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A Day Trip to Forget
Posted by southstander on August 22 2011 - 08:28:26

Sin Binned
by Phil Caplan

Unfortunately (or thankfully) I couldn't make it down the The Stoop for saturdays shocker against the Harlequins but Phil Caplan of the brilliant 40-20 Magazine did make the trip and sent us this match report.

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

22

Rhinos

v

Quins

32

Superleague XVI - Round 25

20th August 2011

After five matches unbeaten, Rhinos run came to an inglorious end at an initially rain-sodden Stoop in the capital dress rehearsal for next weekend’s Challenge Cup Final. Defeat also effectively scuppered finishing fourth after defeats for Huddersfield and Catalan that put the Rhinos’ fate in their own hands.

Tentative and profligate with the ball - particularly in a dispiriting first half that saw them trail 20-0 - few emerged with enhanced reputations for the big clash with Wigan. Brett Delaney tried manfully throughout and, with worrying injuries to centre pairing Kallum Watkins and Carl Ablett could be set for a move back to the threequarters next week, while Kevin Sinfield sparked a late second half points spree which yielded three tries in six minutes to give a flattering margin, after the skipper had been sin binned in the first period.

Quins completed their first double over Leeds since 1996 and were good value for their win with ex-Loiners Luke Gale the star and Jason Golden excellent on the fringes in a dominant opening forty which saw the hosts post 20 unanswered points. Leeds rested Jamie Peacock, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Ryan Bailey and the pack lacked momentum as a result, Kylie Leuluai’s clattering tackles and robust charges apart.

Luke Dorn took the scoring plaudits with a hat trick that saw him become the prolific London player in history while Rob Purdham on his penultimate home performance was a beacon that the Rhinos could not match. Seemingly the only set completion by the visitors in the opening half was the first one, as dropped ball abounded. The torrential rain at the kick off inevitably led to mistakes, Weller Hauraki halting one of five Leeds-raised men, Danny Ward, on his 100th appearance for the hosts.

Rhinos continued to be wasteful, a good defensive set for the visitors undermined when kick pressure on Gale saw the ball spin into the hands of Purdham, he fed Bailey and only Brent Webb’s hand prevented a breakaway try. It was not long delayed as, from the scrum, Gale’s stepping run had the Rhinos back peddling and Randall’s supremely timed pass saw Dorn step to the posts as the sun came out. Purham made great metres from the re-start and gained a penalty, Randall’s superb pass to choose Dorn rather than the dummy run of Bailey, which seemed to mesmerise the wrong-reading Leeds defence, seeing the full back claim his second touchdown in as many minutes.

Even Dorn kicking out on the full could not dent the soaring home resolve after Kevin Sinfield’s inside pass had freed McGuire in the first Rhinos raid of note, which petered out through lack of support. Gale’s dummy and go and then precision kick to touch at the corner flag set the position for Sarginson and Purdham in combination to elicit a penalty for offside which Gale duly kicked to make it 14-0. With Leeds struggling to make it to half way, only a fine McGuire tackle kept out Tony Clubb and, when Sinfield kicked the ball dead in-goal, his shoulder brush of Dorn as the full back raced to take a quick tap - which he still did - earned the Leeds skipper a near-unprecedented spell in the sin bin.

In his absence, Harlequins scored twice more either side of half time, the first coming from another Watkins knock on in an afternoon he will want to forget. Clubb was held up on the right and, as the ball swung left, Sarginson’s intelligent positioning by stepping back and creating the overlap saw him feed Purdham, Jamie O’Callaghan on the inside twisting over through three defenders; Gale goaling from the touchline. Gale’s boot conjured Dorn’s record breaking score four minutes into the second period, a lovely dink with the outside of his foot to the posts seeing the veteran steal in for a quality try. Sinfield returned with renewed determination to halt the slide, Delaney’s offload seeing McGuire in space, Sinfield and Rob Burrow capitalising for McGuire’s lobbed pass to send Ryan Hall powering over Mark Calderwood for his 22nd try of the campaign.

Sinfield, McGuire and Watkins set Ben Jones-Bishop free on the ground he made his name last year, Sarginson getting across to nail him into touch. Hall’s hand prevented Dorn giving

Calderwood a walk in after more trickery from Randall and Gale but that exact combination worked from the ensuing scrum, Gale’s pass selection again the key as the ex-Rhino crossed.

With Watkins’ departure, Leeds reached a nadir but three tries in six minutes at least gave the drying visiting fans something to cheer. Delaney was the founder of the first with a strong run, Chris Clarkson, Hauraki and Sinfield sending in McGuire who was heavily involved in the second, Leuluai and Clarkson enabling the Leeds pivot to put Burrow clear and scampering over. After Calderwood had been forced to concede a drop out, Burrow linked with Webb and his inside pass enabled Jay Pitts twist his way over and raise a hand for the Wembley 19.

PHIL CAPLAN


Match Facts

Rhinos
Harlequins
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
Dorn
3
23
Jones-Bishop
23
Calderwood
1
19
Watkins
2
O'Callaghan
1
12
Ablett
3
Clubb
5
Hall
1
5
Melling
13
Sinfield
1
24
Sarginson
6
McGuire
1
6
Gale
5
8
Leuluai
17
Ward
9
Buderus
7
Randall
17
Kirke
8
Temata
20
Hauraki
13
Purdham
3
Delaney
14
Golden
21
Clarkson
12
Bailey
2
Smith
15
Ambler
7
Burrow
1
10
Wilkes
14
Lauiti'iti
16
Burnett
22
Pitts
20
Bolger

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15:00
Half-Time:
00-20
Referee:
Rob Hicks
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