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Rhinos Burst League Leaders Bubble
Posted by southstander on March 09 2012 - 23:55:11

Another Try
It was the game of the round as the unbeaten Wolves, Minor Premiers in 2011, arrived at Headingley to take on the Super League and World Champions in front of the SKY cameras.

Both coaches had promised an open game of expansive rugby and over seventeen thousand packed into HQ to witness the spectacle in person. Neither side was placing too much importance on the fixture but both were secretly desperate to get the win and the two points.

Warrington wanted some revenge for their heartbreak at missing their last years destiny, the Grand Final, whereas the Rhinos wanted to consolidate a decent start with a first win over one of the top five.

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

26

Rhinos

v

Wolves

18

Superleague XVII - Round 6

9th March 2012

Rhinos Burst League Leaders Bubble

Richard Moore and Ian Kirke were the unlucky two with Big Mac once again picking rising star Liam Hood in the seventeen. Westwood and Grix were back for the visitors and on paper the two sides looked evenly matched.

From the kick-off it seemed that the two coaches must have signed a 'secret suicide pact' as knock-on followed knock-on, and Silverwood blew the pea out of his whistle.

An early Jones-Bishop attempt was ruled out by the video referee, and with the game twenty minutes old the Rhinos had nothing to show for their domination of position and possession. It had been pretty dire, scrappy, untidy, and definitely not the beautiful game that we'd been promised by the coaches during the week.

It was the twenty-first minute before the deadlock was broken. And it took a moment of McGuire magic as the mercurial half-back stepped twice before lunging for the line with a tackler around his bootlaces. Sinfield kicked the goal and silenced the visiting supporters.

Five minutes later and we were in again, as expansive passes stuck rather than going to ground. A long pass from Webb found Hall on the left wing who stepped inside and passed to Hardaker to zig-zag his way through the defence and score. Sir Kev kicked the extras for 12-0 and we seemed to be in total control.

Then Silverwood upped his game and decided to let the visitors back in.


Captains knock
On thirty-one Ablett was harshly punished for interference at the play the ball and from the resulting penalty the Wolves used four tackles before Blythe found a big gap in the Leeds cover defence to score. Briers kicked the two for 12-6.

Five minutes later and Silverwood gifted the Wolves a second. As Westwood dropped on Webbs head with the elbow deep inside the Wolves twenty, somehow the referee and his touch judge contrived to award the penalty to Warrington and they took full advantage by working their way to the Leeds line and getting a second penalty for a Leeds offside. The second set was too much for Leeds and Hill crashed over for a try which was converted by Briers for 12-12.

We'd dominated the half but somehow were all level at half-time. Silverwood must have been very proud of himself to have got his favoured side level despite the Rhinos being totally in charge.

We now knew that we would have to beat fourteen in the second half, and one of the opposition had control of the whistle.

It took just five minutes for us to re-establish the lead thanks to a great break by Rob Burrow that was unlucky not to see a penalty awarded in Leeds favour for holding down. When he was allowed to get to his feet he played the ball and it was moved through two poirs of hands to the right for a flying Watkins to ground one-handed as the Warrington defender elected to try and push him into touch rather than tackle him. Sinfield converted brilliantly from the touchline for 18-12.

But Warrington weren't done.

On forty-eight the Rhinos conceeded a penalty on their own line and Westwood dived over, getting the ball close enough to the line to allow the video referee to allow the score. Briers added the two and we were tied up again at 18-18.

On fifty-eight the Rhinos regained a narrow lead thanks to the boot of Sinfield, who landed the penalty after Higham tried to decapitate Burrow on the Wolves forty.

Both sides then had tries disallowed by the video referee, Warrington for offside and Leeds for an obstruction, before on sixty-eight, the Rhinos sealed a famous and deserved win.

A high kick on the last was knocked back into his own goal area by Myler and as he tried to scoop the ball dead he didn't make full contact, and Hood was in the right place at the right time to touch down a four pointer.


Try Scorer

Sinfield added the conversion, a five from five record on the night, and as the Rhinos ran down the clock they'd secured a well deserved 26-18 win and burst the Wolves unbeaten 2012 bubble.

This was a truly great Rhinos win, in a really scrappy game. The lads showed determination in defence and a willingness to put their bodies on the line in a way that was missing in the games at Widnes and Castleford. This was back to WCC brutality and it showed than we can raise our game when we need to.

Webb had his usual 'brainfarts' and tonight was one of those where he looks more of a liability than an asset, however, the rest of the back line was awesome in defence and for the most part attack. The forwards mostly did their duty and Briers wasn't allowed any space to move by the ferret like tackling of Burrow, Sinfield and notably Delaney.

All in all a dedicated Leeds performance and a well worth the win.

For Richard Silverwood, an anxious wait by his letter box next week, to see if he did enough to get awarded the 'Keys to Warrington'. I suspect that even in defeat his endeavours for the visitors won't go un-noticed.

Next week...we get to try out the new Salford Stadium.


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
1
Webb
19
Ratchford
2
Jones-Bishop
2
Riley
3
Watkins
1
18
Blythe
1
4
Hardaker
1
4
Atkins
1
5
Hall
5
Monaghan, J.
13
Sinfield
5
6
Briers
3
6
McGuire
1
7
Myler
8
Leuluai
8
Morley
7
Burrow
14
Higham
10
Peacock
10
Carvell
22
Pitts
11
Waterhouse
15
Delaney
12
Westwood
12
Ablett
16
Wood
18
Clarkson
17
Grix
24
Hood
1
20
Hill
1
20
Griffin
17
Cooper
16
Bailey
21
McCarthy

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
12-12
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
17,120


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