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Rhinos Charge Continues
Posted by southstander on May 02 2014 - 23:17:12

Magical Zak

It was a resurgent Wigan Warriors who descended, well supported, on Headingley. Unbeaten in their last eight, stretching back a day under two months, this would be a massive examination for the Rhinos and a chance to test where we are against the reigning Superleague Champions.

Without Rob Burrow the coach named Sinfield at hooker and Ablett at scrum-half but we all knew that it was unlikely to pan out like that on the pitch.

The Warriors were without their skipper O'Loughlin who failed a late fitness test on an injury picked up in training but they still fielded a side which looked strong enough to cause the Rhinos plenty of problems.

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

28

Rhinos

v

Warriors

12

Superleague XIX - Round 11

2nd May 2014

Rhinos Charge Continues

The Rhinos couldn't have wished for a better start. The kick-off return was fumbled in the first tackle and the Rhinos had possession in the Warriors twenty with just seconds on the clock. With just over a minute played, Sinfield put a kick to the left corner and as Hall rose he tapped the ball back into the hands of McGuire who rarely fails to score from three metres. Sinfield kicked the extras and the SouthStand, already noisy, raised the volume another notch. The Warriors didn't know what had hit them.

On thirteen a moment of delightful Hardaker skill saw him run the angle from thirty metres, split the Warriors defence, and score one-handed in a dive towards the right corner flag. The video referee judged that Zak had avoided touch and called the 'TRY' but the skipper couldn't add the extras from the touchline. It had been a sensational start, Rhinos chests were already starting to puff-out with pride.


Strong
The Warriors got themselves back into the game on twenty-two after Ablett had been punished for interference at the play-the-ball on the Rhinos twenty. Wigan pushed the ball close and with a fast play Clubb burrowed under the Leeds tacklers from acting half-back to score a scruffy try. Smith goaled the conversion to narrow the margin to just four points at 10-6.

It was a concern that after such little possession and territory the visitors were within one score. We needed to make our dominance count on the scoreboard.

With five minutes of the half remaining our 'crown-jewel backs' combined to break downfield through Hall and Moon before a fast play-the-ball allowed Watkins to provide Briscoe with the kind of opportunity that he rarely squanders. Sinfield was accurate from the touchline and secured a 16-6 half-time lead.

It was no less than we deserved. We'd dominated from the outset and it was only a silly penalty and a momentary lapse of concentration which had allowed Wigan to register on the scoreboard. We were hoping for more of the same in the second half.

It took just four minutes from the restart before we extended the lead, and with one converted try just about sealed the two points and a return to the top of the pile.

It was a spectacular score which extended the lead to 22-6. Watkins collected his own high kick and passed back to Peacock who picked up the grounded ball and moved it left. As the ball found Moon his route to the line was blocked, but he put in a grubber to the left wing which was collected by Ryan Hall to go over in the corner. Sinfield goaled brilliantly from the touchline.

Superb Rhinos defence, including holding the attacker on their back on three occasions over the Leeds line, kept the Warriors at bay until the seventy-sixth minute when Taylor again went over from close. Smith kicked the goal but with many of the Warriors fans having already done the traditional 'Wigan walk' they knew that it was mere consolation.


Great Game

The Rhinos got the last score of the night with just a few seconds remaining when they took advantage of a penalty on the Wigan twenty for intereference at the play-the-ball. Two plays from the penalty and Sutcliffe showed us more of his natural skill with a nice step and the strength to drag a couple of tacklers over the line to score. Sinfield made it four from five on the night and the Rhinos had a comfortable 28-12 win.

The scoreline was a fair reflection of the Rhinos dominance in a game which we controlled from the outset. Both of Wigans tries were scrappy opportunist short range efforts while the Rhinos wer flowing and inventive moves.

There were some massive Leeds performances which helped us back to the top of Superleague including some of the normally unsung heroes in Clarkson, Achurch and Moon. Hardaker was in a different class tonight and must surely be the nucleaus of the Rhinos side for the next decade. He has the complete game, the electric attack and a stunning defence which frustrates the opposition.

This was a great game to watch, played in an excellent spirit, and with no quarter asked or given. Make no mistake, the Rhinos deserved the win, but it could all be so different in a fortnight at the Magic Weekend where we take on the same opposition. There is a lot of season left and we need to keep this winning momentum.

Next up are our country cousins who could be in second spot if they can overcome the Giants on Sunday. Another absolute corker on the cards.

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
1
Hardaker
1
1
Bowen
20
Briscoe
1
32
Burgess
3
Watkins
3
Goulding
4
Moon
23
Sargison
5
Hall
1
5
Gelling
6
McGuire
1
6
Green
12
Ablett
7
Smith
2
8
Leuluai
8
Taylor
1
13
Sinfield
4
9
McIlorum
10
Peacock
16
Dudson
18
Clarkson
25
Bateman
19
Achurch
12
Farrell
15
Delaney
24
Clubb
1
16
Bailey
14
Hughes
21
Sutcliffe
1
17
Crosby
17
Kirke
27
Williams
23
Singleton
28
James

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
16-6
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
18,139


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