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Rhinos Stop The Rot
Posted by southstander on September 16 2005 - 21:43:27

Villan to Hero
This was a nothing game.

The Rhinos were already second with tickets selling well for the first Grand Final Eliminator at Saints in a fortnights time, and Wakefield were in the safe but disappointing zone, beneath the play-offs but above the drop.

It was the 'Cats last game of the season, and the Rhinos last chance to regain some self confidence before the assault on Old Trafford, the hopes of a repeat of last seasons glory looking like a a long-shot.

34

Rhinos

v

Wildcats

26

Superleague X

16th September 2005

Rhinos Stop the Rot

It was a side picked more out of desperation and sentimentatlity than anything that coiuld have been considered a test side for the play-offs. Ali was out after a midweek knee operation, and Senior was still missing. Cummins was drafted into the seventeen for his last game in Blue & Amber and the crowd were delighted to see the return of workhorse McKenna, even if the management see him as surplus to requirements.

As the lads took the field, I was not feeling confident taht we could halt the slide into the abyss that had started here four weeks ago against the Bulls.

The early exchanges were rough and tough, if not a little clumsy. Both side had early chances but defences held firm.

On eight minutes the Rhinos scrambled the lead thanks to quick passing from McGuire and McKenna which sent Bai close before the ball was moved right and Calderwood and Walker interchanged passes for Walker to score. Sinfield missed from out wide.

Despite falling behind the visitors looked dangerous, building in confidence with every attack. On sixteen they found there way over the line as Henderson bust two tackles on a gallop from the Rhinos forty before putting Spicer through a gap. March goaled and the Wildcats had the lead at 6-4. That sinking feeling returned.

The Rhinos hit back almost immediately. On eighteen Dunemann was held up over the line but from the five metre play, fast hands by McGuire and Poching saw McKenna over on his return to fist team action. Sinfield converted for 10-6.

With twelve left to half-time a grubber onthe last from Wakefield was missed by Bai in his own in-goal and Jeffries pounced on the loose ball. March missed an apparently easy conversion but the scores were back level.


100%er

As the hooter was warming it looked like the Rhinos would snatch a half-time lead as a great break from Sinfield drew the defence before a pass inside to McGuire who knocked on (admittedly under some pressure) with the line begging. The hooter signalled an all square half-time, and to some extent is was a relief.

It had been a scrappy half of football, typified by three uncharacteristic Poching knock-ons. Most of the clever plays that Leeds were trying were going to ground, it was becoming awful to watch.

Leeds started the second half in determined fashion but it took the re-introduction of Willie Poching on fifty-two to register the first score. With almost his first touch, Poching stepped inside and hit the whitewash from twenty, despite having plenty of clear support outside him. The confidence to go-it-alone gave Sinfield an easier angle to slot over the extras.

On fifty-eight a punch to the head by Henderson on Mathers, in the tackle, saw a twenty-six man brawl and both players yellow carded. Leeds were awarded the penalty and Sinfield opened up an eight point gap.


Nice Brace
On sixty, Sinfield created a try from nothing with a great chip over which was collected by Calderwood on half way and run into the corner. Sinfield converted for 24-10, now we were motoring.

Three minutes later and Leeds went close before the 'Cats knocked-on with an attempted intercept. From the scrum Poching went it alone again and stretched over for the four. Sinnys goal made it 30-10.

But the Wildcats weren't finished, and Leeds let them right back into it. A short kick-off caught Leeds out and two drives took the visitors close before old boy Austin Buchanan went over. March missed the touchline conversion.

With six minutes left a high kick on the last split the Rhinos defence and Domic caught a ball he should have not been allowed anywhere near and scored. Griffin goaled for 30-20. Now that sinking feeling returned.

On seventy-six a chip over caused mayhem for Mathers and Bai, neither of whom collected allowing Obst to pick up and score. The Griffin conversion took it to 30-26 as the visiting spectators went potty.

Thankfully, the Rhinos had the last score of the game when in the last minute McDermott went close, but a fast play the ball saw Diskin, Burrow, and Ellis all play a part in putting Calders over for his second of the night. Sinfield missed the conversion, but we'd grabbed a 34-26 victory and stopped the rot.

This was far from a vintage Rhinos performance and it was at times painful to watch. Were like a tired and old fairground ride, all the parts are there but they aren't working properly together. The glitz and glamour has all gone! We need a good refurbish to get us ready for the business end of the season, but I'm doubtful that such miracles can be performed in the space of a fortnight!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
9
Poching54%
9
Sinfield17%
6
Mathers15%
4
Calderwood7%
4
McKenna5%
2
Dunemann2%
1
Burrow2%
1
Diskin2%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wildcats
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
1
Halpenny
2
Calderwood
2
2
Wainwright
3
Walker
1
4
Domic
1
12
McKenna
1
13
Spicer
1
5
Bai
31
Buchanan
1
6
McGuire
7
Jeffries
1
7
Burrow
14
Obst
1
8
Bailey
27
Feather
14
Dunemann
9
March
1
15
Ward
18
Elima
20
Ellis
11
Solomona
16
Poching
2
29
Henderson
13
Sinfield
5
22
Applegarth
27
Cummins
10
Korkidas
18
Jones-Buchanan
8
Griffin
2
10
McDermott
12
Field, J.
9
Diskin
23
Campbell

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
10-10
Attendance:
17,619
Referee:
Julian King


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