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Rhinos Overcome first Half Scare to March to Cardiff
Posted by southstander on July 31 2005 - 17:30:36

Inspirational
This was a day where the Rhinos had nothing to win (except a spot in the Challenge Cup Final) but everything to lose. Defeat to Toulouse would be the ultimate humiliation and was simply not an option.

Over ten thousand Rhinos supporters thought that there was enough at stake to make the journey to Huddersfields' Galpharm Stadium for the sunday lunchtime kick-off. Not a bad turnout when you consider that Hull and Saints could only manage 16k between them on a saturday.

The opposition would prove to be as tough as I predicted in the preview.

56

Rhinos

v

Toulouse

18

Powergen Challenge Cup

Semi Final

31st July 2005

Rhinos Overcome first Half Scare to March to Cardiff

The Rhinos received a short kick-off defending the electronic scoreboard end and immediately made a total 'porridge' of it. Ali collected the ball but was tackled into touch. Toulouse made five good drives before Viala powered over. Coutourier missed the difficult conversion, but the visitors had a startling lead. The ground rules for a titanic first half battle had been laid. Leeds would not get the walkover that so many of their fans expected.

Leeds first real attack, on five minutes, saw them take the lead. A crossfield kick was tapped back by Walker into the hands of the supporting McKenna who went the last fifteen to score. Burrow converted well from the touchline for 6-4.

The French then came back at the Rhinos with all guns blazing, and we simply didn't know how to handle them.

Of fifteen, and after pinning the Rhinos on their own line for three successive sets of six, Wynne ducked under the Leeds tacklers and stretched over for a great try. Coutourier converted and Toulouse were 10-6 ahead. The Leeds support was becoming restless, and the lads were looking a little shell shocked.

On eighteen, Ellis went over from twenty metres after a great stpe. Burrow goaled from the touchline to re-establish a narrow 12-10 lead for the Rhinos.

On twenty-seven a stupid elbow in the tackle from Bailey was punished by a penalty goal from Coutourier and the scores were back level. Toulouse had given better than they had received for the opening half hour. They could count themselves unlucky to be level, and the Rhinos players had been made to look ordinary by strong tackling and imaginative attack.


Into Everything

Two tries in three minutes looked to have turned the corner for the Rhinos. On thirty-four, and with Leeds on the back foot, Toulouse knocked on. Leeds made good metres with their tackles and Diskin went close from dummy half before squeezing out a great pass for McGuire to cross. Burrow made it three from three.

The thirty-seventh minute found Toulouse punished for being offside on their own twenty. Leeds drove in twice before a superb miss-out pass from Diskin put Lauiti'iti over in the corner. Burrow missed from the touchline for 22-12.

Just as it looked as though the Rhinos would take a comfortable lead into half time, Silverwood penalised Senior for a second effort to take a Toulouse player into touch. The French took full advantage as they moved the ball left and Raguin ran past Mathers (the turnstile) to score from forty metres. Coutourier goaled to get the part-timers within four points of the mighty Rhinos and the sides left the field at half time to 'Boo's' from some of the Rhinos fans.

I'm not really sure what people expected. Toulouse were going to give it one hell of a go, and they caught us napping. In the end we had to absorb what they threw at us and hoped that they tired. In the end we were lucky to be going in at half-time with a lead, it could have been much, much worse.

The Rhinos must have had a good deal of positive 'redirection' from Tony Smith at half-time, because in the second half they were a different side.

On forty-two good work by Lauiti'iti got close and on the next play-the-ball Diskin went blind and put Bai over. Burrow goaled for 28-18.

Leeds were obviously more confident with the daylight between the sides and on fifty-one Burrow kicked a superb 40-20 which gave Leeds head and feed at the scrum. McGuire benefitted as he ran the angle from the back of the scrum before putting Calderwood in at the corner. Burrow, in unstoppable form, kicked from the touchline for 34-18. The game was won.


Spot On Again
With twenty left Poching broke out of a tackle and made a good break downfield before offloading inside to McGuire. McGuire drew the defence before putting Burrow free to score. Rob added the goal (6 from 7) for 40-18.

Four minutes later and McGuire went from half-way after a Mathers break from a Burrow pass. Burrow slotted over the extras for 46-18 and the Rhinos trip to the Millennium Stadium was secure.

Walker added a ninth Rhinos try on seventy-four after Ellis had passed the ball down the blind-side. Walker had work to do and carried three defenders over the line in a determined effort. Burrow converted from the touchline for a personal haul of eight from nine attempts.

The icing on the cake came in the dying seconds when the Rhinos pushed a scrum on the Toulouse twenty and Poching picked up the loose ball to dive over under the sticks. Barrie McDermott attempted, but failed, with the conversion but it was of no relevance.

The Rhinos had run in thirty-four unanswered second half points to burst the Toulouse bubble and send the Rhinos into the Challenge Cup Final to take on Hull FC on the 27th August.

This was never going to be a walkover, and all credit to Toulouse who put in a massive first half performance which saw them as the Rhinos equal. Tiredness told in the second half and the Rhinos took their opportunity with both hands.

It should be one hell of an all Yorkshire final down in Cardiff...I can't wait!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
-
Burrow54%
-
Diskin17%
-
Ellis15%
-
Poching6%
-
McGuire4%
-
McKenna4%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Toulouse
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
1
Murphy
2
Calderwood
1
2
Lima
3
Walker
1
3
Coutourier
3
4
Senior
4
Estebanez
5
Bai
1
5
Janzac
6
McGuire
2
6
Mullall
7
Burrow
1
8
7
Wynne
1
10
McDermott
8
Faure
9
Diskin
9
Gay
15
Ward
10
Gallagher
11
Lauiti'iti
1
11
Delpoux
12
McKenna
1
12
Raguin
1
20
Ellis
1
13
Viala
1
8
Bailey
14
Prizzon
22
Scruton
15
Vincent
16
Poching
1
16
Frayssinet
14
Dunemann
17
Alumzara

Kick Off:
13:45
Half-Time:
22-18
Attendance:
10,553
Referee:
Richard Silverwood


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