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McGuire One-Pointer Stuns Saints
Posted by southstander on September 21 2013 - 13:56:30

Opening Try

This was always going to be a close match as the Rhinos took on the Saints in the second elimination play-off at Headingley.

Leeds made just one change to last week with Achurch replacing Singleton, and the Saints stuck with the side that easily overcame Hull KR last week.

I'd predicted a two point Leeds win in the preview but I wasn't optimistic but as the ground filled the vibe felt right. Was this to be our night?

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

11

Rhinos

v

Saints

10

Superleague XVIII - Play Off II

20th September 2013

McGuire One-Pointer Stuns Saints

The opening half hour was pointless, on the scoreboard but not in terms of entertainment. It was rugby league of the highest calibre as two great attacking sides probed and prodded two great defensive efforts. The Rhinos played a large part of the opening thirty in the Saints half, with the visitors struggling to get back into attacking territory until their last tackle kick.

Errors were minimal and Bantham managed to keep his whistle out of his mouth. We were being treated to the finest that our great game has to offer.

On thirty-one the Rhinos broke the deadlock but it took the video referee to make the decision.

Joe Moon had forced a drop-out with a nice kick through and harrassment of the full back and Leeds returned the ball once again probing the Saints line. With a couple of tackles left the Rhinos mover the ball right and Watkins went for the line off a Hardaker pass. As the Rhinos centre stretched for the corner he lost full control of the ball but managed to keep enough of a finger on it to ground. Sinfield slid the conversion attempt just wide for 4-0.


Brilliant Game
On thirty-seven it looked as though we'd extended the lead as somehow McGuire managed to carry three Saints tackler to the line before stretching an arm to ground through the crowd. The video on the big screen seemed to suggest that it was a try but on closer inspection the ball rolled down Danny arm and he grounded the ball with his forearm, adjudged to have lost control.

As the 'No Try' hit the screen the incredulous South Stand went bonkers and Sinfield who had been lining up the conversion had to retreat to the half-way line.

The Rhinos kept the Saints pointless to half-time but it was by no means a comfortable lead. The second half promised to be every inch the humdinger of the opening forty.

With the half just five minutes old a beautiful mcGuire grubber kick was collected by Moon who slid over the line in front of an appreciative Carnegie stand. As Sinfield added the extras we had a ten point lead and looked to be taking control, but this Saints side never know when they are beaten.

On forty-nine they were back in the game after forcing Leeds to first drop-out and then conceed a penalty on their own line. Manu was the man that found a gap through a patchy Leeds defence who were struggling to cover. Turner kicked a simple goal for 10-6.

Twenty minutes of nervous Leeds defending followed during which it appeared that Mr Bentham gave Saints the benefit of every 50:50 decision including a horrendous missed knock-on from which Saints nearly scored and which pinned the Rhinos back on their own line.

On seventy-one Leeds again didn't get the rub as they were penalised in the Saints half after it appeared that the Saints player had lost the ball. A penalty for a high tackle showed Leeds frustration and as the tiredness kicked it the Saints exploited the space and Manu crossed for his second. The Saints players and supporters celebrated as though they had won the game as Turner lined up the kick five metres in from the South Stand touchline and as the home support boo'ed and heckled he slid the kick wide.

We were tied up at 10-10 with eight minutes to play and it was still anyones.


Match Winner

Saints squandered a drop goal opportunity before a great break from Peacock saw the Rhinos get to the Saints thirty. The play looked set for a Sinfield drop-goal but as he recieved the ball he realised he was being closed down too fast to get the kick away and rather than panic, he passed outside to the waiting McGuire who steadied himself and slipped over the one-pointer sending the stadium crazy.

The Rhinos ran down the clock as they kept Saints too far out to try for an equalising drop goal and eventually finished the game deep inside the Saints half.

It had been a fantastic game played in the right spirit by two great teams. We'd put on a show for the Rugby League world after Thursday nights comedic capitulation by Hull FC at the hands of the Huddersfield Giants and we'd scraped through by the narrowest of possible margins.

It was a night to chew nails and hold your head in your hands as the fortunes ebbed and flowed but in the end I am proud of the way that the lads picked themselves up after last weeks shocking defeat at Warrington and put the Saints to the sword.

As for clubcall I fully expect that Warrington will chose to get us back to the Halliwell-Jones. See you there next Thursday night as we look to turn the tables on Tony Smiths Grand Final hopefulls.

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



Match Facts

Rhinos
Saints
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Hardaker
7
Lomax
2
Jones-Bishop
21
Makinson
3
Watkins
1
3
Turner
1
4
Moon
1
5
Meli
5
Hall
26
Swift
13
Sinfield
1
12
Wilkin
6
McGuire
1
6
Hohaia
8
Leuluai
11
Puletua
7
Burrow
9
Roby
10
Peacock
10
McCarthy-Scarsbrook
11
Jones-Buchanan
4
Soliola
12
Ablett
13
Manu
2
15
Delaney
19
Jones
16
Bailey
1
Wellens
19
Achurch
14
Laffranchi
17
Kirke
16
Clough
26
Sutcliffe
25
Walmsley

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
10-18
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
12,189


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