square but still trailed by twelve.

On thirty-five we finally got the scoreboard moving and Warrington conceeded their first points in over four hours!

Buderus went from dummy half and spun over by the sticks to ground. The referee gave the try but reviews on the big screen showed that it might not have been clear cut. Sinfield kicked the goal for 6-12.

In the dying seconds Leeds went close again but once again lost the ball with the line open. As we went in at half-time it was difficult to understand why we were behind on the scoreboard. We'd had all the possession, all the position, and none of the luck. We ended by far the stronger and there was hope for the second half.

But that didn't last long.

On forty-three the Leeds defence allowed Michael Monaghan to run the angle and as he was tackle he offloaded to Solomona who walked the try in. Hodgson goaled for 6-18. We needed the next points but after Child failed to penalise the visitors for a blatant offside at a Leeds twenty tap, JJB threw a strop and the referee gave a Wolves penalty which Hodgson kicked, 6-20.

The game was now slipping away from us.

On sixty-four Bridge went over on the right wing on the last tackle, but Hodgson missed with the boot, so 6-24.

When Michael Monaghan went over just a minute later, and Hodgson kicked the goal for 6-30 it was just a matter of how many we'd end up losing by.


Hard Work

The game already over, Big Mac decided to introduce Burrow!

Leeds were, however, in disarray and when King walked in a simple try on seventy-four it was getting humiliating. Hodgson goaled for 6-36, but the icing on the Wolves cake came on seventy-eight when a King kick through was collected and scored by Briers. Hodgson added the two for 6-42 and the humiliation was complete.

But this was a game of many unfathomables;

1. If McGuire, Burrow and Sinfield were all fit, then why didn't they all start?
2. Why was such an inept referee given the big game of the weekend when he so obviously isn't up to Superleague standard?
3. How were we behind at half-time after we totally dominated the first half?
4. Why did it take sixty-five minutes for McDermott to introduce Burrow?
5. How can we play so well in the first half and so badly in the second?
6. When will we get through a game without giving away one stupid penalty, let alone the five idiotic ones which we did tonight?
7. Why does a stronger team on paper get a bigger hammering that the weaker side we took to Warrington earlier in the season?
8. What has Clarkson done wrong?
9. What has McShane done wrong?
10. When are we going to de-register Senior and buy a centre who can tackle?

All credit to the Wolves, they are the best side I have seen this season and they defended brilliantly and attacked with flair. I remember those days at Headingley, who was the coach then...oh yeah...Tony Smith!


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wolves
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
2
Smith
1
Hodgson
7
27
Hardaker
22
Williams
3
Delaney
4
Bridge
1
12
Ablett
23
Atkins
5
Hall
5
Monaghan. J
1
13
Sinfield
1
6
Briers
2
6
McGuire
7
Myler
8
Leuluai
8
Morley
9
Buderus
1
9
Monaghan. M
1
10
Peacock
10
Carvell
14
Lauiti'iti
12
Westwood
11
Jones-Buchanan
3
King
1
20
Hauraki
17
Grix
17
Kirke
14
Higham
7
Burrow
26
Solomona
1
27
Pitts
16
Wood
16
Bailey
18
Cooper

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
06-12
Referee:
James Child
Crowd:
17,276


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