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We Didn't Believe the Hype
Posted by southstander on July 14 2012 - 20:21:57

Superb
The Rhinos went to The Galpharm to make up the numbers, and be the passenger as Wigan drove into the final at Wembley.

The Wigan supporters were already booking their hotels, the Wigan coach talking about 'winning everything' this season, and the bookies were offering 11/4 to the few Rhinos supporters who had the bottle to back their side.

I tipped against us in the preview, as I have in most major games for the last couple of seasons, but I had everything crossed that we'd be making it back to Wembley for the third consecutive final.

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

39

Rhinos

v

Warriors

28

Challenge Cup - Semi-Final

Galpharm Stadium - Huddersfield

14th July 2012

We Didn't Believe the Hype

Kylie Leuluai and Jamie Jones-Buchanan were back in the side after being rested last week. Big Mac started with Burrow, Sinfield and McGuire on the field and Lunt joined wonder boy Stevie Ward on the bench.

If we were to scramble a win then it was likely to be tough, but the prize of Wembley in five weeks time was something that was a burning desire for the seventeen Rhinos players pulling on the blue and amber.

The game was just over three minutes old when the Rhinos benefitted from a Wigan defensive disaster. Sinfield put up the kick and Tomkins fumbled five metres from his own line. Laying flat on his belly, allthe Wigan fullback could do was watch Hall pick up the ball and dive over to score in the corner. Sinfield kicked brilliantly from the line for 6-0. It was the perfect start.

On six minutes we had to wonder whether Tomkins was 'of sound mind'. Another Sinfield kick from within the Leeds forty was bouncing towards touch in the Wigan twenty and rather than pick it up Tomkins watched it over the line. Leeds 'head and feed' with a rare forty-twenty. Leeds used three tackles to get to the Wigan line and then fast hands down the line to the right found Jones-Bishop unmarked to cross in the right corner. Sinfield missed the goal but at 10-0 we weren't complaining.

On eleven we were in again, and I was pinching myself that I wasn't dreaming. Another Sinfield kick was collected by Charnley and then dropped in the first tackle. While Tomkins and Hock complained to the referee about what they thought was a forward pass, Peacock ran at the gap they left and offloaded to Hardaker to scamper over under the posts. Sinfield kicked the extras for 16-0. It surely couldn't get any better than this.

Wigan were back in the game on twenty minutes after a few minutes of pressure when Carmont went over from the back of the scrum. Tomkins added the extras for 16-6.

Straight from the kick-off return, Hock found a gap and went sixty metres, ignoring the supporting Tomkins, to score. The Wigan full-back added the extras for 10-12 and it was game on.

It was inevitable that the Warriors would come back at some point, now we needed to dig even deeper.


Scorer
And we did dig deep. On twenty-five McGuire managed to step out of a tackle and offloaded brilliantly to Hall who managed to stretch out and score in the left corner despite having two tacklers attached. Sinfield slid the conversion wide of the far post but an eight point lead was re-established.

On thirty we got a rarity, a Bailey try. Leeds had a penalty after O'Loughlin was judged to have stolen the ball on the Wigan line (why wasn't it a penalty try). From the McGuire tap, Bailey went over from first receiver and Sinfield added the extras for 26-12. Wigans mistakes were costing them dear, and we were loving it.

Six minutes from the interval and we were over again. On the last tackle Sinfield put in a brilliant kick to the corner and Jones-Bishop collected it, and managed to control with his fingertips to score. Sinfield hit the right upright from the kick but at 30-12 it was difficult to believe.

Two minutes from the break and the Warriors got a first half consolation. Farrell found a gap to break and then put in a shocking pass to Flower who could only hack it forward with the boot. The ball hit the post guard and held up just enough for Flower to win the race to ground the ball over the line. Tomkins added the extras for 30-18 and Wigan were more in the game than they should have been. A penalty on the hooter was kicked by Tomkins and the sides went into the break at 30-20.

It had been a sensational first half, defences a little suspect with fifty points on the board, but we'd been treated to a feast. Mouths were already watering for the second forty.

Leeds got the first score of the second half, but it took nine minutes. Delaney made a break, passed inside to McGuire who appeared to knock-on before the ball was picked up by Hardaker and scored under the sticks. Thaler missed the knock-on which most others in the stadium saw, and which McGuire seemed to give up, but it was a try. Sinfield added the two for 36-20.

Fifty-eight and a Tomkins chip was collected by O'Loughlin who rounded the Rhinos defence to score wide right. Tomkins missed the kick but the Rhinos gap was narrowed to twelve at 36-24. There were twenty-minutes left on the clock and the Rhinos were still looking the better side.

On sixty-three the skippers genius saw him slide over a drop goal from thirty metres to extend the lead to three tries at 37-20.

With thirteen minutes to go Hardaker put in a brilliant last ditch tackle and dislodged the ball from Hughes when it looked like Wigan would be in. Perhaps it was going to be our day, against all the odds.


Game of the Season

Two minutes later and Hardaker saved the day again, this time dragging down Tomkins just short.

Leeds turned defence into attack as Burrow went down the middle but rather than pass inside to, he found Hall on the wing who was dragged into touch as he was in the act of scoring.

Seven minutes from the end and Charnley benefitted from what looked like a Goulding forward pass to score in the corner. Tomkins missed the kick and at 37-28 the Warriors still needed two tries in six minutes.

We're going to Wembley, and Wigans superstars will be watching it on the telly!

With a minute left the Rhinos gotr a penalty thirty out and Sinfield kicked it straight between the uprights. The Rhinos were 39-28 winners and totally deserved to win a gane that they had dominated.

McDermott definitely knows when to get his side to peak. We did if for the Grand Final last year, we did it for the World Club Challenge, and we did it today.

The boys were nothing short of magnificent, and Wigan believed their own hype, and that of their fans, and were left looking second best.

Wembley, here we come.

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
4
Hardaker
2
1
Tomkins
4
2
Jones-Bishop
2
2
Charnley
1
3
Watkins
3
Goulding
12
Ablett
4
Carmont
1
5
Hall
2
24
Gelling
13
Sinfield
5
1
13
O'Loughlin
1
6
McGuire
6
Finch
10
Peacock
10
Mossop
7
Burrow
9
McIlorum
8
Leuluai
14
Lima
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Hansen
15
Delaney
12
Hock
1
16
Bailey
1
17
Tuson
31
Lunt
16
Farrell
25
Ward
21
Lauaki
17
Kirke
23
Flower
1
20
Griffin
26
Hughes

Kick Off:
17:30
Half-Time:
30-20
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
12,860


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