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Easy Start for the Rhinos
Posted by southstander on December 27 2005 - 14:31:14

Christmas Treat
Following a disappointing end to the Superleague X season, the Rhinos supporters looked to the Festive Challenge to renew their confidence in their side, and to get a chance to look at some of the new signings.

The GB and England lads were excused duties meaning that Donald, Millard and McAvoy were joined by a healthy helping of youngsters, all keen to prove a point to stand-in coach Brian McDermott.

Still bloated from an excessive Christmas, over eleven thousand Rhinos fans took the opportunity to sample the atmosphere.

42

Rhinos

v

Wildcats

18

Tetleys Festive

Challenge

26th December 2005

Easy Start for Rhinos

As the Rhinos started the game defending the newly demolished Eastern Terrace (a bizarre sight for long-term supporters), it was soon apparent that the WIldcats had not simply come to Headingley to make up the numbers. Within the opening five minutes, the Rhinos were on the back foot as the visitors threw everything that they had at them.

The deadlock was broken after just six minutes when penalty was conceeded under the sticks by Bailey, and a quick tap saw Paul White ground next to the sticks. March goaled for a deserved 6-0 lead. It was not what the Leeds public were expecting. On ten minutes the Wildcats were unlucky not to extend their lead as stand-in full back Lee Smith put in a superb try saving tackle on his own line. It was the boost that the Rhinos required.

On seventeen minutes Mark Applegarth was sin-binned for a professional foul (holding down to let his side get on-side) and within seconds his team-mates paid the price. Leeds kept the ball alive well and excellent work from Poching saw a lovely inside pass to put Bailey over for the Rhinos opener. Lee Smith slotted the extras for 6-6.

Four minutes later and Leeds were in again.

Good breaks from Williams and then O'Neill (on as substitute) allowed Donald to break down the wing before hurling the ball infield to be collected by Ashley Gibson and scored. Smith failed with the conversion, but more worryingly, O'Neill left the field after just four minutes action.


Poachers Try

It was a three minute gap to the Rhinos third try. A McGuire cross field kick was flapped at by the Wildcats defence and the loose ball was collected by a grateful Gibson who crossed for his second of the morning. Smith missed again but the Rhinos had rattled in fourteen points in seven minutes, taking full advantage of the extra player.

There were to be two more tries before half time. On the half-hour Leeds kept the ball alive, moving it wide right for Donald to score one-handed on his debut. Smith converted brilliantly from the touchline for 20-6, the game was beyond the Wildcats.

On thirty0two Smith and McGuire manufactured a sensational 'one-two' before releasing Jordan Tansey for his first of the day. Smith goaled to send the Rhinos into the sheds with a 26-6 lead, and one hand on the trophy.


Debut Try
For the first ten minutes of the second half, Wakefield really looked like they might get back into the game, but on fifty, Leeds twisted the knife.

Great work by McGuire, on the mend after his recent operation, allowed Danny Williams to score. Smith goaled again for 32-6.

On fifty-three, the Wilcate registered their first points for almost fifty minutes. Leeds knocked on fielding the kick-off and the 'Cats moved the ball right for Jamie Field to cross. March goaled for 32-12.

But it was brief respite.

On sixty-seven, and with both sides showing signs of tiring, Danny Williams found a gap and made a great break dowm the centre of the field, running the angle before putting McAvoy over in the corner for hsi debut try. Smith missed the conversion. Four minutes later and McAvoy this time turned provider when, with the try line begging, he passed inside for Tansey to get his second of he game. Smith added the conversion for 42-12.

Wakefield had the last word when White scored his second try with a length of the field try which left Scott DOnald clutching at air and stuggling for breath. March goaled to give a final score of 42-18.

You can read very little into these games, but it's always good to get a win in the pocket so early in pre-season. The youngsters had points to prove and most of them performed admirably. Of the firt teamers I thought that Millard actually looked half-decent (but perhaps not a Dunemann) and Feather showed a bit more agression than we are used to seeing from him. Bailey also played well, but he'd going to half to calm down, or spend half his Tuesdays at Red Hall.

A nice way to spend a bit of Boxing Day, and fifteen quid each, but probably more entertaining than recent Boxing Day Challenges. Another bridge crossed on the journey to Superleague XI.


Please vote for your Man of the Match in the front page poll.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wildcats
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Smith
4
1
Field
1
2
Donald
1
2
Buchanan
3
Gibson
2
3
King
4
Ablett
4
Whittle
5
Williams
1
5
Halpenny
6
McGuire
6
Obst
7
Tansey
2
7
White
2
8
Bailey
1
8
Griffin
9
Diskin
9
March
3
10
Ward
10
MacGillivray
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Applegarth
12
Poching
12
Wrench
13
Millard
13
Field
14
Fox
14
Henderson
15
McAvoy
1
15
Lewis
16
O'Neill
16
Ferguson
17
Feather
17
Korkidas
18
Scruton

Kick Off:
11:40
Half-Time:
26-06
Attendance:
11,119
Referee:
Richard Silverwood


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