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Falling at the Feet of Giants
Posted by southstander on March 30 2012 - 23:33:20

Big Game
Losses at Headingley to Huddersfield are like busses. You wait fifty years for one, and then two come along in rapid succession.

Robbed of any experienced playmakers by illness and injury we got a glimpse of a future without McGuire, Burrow and Webb, and it was a depressing sight. Ten out of ten for effort to the Rhinos seventeen, but in the end a skillful, fast and hungry Giants side showed us how it is done.

For a second week running it's not a good night to be a Rhinos fan.

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

12

Rhinos

v

Giants

22

Superleague XVII - Round 9

30th March 2012

Falling at the Feet of Giants

Despite naming Burrow and Webb in the nineteen man squad, the rumours of doubt about their chances of playing turned out to be accurate and neither were named in a final seventeen which saw Stevie Ward starting at scrum half, McShane in the hooking role and Liam Hood on the bench. It was at best a makeshift Rhinos side against a Giants team welcoming back the likes of Robinson, Gilmour and O'Donnell. Confidence amongst the Rhinos supporters was low even before kick-off.

The opening twenty minutes were a clumsy arm wrestle which saw lots of dropped ball, some big hits and desperate scrambling defence, but no points. The Giants possibly shaded it, but when the Rhinos stepped up the pace it was they who opened the scoring on twenty-five.

A cross field kick by Sinfield was plucked from the air by Hardaker, with just a hint of offside, and then scored capably by the left hand upright. Sinfield kicked the goal and a little against the run of play we'd taken the lead. We weren't complaining.


Leeds Opener
It was a lead that we held for just five minutes.

The Giants had got close to scoring for a couple of tackles before Crabtree went over from close off a crash ball. Silverwood consulted his in-goal judge and then pointed to the spot. The conversion was easy for Brough and we were tied up.

Five minutes later and the visitors snatched the half time lead after a gap opened up for Grix and as he drew the defence he passed to Chan who dove over under the takle. Brough goaled again for 6-12.

A lead we should have held, or built upon, was now a deficit. To be honest the Giants deserved it.

All was not lost, a six point margin was easily bridged, and there had been very little between the sides.

The second half looked to have started disasterously when Patrick went over on forty-three, but Silverwood spotted he'd lost the ball in the act of grounding and chalked the try off. It was a lucky escape, but the luck wouldn't hold.

Of fifty-two the officials missed a forward pass to Eden who stepped round the Leeds defence to score next to the sticks making the Brough extras a formality to make the score 6-18. You felt that the Rhinos grip on the game was slipping as the failed to keep up with the pace of the Giants.

Leeds needed the next try to get back in the game, the Giants needed it to secure the points. It was the Giants who had to wait just four minutes.

Poor Rhinos tackling and fast Giants hands allowed a rolling move over sixty metres which culminated in McGillvary scoring one-handed in the corner. Brough missed the goal but at 6-22 the game was all but over.


Consolation

Slim hopes of a fightback were bolstered by a Leuluai try on sixty-eight after an amazing defensive stint by the Giants finally saw their line breached. Sinfield added the two but it was too little and too late as the Giants finished the game on the attack and with the upper hand.

The Giants dominated the second half and in the end their slick play, hard tackling and at times almost suicidal offloading deserved to see them leave with the two points. No complaints, the best side on the night won.

Leeds lacked the imagination and initiative which we have in spades with McGuire, Burrow and Webb and despite the valiant efforts of impressive looking Ward, Hood and Hardaker we just didn't have the sparkle which those experienced players bring. Moore, Griffin and Peacock all stood up to the plate in the forwards but we looked smaller and less effective that the Giants.

McDermott said pre-match that we'd put right the wrongs of last week. We definitely righted some of them, but there are plenty more that we can address next week at Odsal. I'd start with trying to plug some of the holes in our defence which simply allowed the Giants far too much space and to gain far too many metres.

It was another bad night at the office, and we can't afford too many more of those and still be contenders at the end of the season.


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Giants
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
2
Jones-Bishop
29
Eden
1
14
Smith
5
McGillvary
1
3
Watkins
3
Cudjoe
4
Hardaker
1
17
Wardle
5
Hall
20
George
13
Sinfield
2
7
Brough
3
25
Ward
1
Grix
8
Leuluai
1
8
Crabtree
1
9
McShane
9
Robinson
10
Peacock
12
Fa'alongo
18
Clarkson
4
Gilmour
15
Delaney
18
Chan
1
12
Ablett
19
Lee
17
Kirke
2
Lawrence
21
Moore
13
Faiumu
20
Griffin
15
Patrick
24
Hood
11
O'Donnell

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
6-12
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
15,408


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