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Oops We Did It Again!
Posted by southstander on October 06 2012 - 22:26:12

Never Gets Boring
Every once in a while a team of players come together is such a way that the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts.

The Rhinos have had a mediocre season, despite making the two major finals, and tonight at Old Trafford they needed to pull out one of their best performances of the season to have any chance of overcoming Tony Smith's Warrington, the side chasing the double that would break Rhinos hearts.

But we follow a side who never know when they are beaten, a side who have been the most successful team over the last decade, and all we needed was to have some faith in them.

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

26

Rhinos

v

Wolves

18

Superleague XVII - Grand Final

Old Trafford

6th October 2012

Oops, We Did it Again!

There was just one change in the Rhinos seventeen from last week, the addition of Danny McGuire for Chris Clarkson. McGuire was also the only change to the Rhinos side so comprehensively beaten at Wembley, although he replaced Keinhorst from that Cup Final line up. Warrington were almost the same outfit too with just Grix and Cooper in the seventeen for Carvell and McCarthy. The bookies had the Wolves as cast-iron favourites, but you write off the Rhinos at your peril, this is no ordinary bunch of players.

It should have been the Wolves, strangers to Old Trafford, who started off the game filled with nerves and overawed by the situation but it was the Rhinos who looked like rabbits caught in the headlights. Perhaps it was the lack of rain, perhaps it was the fear of a Wembley repeat.

With just three minutes on the clock a kick through was knocked on and two plays later Myler found a gap to run through the Rhinos defence for the opening score of the game. As Hodgson kicked the conversion there was an early sinking feeling. Surely we weren't just going to roll over and die!


Scored one, made one
On twelve it looked like we were back on level terms when Hall went over in the left corner but Silverwood, harshly from the video replays, rules a forward pass. Perhaps it wasn't going to be our day.

But on ninteen we did get back on level terms after Sinfield put in a bomb to the left corner, Hall rose above the Warrington defence and knocked the ball back to Ablett who found Sinfield had chased his own kick to be in support and score in the corner. He converted his own for 6-6 and you could see the confidence flowing back into the Leeds players.

On twenty-four and the first penalty of the match saw Sinfield kick the two after the Wolves were offside. It was now 8-6 and we were starting to control the game.

On the half-hour McGuire fired a pass to Ben Jones-Bishop on the right wing and he managed to avoid putting a foot in touch to come inside and cross to score. Sinfield goaled for 14-8 and the game had turned around. We were in control and just needed to keep our discipline until half-time.

But that isn't how we play.

Trying to keep the ball alive was suicidal and when Ablett put down a difficult pass the Primrose & Blue made the most of the opportunity. A penalty later and a pass wide right saw Joel Monaghan over and improve the angle to make Hodgsons conversion easier.

Then on the hooter we let the lead slip back to a draw as we were penalised on our own line with seconds left and Hodgson elected to take the two. Fourteen apiece at the break and despite bossing most of the opening half we were only level pegging.

The Wolves started the second half as they had finished the first, with points.

On forty-four Hardaker was nearly decapitated returning a kick on his own twenty. The ball came loose and Warrington threw it wide left for Atkins to stretch over the Leeds defence and score. Hodgson failed to convert but we were behind again and up against it.

It took until the hour mark for us to break through the Wolves defence. After intense pressure on their line, including two penalties, Hardaker found Ablett with a short pass and the centre went over for a try. Sinfield added the two where Hodgson hadn't for 20-18. It was game on again.

On seventy-two Leeds put the game beyond the Wolves when keeping the ball alive it was moved right, and then left for Ablett to draw the defence and put Hall over in the corner on a one man overlap. Sinfield converted brilliantly for 26-18 and an eight point lead.


Winning Try

Depite throwing everything that they had left in the locker at is over the remaining eight minutes the Rhinos stood firm and even forced a couple of errors. A Burrow 40-20 relieved pressure and as the clock continued to tick away the Warrington hopes deserted them as quickly as their fans heading for the early exits and an escape from their first Grand Final.

At the final hooter the lads celebrated as though this win was their first, not their fifth in six years (sixth in eight). This is a truly Champion side, a side who can win it from fifth, a side who won't give it up until it really is over.

Sinfield deservedly got the Harry Sunderland Trophy for a sensational game with a personal haul of fourteen points, but he was surrounded by sixteen other heroes.

This is the best rugby side that I have seen for grit and determination and for confounding the pundits and bookies. This is my side, this is the Rhinos, these boys are the Champions of Superleague and will go down in history as one of the greatest sides to have ever played the great game.

The Rhinos dynasty is alive and well and in safe hands.

Take a bow Mr McDermott, Mr Hetherington, Mr Caddick, and the fantastic squad that is Leeds Rhinos. You Sirs, have done us proud again.

CHAMPIONS 2012!!!

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
4
Hardaker
1
Hodgson
3
2
Jones-Bishop
1
2
Riley
3
Watkins
19
Ratchford
12
Ablett
1
4
Atkins
1
5
Hall
1
5
Monaghan, J.
1
13
Sinfield
1
5
6
Briers
6
McGuire
7
Myler
1
8
Leuluai
13
Harrison
7
Burrow
14
Higham
10
Peacock
20
Hill
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Waterhouse
15
Delaney
12
Westwood
16
Bailey
15
Grix
17
Kirke
8
Morley
31
Lunt
9
Monaghan, M.
20
Griffin
16
Wood
25
Ward
17
Cooper

Kick Off:
18:00
Half-Time:
14-14
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
70,676


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