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Tough Opener Edged by Rhinos
Posted by southstander on February 12 2006 - 18:41:36

Awesome

The South Stand was so packed for the season opener that some poor souls had to take their South Stand tickets out into the rain on the western terrace.

The size of the opening day crowd was testament to the appeal of the greatest games latest 'level playing field', to which the Rhinos seem to have fully subscribed. In the preview I said that we'd be unlikely to beat the bookies eighteen point spread, and the Giants proved me right as they battled for every ball against a Rhinos side who failed to find the try line on far too many occasions.

We bring you all of the action here......

20

Rhinos

v

Giants

12

SLXI - Round 1

12th February 2006

Tough Opener Edged by Rhinos

The Rhinos received the kick-off, and within ten second the Giants forwards showed what they had come to do, with the use of the elbow on the ground resulting in the first Rhinos penalty. It was a rough and tough opening as the Rhinos defended the building site end. Both sides made good ground with their sets of six, and neither flinched in defence. This was not going to be a 'walk in the park' for the Rhinos. The deadlock took thirteen minutes to break, and it was the Rhinos thirteen, Kevin Sinfield who made the breakthrough.

Leeds had gone close twice, and were camped on the Giants line, when a beautiful short pass from Diskin allowed his skipper to spin over. Sinfield converted from in-front for 6-0. We waited for the Giants to tire, and the flood gates to open, but it didn't come.

It was the twenty-seventh minute before the Rhinos were on theboard again. Despite the best efforts of a resolute Giants defence, Scott Donald made them pay for conceeding a goal-line dropout when he went over in the corner off a Walker pass.

Sinfield failed to convert from out wide, and the ten point lead looked far from comfortable.


Debut try

We were two minutes past the half-hour when the Giants got over the whitewash for the first time in their 2006 season. Sinfield had been penalised for a head-shot, conceeded in frustration at Ganson missing an American Football style forward pass. From the penalty, Leeds were caught napping as Thorman put Torrens over. Thorman converted for 10-6 and the game was back inthe balance.

With two minutes of the half remaining Leeds were back deep in Giants territory. A miss-out pass from Poching found Lee Smith who had the strength to burrow under the Giants defence to score where he had failed minutes earlier. Sinfield missed the conversion but Leeds finished an error strewn first half with a 14-6 lead, just about deserved.

The supremacy of big defences would also dominate the second half. On fifty-two Sinfield committed the cardinal sin and dropped the ball over the line, and it would be the sixty-second minute before the next try would bother the scorers. A Giants dropped ball on their own forty was picked up by Lauiti'iti who went ten metres before passing a superb inside ball to the supporting McGuire who then went thirty metres to score between the sticks. Sinfield converted for 20-6 and it was looking more comfortable.


Super Skipper
The Giants weren't done though. On sixty-seven minutes a Mathers flailing arm as the last line of defence saw him sin-binned (when he should surely have been sent-off) and Ganson consult both touch judges before awarding a penalty try.

The try was credited to Evans and converted by Thorman for 20-12. Against twelve men it should have been the Giants who finished the stronger, but the Rhinos went on the offensive and it was only resolute defence from the Giants which stopped us extending the scoreline.

The final score of 20-12 was possibly a little flattering to the Giants, although their defence on their own line was awesome. Leeds looked nervous close to the line, a disease which afflicted us on occasions last season, but had plenty of posession and handled the ball pretty well in shocking conditions. The outcome of the first outing was that it does look like this seasons Superleague will played out by twelve well matched sides. Other results from around the league indicate that there might be no runaway leaders (except perhaps Saints), we just have to hope that we will be there, or there abouts!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Walker43%
7
Donald17%
7
Sinfield17%
4
Burrow6%
4
Peacock6%
1
Diskin3%
1
McGuire3%
1
Smith3%


Match Facts

Rhinos
Giants
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
1
Reilly
2
Donald
1
2
Aspinwall
3
Walker
3
Evans
1
4
Senior
22
Torrens
1
5
Smith
1
4
De Vere
6
McGuire
1
6
Thorman
2
7
Burrow
7
Paul
8
Bailey
18
McDonald
9
Diskin
8
Drew
10
Peacock
15
Jackson
11
Lauiti'iti
17
Smith
12
Ellis
14
Jones
13
Sinfield
1
2
13
Wild
14
Millard
8
Crabtree
16
Poching
11
Nero
18
Jones-Buchanan
12
Nero
20
Scruton
16
March

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
14-06
Referee:
Steve Ganson
Crowd:
16,119


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