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Second Best
Posted by southstander on June 08 2012 - 22:30:06

Two Tries
Torrential rain in June and two teams that resembled an explosion in a Licorice Allsorts factory. It sounds like the recipe for another fun night in the Super League.

For the Warrington Wolves it was definitely that, but for the Rhinos, and their ever diminishing travelling support, it was another one to forget as once again we were second best.

There were a few bright moments on an otherwise dull and dingy night.

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

18

Rhinos

v

Wolves

37

Superleague XVII - Round 17

8th June 2012

Second Best

We knew in advance that we'd be without the services of the injured McGuire and Big Mac elected to start with Burrow at seven and Lunt at nine. Bailey was back at loose forward, which gives some indication of the current crisis, and Smith and Hauraki were the two to miss out from the nineteen. It wouldn't be long into the game before McDermott realised that the team selection was a mistake, again.

There was less than a minute on the clock when Warrington opened the scoring. A Riley kick through wasn't collected by a diving Webb and bounced nicely forWaterhouse to pick up and score. Hodgson goaled and Leeds were already reeling.

On four it was Riley who got the try after Peacock lost the Rhinos first posession by dropping the ball on his own thirty. The Wolves moved the ball left and Riley went over the top of Jones-Bishop to score. Hodgson again converted, this one much more difficult than the first. On ten the Wolves blitz continued and after defending three consecutive sets the Rhinos capitulated to a Briers grubber which was collected by O'Brien and touched down while the Rhinos defence looked on. Webb picked up a bang from Ablett, as they were the only two making any attempt to get the bouncing ball and the full-back had to be helped from the field. Hodgsons goal made it 18-0 and we were shipping in at a rate of almost two points a minute.

When we finally got a little ball we went close but Lunt lost the ball in the act of scoring. Warrington didn't make the same mistake on eighteen when another Briers kick found no Leeds defence at home and O'Brien collected to score one-handed a split second before going dead in goal. Hodgson kicked the two for 0-24 and it was almost game over.


Leeds Opener
The Rhinos round 17 coffin was nailed shut on twenty-eight when an O'Brien break for fifty metres saw him draw Hardaker and put Riley over under the sticks. Hodgson made it five from five and the home side now had an unassailable 0-30 lead. Even the Rhinos couldn't come back from this one, now it was a matter of salvaging some pride.

With seven minutes left in the half we finally got on the board after the introduction of Stevie Ward seemed to breath some new life into a lacklustre Leeds.

Burrow scampered to the left and put Sinfield over off a short ball and the skipper added the two, to send us into the sheds at 6-30.

Leeds started the second half brightly, despite Sinfield failing to find touch with an early penalty. On forty-seven we saw some Burrow magic as he went from the base of the scrum to outpace and outstep three Wolves defenders and score next to the posts. Sinfield goaled for 12-30 and there was a momentary glimpse of hope.

On fifty-four the Rhinos were lucky not to conceed another when Higham knocked the ball on when it was easier to score and a minute later a sickening clash of heads between Westwood and Kirke saw the Rhinos man off on a stretcher in the hands of the doctors and physios.

On sixty-three Briers settled any remaining Wolves nerves with a well worked drop goal to take the score to 12-31 and leave Leeds needing four scores.

We got one of them on sixty-nine when Delaney finally found a gap and broke down field before putting the supporting Burrow over for his second. Sinfield added the extras for 18-31 but it would be the Wolves who would have the last word.


Early Injury

With ten minutes left a nice passing move to the left eventually saw the ball into the hands of Atkins who stretched out to score and take the score to 18-37, there was no coming back for Leeds.

Leeds were mullered in the opening eighteen minutes and allowed the Wolves to build up a lead which they could comfortably defend. We won the last hour by 18-13 but the damage was already done and the Rhinos were playing for a little pride and to avoid a big calamity on points difference. After all, we might need to rely on that for a place in the eight.

There were no spectacularly bad performances but we were second best in most positions and for most of the time. Stevie Ward looked bright when introduced for Lunt and Rob Burrow had a terrific game in his regular position at scrum-half. But we missed too many tackles, left two many gaps, and lacked any imagination with the ball in hand. Warrington simply blew us away.

I am not sure where we go from here but we are pretty much at rock bottom. Mercifully we've got some supposedly 'easy' games coming up with Wakefield, Castleford and London in the next three. Is this all part of the plan to 'win it from eighth'? Surely we aren't all naive enough to believe that!

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
1
Hodgson
5
2
Jones-Bishop
5
Monaghan, J.
12
Ablett
3
Bridge
4
Hardaker
4
Atkins
1
5
Hall
2
Riley
2
13
Sinfield
1
3
6
Briers
1
7
Burrow
2
24
O'Brien
2
1
8
Leuluai
20
Hall
31
Lunt
14
Lunt
10
Peacock
10
Carvell
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Waterhouse
1
15
Delaney
12
Westwood
16
Bailey
13
Harrison
17
Kirke
8
Morley
18
Clarkson
15
Grix
20
Griffin
17
Cooper
25
Ward
19
Ratchford

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
06-30
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
10,835


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