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The Night of Two Halves
Posted by southstander on August 16 2013 - 22:28:17

Only Two Tries

It was certainly a night of two halves.

Before kick off, the Rhinos administration did Graham Murray and his family proud with a tribute to the recently departed hero of Headingley. Afitting send off for the man who many Leeds fans will remember fondly for delivering the first silverware of the modern era.

The second half of the night is probably best forgotten as we threw everything but the kitchen sink at a resolute Hull KR defence and came off second best.

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

12

Rhinos

v

KR

16

Superleague XVIII - Round 25

16th August 2013

The Night of Two Halves

Brian McDermott juggled his side again bringing James Duckworth in on the wing, moving Zak Hardaker into the centres and Ben Jones-Bishop to full back. Sinfield and Burrow partnered in the halves with the hugely impressive Liam Sutcliffe making up the holy trinity at loose forward. It was a patch-up job but should have been enough to get close to the bookies handicap. But Hull KR weren't playing ball.

The opening twenty minutes was a slugfest with the Rhinos dominating the early exchanges but KR growing in confidence as they repelled Leeds attack after Leeds attack.

It took a bit of Liam Sutcliffe magic to open the Leeds scoring when he shrugged free of a tackle and went forty metres before passing inside to the supporting Watkins to cross the line unopposed. Sinfield goaled the extras and you felt sure that it would be the start of a Rhinos try-fest.

On twenty-six the visitors were lucky to get back onto level terms when it appeared that a Dobson cross-field kick was knocked-on by a KR player into the face of Ryan Hall and then into the arms of Cox who touched down. The KR scorer looked as surprised as the rest of us when Silverwood gave the try without consulting the video referee, who would have surely chalked it off.

Dobson booted the two to level the score.

Despite more Rhinos onslaught the KR defence looked as though it would maintain parity until half-time and then, totally against the run of play, the Robins snatched the lead.

The Rhinos seemed to melt at the tackle and allowed Lovegrove to go forty metres down the left wing and cross, despite the attentions of Ryan Hall, to score in the corner. Dobson goaled brilliantly and the hooter sounded the end of the half with the visitors having an unthinkable 6-12 lead.

Surely KR couldn't man the barricades for another forty minutes. It was only a matter of time before they tired and we walked to victory.

Wrong again!

On forty-two Dobson extended the lead to eight points after Hardaker was judged offside trying to tidy up a ball which Ryan Hall had failed to catch cleanly. On fifty-eight Sinfield made his second poor drop-out, the first had gone straight to a KR player and the second sailed straight into touch. Donson accepted the easy two points from in front of the sticks for a ten point margin at 6-16.

Leeds continued the onslaught, dominating position and possession. On sixty-two a Sinfield grubber appeared to have been grounded by Hall but this time Silverwood consulted the video referee who denied the Rhinos the score.

It was getting increasingly nervous when on seventy-two a Sinfield cross-field kick was picked up brilliantly by Duckworth who drew the full-back before passing inside to Watkins for his second. Sinfield narrowed the gap to four points with the conversion and we had seven minutes to snatch the points.

With a couple of minutes left it looked like we'd done it when a break by Hall saw him tackled ten from the Robins line. Hall flung the ball inside to a supporting Sinfield who got finger-tips to it with an open line begging but then put the ball to ground.

It was the last Rhinos chance of the night as the Robins held on for a famous, if improbably win.

I don't remember seeing a side dominate a game in the way that Leeds did tonight and not come away with the points. We had enough chances to put 30+ points on the board but managed just two converted tries as we failed to find a way over from ten metres time after time. We look far more dangerous breaking from deep and we'll have to improve our close game to have any chance in the play-offs.

There is no denying that the coach and the players wanted to win this but you just have to winder whether they are looking at fourth spot, and a visit to the Galpharm, as a better option than third and a trip to the Halliwell-Jones.

We need a couple of wins now to take that winning habit into the play-offs.

All credit to Hull KR. They came with a plan to defend for their lives and hit us on the break. They stuck to it and it worked perfectly...but it was bloody frustrating.

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


Match Facts

Rhinos
KR
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
2
Jones-Bishop
2
Hall
32
Duckworth
5
Hodgson D.
3
Watkins
2
18
Salter
1
Hardaker
4
Gleeson
5
Hall
19
Caro
13
Sinfield
2
6
Burns
7
Burrow
7
Dobson
4
8
Leuluai
8
Tuimavave
9
McShane
9
Hodgson J.
10
Peacock
16
Walker
12
Ablett
13
Lovegrove
1
18
Clarkson
20
Cox
1
26
Sutcliffe
11
Mika
30
Foster
14
Withers
21
Moore
34
Netherton
17
Kirke
29
Ollett
23
Singleton
24
Green

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
06-12
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
14,868


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