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Superb Game of Two Halves
Posted by southstander on February 18 2006 - 10:15:27

Played 2, Lost 2

As we said in the preview, the trip to the JJB was always going to see a close game.

That said, few of us could have really expected the roller-coaster of emotions that an action packed eighty minutes would deliver as we hurtled through optimism, frustration, despair and ultimately delight. What we witnessed tonight was simply rugby league at its very best and most intense, a great advert for the game.

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

24

Rhinos

v

Warriors

16

SLXI - Round 2

17th February 2006

Superb Game of Two Halves

The Rhinos started the game defending the end populated by the massed hoards who had made the friday night journey over the hill. It was the same starting thirteen, and for that matter, the same bench that had eased past the Huddersfield Giants last sunday. The eight point win that we had managed over the Fartowners would be very welcome again tonight, against a Wigan side still smarting from a first game defeat at the hamds of newcomers Les Catalans.

The travelling support were delighted to see that the Rhinos had come meaning business as we set about dominating the early exchanges. Senior went close on five, failing to take a high pass with the line begging, and a couple of minutes later Lauiti'iti and Diskin contrived to knock-on with the try line just a foot away. It seemed like only a matter of time before the dam would break and the Rhinos would register the first points...but against the run of play it was the home side that first troubled the scorers.

On the first real Warriors attack, a high kick to the corner saw Richie Mathers mobbed as he went for the ball. The ball was knocked back by a Wigan hand and Tomkins collected in the in-goal area to ground the ball. Tickle failed to add the two, but a 4-0 trail was difficult to stomach in a game which we had bossed.

On the half-hour, the Rhinos, this time through Ali Lauiti'iti, bombed another try. As Ali made his bid for the line, a second effort was deemed a double movement by the inconsistent Silverwood and Wigan had survived another onslaught. It had been a half-hour in which the Rhinos had been in total charge, but which still saw them trailing.


The Gaffer

Then, the Rhinos wheels came off as the Warriors hit us with a double-whammy.

On thirty-four, Senior was punished for dragging the Wigan attacker into touch, unfairly in many peoples eyes. As Wigan took full advantage of the field position, Godwin went over on the angle. Tickle goaled for 10-0. Three minutes later and the second punch landed. This time Leeds could do nothing as fast hands, an exquisite grubber, and a great take saw Ashton stretch over. Tickles goal gave the home side a shock 16-0 lead.

Leeds did very little wrong in the first half, except convert the half-dozen gilt edged chances that we had on the Wigan line. The home side took their very few chances well, but anyone looking at the scoreline would be forgiven for believing that Leeds weren't in it. In reality, we'd dominated the game for the first thirty minutes, and the Wigan supporters must have been as disbelieving of the scoreline as we were.

We had it all to do in the second half, and the pessimist in you thought that the ask might be just a little too big.

It was in the forty-seventh minute when the Rhinos finally broke the excellent Wigan defence. Leeds had built well downfield and Millard scooted over from dummy half for a five metre try. Sinfield slotted the two.


Awesome
Three minutes later and we were right back in the game. Good build up play got the Rhinos to the Wigan twenty before Millard passed to McGuire who shimmied and stepped past the defence to score ten metres from the right hand post. Sinfield converted for 12-16 and the Rhinos were back where they should have been.

Just as the Rhinos started to boss the game, Smith brought Sinfield off for a rest, and the Rhinos seemed to have lost a bit of flair.

On seventy-three, and with time running out, Sinfield had rejoined the fray. A good tackle from McGuire forced a Wigan goal-line dropout and as Diskin received the ball at acting half, he passed a long ball to Sinfield who went over next to the posts. The skipper converted his own try, and the Rhinos had the lead for the first time, with just six minutes remaining.

Rather than hold on, the Rhinos twisted the knife that we had already embedded in Wigan hearts. A superb offload from Jamie Peacock on the half way line found McGuire who ran the angle for forty metres before drawing the last mand and passing inside for Burrow to score under the posts. The Sinfield goal made it 24-16, and the final hooter brought the relief of a Rhinos win in an epic match.

This was the proverbial game of two halves in terms of scoring, but in reality it was a game which saw the Rhinos in charge for seventy out of eight minutes. Anyone watching the first half will have been stunned by the scoreline, but in the end justice was done as the Rhinos picked up the two points and condemned Wigan to their second defeat.

The team played well as a team, and the enthusiasm and spirit was plain for all to see, perhap the mongers of doom are wrong, perhaps less does mean more for Rhinos 2006 style!

Same again at Saints next week please!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
McGuire32%
8
Sinfield19%
6
Millard14%
4
Peacock12%
3
Ellis7%
2
Mathers6%
1
Bailey4%
1
Burrow4%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
23
Ashton
1
2
Donald
2
Calderwood
3
Walker
3
Richards
4
Senior
4
Vaealiki
5
Smith
5
Dallas
6
McGuire
1
13
O'Loughlin
7
Burrow
1
7
Moran
8
Bailey
8
Logan
9
Diskin
9
Higham
10
Peacock
10
Paleaaesina
11
Lauiti'iti
16
Hargreaves
12
Ellis
12
Tickle
2
13
Sinfield
1
4
19
Hansen
14
Millard
1
14
Brown
16
Poching
17
SeuSeu
18
Jones-Buchanan
18
Godwin
1
20
Scruton
22
Tomkins
1

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
0-16
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
17,281


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