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A Game of Four Quarters
Posted by southstander on August 31 2012 - 23:28:50

Brace
This was the game where we had to show that Wembley was behind us. That we were over it, and that we were concentrating on another famous victory at Old Trafford in early October.

The time was right, and the opposition there for the taking as an injury riddled Salford Reds visited HQ expecting a beating.

Did we set out our stall for the play-offs? Well.....

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

46

Rhinos

v

Reds

12

Superleague XVII - Round 26

31st August 2012

A Game of Four Quarters

Bailey and Griffin paid the price for their Wembley appearances by making way for Clarkson and Hauraki in the chosen seventeen. Richard Moore was nowhere to be seen and must by now be getting the message that his face doesn't fit. Interestingly Keinhorst was given his first start, in the centres, giving the back line a very youthful look. Burrow was at scrum half and Lunt at hooker. It was a game where a little experimentation was allowed, so long as we got a comprehensive victory.

Leeds had dominated the early exchanges but Salfords defence held strong until the eleventh minute when the Rhinos finally broke the line thanks to good passing down the right side which ended with Jones-Bishop catching the ball one-handed on his thigh and grounding it over the line. Sinfield missed the conversion attempt.

On sixteen Peacock offloaded brilliantly to Burrow who scampered through a gap, evading three attempted tackles before passing to his left and finding Hall unmarked to go the last five and score. The skipper goaled for 10-0 and the Reds heads were already dropping.


18 points
On twenty-two another brilliant offload by Peacock, followed by one equally as good from Ablett which found Lunt, allowed the hooker to break to ten out before passing to Sinfield to go over close to the sticks and make his own conversion a simple one for 16-0.

It looked like we'd built a comfortable lead to kick on, but then the wind went out of our sails.

Becalmed, we got involved in a niggly knock-on-athon which meant twenty minutes of drudgery for which the half-time hooter was a blessed relief for players and spectators alike. Hopefully the oranges would refresh both sides.

We started the second half like we'd been hit by a half-time teamtalk of volcanic proportions.

It was just two minutes old when a Ward crabbing run found a gap and allowed him to break for the line before finding Burrow to go the last thirty and score under the posts allowing Sir Kev to make the score 22-0.

On forty-five it was again Ward who was the provider, this time with a short pass to Watkins which saw him evade one tackle and score. Sinfield goaled for 28-0 and we were home and dry.

Just two more minutes had passed when we made it eighteen points in five minutes. This time Ablett and Burrow both made forty metre breaks before putting the supporting Hauraki over for a popular try. Sinfield kicked the two for 34-0.

We weren't done. On fifty-five some excellent work by Hardaker enabled him to put Watkins over for his second of the night, Sinfield making it 40-0 with the boot.


Popular Scorer

The final Leeds try came on the hour mark when after Ward had gone close with a scrambling run, Sinfield passed from acting half and a flat pass allowed Jones-Buchanan to charge onto the ball and over the line. Sinfields goal gave us 46-0 and with twenty minutes left it looked like we could go on and get sixty plus.

And then someone flicked the off switch, the same one that had been activated on twenty-two minutes in the first half, and we just stopped playing the expansive football that had just ripped the opposition apart.

We went backwards, allowing the Reds to get two converted tries, both from Patten, and a bit of respectability in the scoreline at 46-12.

Leeds played well for the opening twenty in both halves, but were like a different team in the second twenty. It is beyond explanation. How can we be so good for one twenty minutes, and so average for the next?

We did enough to get a comfortable win, and perhaps that was the plan. Salford were never in the game and looked poor, but then they are missing a lot of first choice players. We will probably get away with pnly playing for forty next week against a Giants in terrible form, but come the play-off we will be in a lot of trouble if we only play half a game.

I am sure that the lads were suffering from last week and they showed little tonight to convince me that they have put the defeat behind them.

I'm worried that we are heading for a trophyless season. Hopefully the lads will prove me wrong with a bigger eighty minutes performance next week in Huddersfield.

Barring a miracle (two big FC wins and a big loss for Leeds next week) fifth spot is guaranteed and now we are relying on Catalans and Saints to slip up to give us a chance of a higher spot.

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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Reds
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
4
Hardaker
1
Patten
2
2
Jones-Bishop
1
2
Broughton
3
Watkins
2
3
Gleeson
32
Keinhorst
18
Gibson
5
Hall
1
5
Williams
13
Sinfield
1
7
6
Holdsworth
2
7
Burrow
1
24
Howarth
8
Leuluai
10
Boyle
31
Lunt
27
Anderson
10
Peacock
15
Sidlow
11
Jones-Buchanan
1
14
Nero
15
Delaney
11
Ashurst
12
Ablett
13
Wild
17
Kirke
19
Neal
18
Clarkson
21
James
25
Ward
23
Owen
19
Hauraki
1
28
Walne

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
16-00
Referee:
Rob Hicks
Crowd:
15,081


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