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A Big Improvement
Posted by southstander on July 01 2011 - 22:51:04

Brace
The bookies gave the Rhinos an almost unheard of sixteen point start as they travelled to the JJB to take on the side who fought back for an historic draw in the home game back in round eight.

Perhaps they'd listened to McDermotts confession that he wasn't sending his side to Wigan to win, but to put in a good performance. Even for the noticibly diminished travelling Rhinos supporters, the hope was that we'd save embarrassment and keep the losing margin to a reasonable level.

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

24

Rhinos

v

Warriors

26

Superleague XVI - Round 20

1st July 2011

A Big Improvement

Rob Burrow was dropped to the bench and for some reason, known only to the chuckle brothers, Paul McShane was missing from the Leeds seventeen. Jones-Bishop made a welcome return on the wing in place of the still injured Ryan Hall and Zak Hardaker was back on the opposite wing. On paper it looked like a weak Rhinos side but mercifully the home side were without their returning prodigal son, Gareth Hock.

It took the Rhinos just ten seconds from the Sinfield kick-off, and on the first tackle, for Leeds to conceed the first penalty of the night. A McGuire fifty metre break later and Leeds were the beneficiaries of a penalty for hands in and Sinfield goaled from twenty out. A lead...against the Warriors...at the DW. Steady on!

Thirteen minutes in and Leeds gifted the Warriors the games opening try. A Webb forward pass was penalised by Halibut and Webb decided to turn a scrum into a penalty through back-chat. The Warriors used three tackles before Charnley went over. Richards slotted over the extras for 2-6. Stupidity costs the Rhinos, it is beginning to sound like a broken record.

Four minutes later and the returning Ben Jones-Bishop got on the scoresheet. A Wigan knock-on gave us posession and on the fifth tackle Webb made some amends by sliding through the grubber to be grounded in goal. Sinfield converted beautifully from the touchline and we were back in a shock lead at 8-6.


4 from 5
On twenty-five Sam Tomkins prevented a Leeds try by tackling close from not square. Leeds got the penalty but incredibly Halibut failed to show the Wigan cheat a yellow card for a professional foul.

A minute later and Webb stepped out of a tackle to score one-handed on the line. Sinfield added the extras for 14-6. I pinched myself, but the scoreboard looked the same, we were still in the lead.

It was like a different Leeds. We were fast in the play, tackling hard, and we'd put the Warriors on the back foot. It wasn't the same team that lost to the Bulls last week.

On thirty-two a cross field kick from Finch which seemed to be knocked-on by Richards before being collected by Hoffman who walked over the line to score. Richards was solid with the boot and the home side were back within two at 14-12.

Two minutes from the break and the Rhinos were over again this time throught try machine, Zak Hardaker. It was the last tackle and Burrow put in a long ball, palmed on by Ablett into the hands of Hardaker who went seven metres to score in the corner. Sinfield slid the kick wide but we had a six point margin as the half time hooter sounded.

A very satisfying first half, now we had to do it all again for the second forty.

With the second half just a minute old the Warriors got over the whitewash. Leeds had failed to collect the kick-off and the Warriors used their tackles before a massive forward pass put Richards over in the corner. He converted his own try to level up the scores. The referee had missed a shocker and Leeds had paid the price.

Four more minutes had elapsed before Wigan went in again. A rolling passing move down the left wind ended with Carmont scoring in the corner. Richards added the extras with his ultra-reliable right foot for 18-24. We'd been blitzed, conceeding twelve points in four minutes.

On the hour Leeds, having weathered the Warriors onslaught, condeeded a penalty for offside and Richard slotted over the penalty from thirty metres out. The home side were now two scores clear at 18-26 and the first half Rhinos lions had turned into lambs.


Winning Try Ruled Out

There were eleven minutes remaining when a pinpoint McGuire grubber was grounded in the corner by Zak Hardaker for his second of the match. Sinfield converted brilliantly from the touchline and we were back within two at 24-26. We needed to play the last nine in the Warriors half and force the mistake.

Five minutes to go and McGuire dribbled the ball forwards and touched down. Halibut went to the video referee and Steve 'Saint' Ganson ruled that the ball touched the ground before it hit McGuires boot and ruled out the try with a McGuire knock-on. Eagle eyes Halibut sees a split second decision to denies Leeds but missed an American Football style pass for Wigans first of the second half. It was the correct decision, but without the presence of the SKY cameras a try would have been given.

Three minutes to go and Leeds were on the Wigan thirty with tackles in the bag and Lauiti'iti offloaded to Wigans Leuluai. It was game over for Leeds.

Brian McDermott got what he wanted, a massive Leeds improvement in performance, and the loss that he'd suggested. While he might be satisfied, as supporters we are definitely not. You go into a game with a losing attitude and you vastly reduce your chances of winning. In the end we were hard done-by with a couple of decisions. Leaving Sam Tomkins on the field after his professional foul in the first half was refereeing cowardice, and how Halibut missed the Richards try forward pass at the start of the second half is beyond belief.

I'm gutted that we lost, and the lads looked shell-shocked at the end. But this is the kind of performance that we need to take with us into the rest of the games this season. At least then we'd be able to hold our heads high when we finish the season trophyless.

Next up, a visit to southern France.


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
1
Tomkins, S.
27
Hardaker
2
25
Charnley
1
2
Smith
12
Tomkins, J.
12
Ablett
4
Carmont
1
23
Jones-Bishop
1
5
Richards
1
5
13
Sinfield
4
17
Finch
6
McGuire
6
Deacon
8
Leuluai
15
Lima
9
Buderus
7
Leuluai
10
Peacock
21
Mossop
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Hansen
3
Delaney
16
Hoffman
1
21
Clarkson
13
O'Loughlin
17
Kirke
9
McIlorum
7
Burrow
10
Coley
16
Bailey
14
Prescott
14
Lauiti'iti
23
Tuson

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
18-12
Referee:
Thierry Alibert
Crowd:
16,426


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