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Youngsters Blow First Chance
Posted by southstander on September 09 2005 - 06:18:05

Man-of-the-Match
By Matthew Horton

The Senior Academy were 80 minutes away from a Grand Final appearance tonight when they entertained Widnes Vikings on a filthy night at Headingley.

Dale Harris got another shot on the wing but injuries and people missing through loans meant Leeds had another very young team on display.

We bring you all the action.

20

Rhinos

v

Rams

30

Senior Academy

First Grand Final Eliminator

8th September 2005

Youngsters Blow First Chance

It was a tight and tense first quarter of the game as both teams struggled to get to grips with both the weather and the football at times. It was the visitors who were first on the board after 21 minutes, a mistake from Danny Williams on his own 10 metre line after a scrum saw Phil Wood confuse the Rhinos defence with the dummy before sending Darren Woods in for the opening try of the night. Paul Crook adding the extras.

Leeds were unfortunate to have a try ruled out on 27 minutes when Jamie I’Anson made a break but his final pass to Jason Hart was ruled forward by referee Carr. Leeds then gifted Widnes their second try of the night five minutes later when an offload from Dave Tootill ended up in the hands of Mick Stout. He has Mike Morrison on his inside and the substitute went over untouched. Crook converted to give the visitors a 12-0 lead.

The Rhinos were well and truly behind the 8-ball now and it took a moment of magic on the stroke of half time to bring them back into the game. A superb pass from Joe Walsh released Ashley Gibson up the Southern touchline, he only had the full back Rowlands to beat and after chipping ahead he regathered to go over. Gibson himself converted and the Rhinos went into the break 12-6 behind.

The first score of the second half was going to be crucial and it almost came the way of the visitors 10 minutes into the second stanza. A neat chip from Phil Wood was hacked forward by the same player and was gathered by O’Connor but he lost the ball in the act of scoring.

Leeds then hit the Vikings with a five minute blitz, on 52 minutes Martin Ainscough lost the ball and Jordan Tansey recovered the ball and went on a thrilling dash up the Southern touchline to go in at the corner, then three minutes later Rowlands spilled a high kick from Tansey, the ball was hoofed forward by Walsh. Rowlands then tried to kick the football dead but it bounced up in the in goal and Mike Ratu was on hand to go over. Two minutes later, another superb pass from Walsh set Williams free up the Northern touchline and Luke Gale was inside to take the pass and stroll over. Gisbon could only manage to convert the Gale try but the Rhinos led 20-12.

It was though the visitors who finished the stronger, on 61 minutes Phil Wood sliced through a 12-man Rhinos defence (Tansey was receiving treatment in back play) to go over under the posts, giving Crook an easy conversion. Leeds pressured the Widnes line and looked to build some momentum but a kick on the last from Tansey hit the legs of Wood, he recovered and set off upfield. He found O’Connor and he headed for the corner, Gibson chased valiantly and just pushed him into the corner flag.

Leeds though spilled possession from the 20-metre restart and while the defence was still reorganising Ryan Millington sent Ainscough in, much to the delight of the Widnes players as with 10 minutes to go they were back in front again. Crook converted and then added another 2 points five minutes later when the Rhinos were caught offside. It was all academic in the last minute when Gill to and reverse pass from Wood to barge his was over the line. Crook missed his only kick of the night but Widnes were 30-20 ahead and heading for the Grand Final.

How Leeds lost this game after dominating for so long is a mystery, maybe the loss of skipper Jason Golden in the first half to a game ending injury and the non appearance of Dale Harris after he left the field meant the Rhinos were only running with a two man bench for the second half. Danny Williams and Ashley Gibson tried manfully for the Rhinos cause and Luke Stenchion put himself about as usual. The SouthStander.com man of the match, voted for by members present tonight, was Jamie I’Anson.

The Rhinos now get a second chance, they will be at home in the Preliminary Final against an opponent yet to be decided. When the game is arranged keep an eye on the message board and main site for details.

Match Facts

Rhinos
Rams
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Cummins
1
Rowlands
2
Williams
2
Draper
3
Gibson
1
2
3
Woods
1
4
Gardner
4
Ainscough
1
5
Harris
5
O'Connor
6
Tansey
1
6
Wood
1
7
Gordon
7
Millington
8
Burgess
8
Johnson
9
I'Anson J.
9
Crook
5
10
Stenchion
10
Boland
11
Hart
11
Gill
1
12
Golden
12
Stout
13
Buttery
13
Martin
14
Gale
1
14
Burns
15
Ratu
1
15
Inman
16
Walsh
16
Morrison
1
17
Tootill
17
Lamb

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
06-12
Penalties:
7-3
Sin Binnings:
None
Referee:
Paul Carr (Castleford)


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