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Performance of the Season?
Posted by southstander on July 23 2005 - 19:26:00

Sensational
This was always going to be one of the Rhinos toughest games of the season. A trip to the Halliwell Jones Stadium, a fortress which has seen only one loss for the home side all season, had the potential to derail the Rhinos season and grant top spot to the Scousers for the weekend.

Without Sinfield and with the late loss of Jamie Jones-Buchanan, the Rhinos looked a little fragile. They would have to be on top form to escape with the points...and fortunately they were.

46

Rhinos

v

Wolves

22

Superleague X

23rd July 2005

Performance of the Season?

The Rhinos started off the first half attacking their large following resplendent in Blue and Amber. It was a strong looking Warrington that sttod in opposition, on a warm and muggy Cheshire evening. On paper, this was one of the Rhinos biggest tests of the season and some pessimists were predicting a Rhinos loss.

It took just two minutes for Leeds to sieze the initiative. Danny Ward milked a penalty near half-way and the Rhinos kicked for position. Mathers squeezed out a ball to Ellis, who then passed (forward?) to Walker who crossed. Burrow kicked the conversion for 6-0. It was the dream start for the Rhinos and a nightmare for Cullens men.

Warrington were not there to make up the numbers and held strong, making some headway in attck for the next ten minutes until McDermott failed to scramble back far enough and Appo kicked the penalty from ten metres out for 6-2.

The Wolves grabbed the lead on sixteen minutes when Hilton put Grose through a tight gap in the Rhinos line and he won the race to the line against a flat footed Mathers. Leeds had been unlucky in the build-up when Bai was ruled to have knocked on in a one-on-one ball steal. Appo kicked the goal for 6-8, it was now time to bite the nails!

It took four minutes for the Rhinos to regain the lead.

On the second consecutive set of six Walker muscled close to the Wire line. Diskin then went over the top of the defensive line to use great power to score next to the posts. The Burrow goal gave us 12-8, it looked like we were in for a real ding-dong battle.

Five minutes later and the Rhinos extended the lead to 18-8.


Great Game

As the Rhinos moved the ball from left to right, Ellis, McKenna and Calderwood all passed with fast hands to put Walker over for a walk in. Burrow again kicked the conversion.

As the Rhinos began to relax towards half time they gave away two penalties in quick succession on their own line. From the second, a high tackle by Scruton, Briers put in a bullet pass to Swann who stretched over to score. Appo missed the conversion but the Wolves had a lifeline at 18-12 at half time. The Rhinos were not home and dry and would need to put in another big effort in the second half.

The Rhinos first try of the second half came on forty-seven when the sensational Rob Burrow ran the angle from the twenty metre line to score a superb solo try under the sticks. He converted for a score of 24-12, and we could all breath a little easier.

With just over twenty-minutes to go, the Rhinos put the game safe. A McGuire break for thirty metres saw him pass to Burrow, then McKenna before Senior got the ball on a big overlap to walk home. Burrow made it five from five for 30-12, it was more than we could have hoped for.


Superb
On sixty-six, good Wolves pressure on the Rhinos line saw Briers put Fa'afili over in the corner. Appo missed for 30-16, there would be no fightback.

Ten from the end and Bai caught a Logan Swann chip over the defensive line, right on his own goal-line. He set off downfield and outran the Wolves defence to score next to the sticks for a great solo effort. Burrow finally caught him up and kicked the extras for 36-16.

McDrermott was awarded a penalty for a ball steal on seventy three and the Rhinos moved the ball from left to right for Calderwood to keep up his great try scoring record and go over in the corner. Burrow converted from the touchline for 42-16 to send the Wolves supporters heading for the exits in their droves.

A Fa-afili consolation in the corner with three mintes to go was converted by Briers from the touchline. But it was nullified with the clock showing '80:00' after a Leeds scrum save Ellis pass to Mathers to put a high ball into the corner which was collected and scored by Bai. Burrow missed a difficult conversion to give a final score of 46-22 to the Rhinos.

This was possibly the best Rhinos performance of the season against a quality Warrington side who never gave up. We controlled the game and posession and in the end thoroughly deserved our twenty-four point winning margin and a return back to top spot after an absence of 22 hours.

This will send a message out loud and clear to Saints and any other pretenders to our throne. 'We ain't going to give it up without one hell of a fight!'.

Onwards to the Galpharm and a week off from Superleague X as we take on Toulouse in the Challenge Cup semi-final. See you there.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Burrow67%
8
McKenna12%
6
Ellis6%
6
Mathers6%
3
Diskin4%
3
Walker4%
1
Lauiti'iti2%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wolves
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
1
Grose
1
2
Calderwood
1
2
Fa'afili
2
3
Walker
2
3
Gleeson, Martin
4
Senior
1
4
Kohe-Love
5
Bai
2
18
Appo
2
6
McGuire
6
Briers
1
7
Burrow
1
7
7
Wood, N.
10
McDermott
8
Leikvoll
9
Diskin
1
14
Gleeson, Mark
15
Ward
10
Hilton
11
Lauiti'iti
11
Swann
1
12
McKenna
15
Westwood
20
Ellis
9
Clarke
27
Cummins
17
Lima
22
Scruton
13
Noone
16
Poching
16
Wood P.
14
Dunemann
22
Pickersgill

Kick Off:
18:05
Half-Time:
18-12
Attendance:
11,036
Referee:
Steve Ganson


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