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U21's Beat Old Boss
Posted by southstander on February 19 2006 - 23:11:48

SS.com MoM
By Matthew Horton

The Leeds Rhinos Senior Academy travelled to Edge Hall Lane, the home of Orrell RFC, for this afternoon’s clash against a Wigan Warriors side, coached by Stuart Wilkinson.

A strong looking Wigan side, containing many of their 2005 Under 18 Grand Final winning side, was boosted by the presence of Kevin Brown.

We bring you all the action......

30

Rhinos

v

Warriors

20

Senior Academy

19th February 2006

U21's Beat Old Boss

Leeds lined up with the clubhouse to their backs but into a slight breeze that was blowing up the pitch, and it was Leeds who nearly went ahead on 10 minutes when Jason Hart was denied by a last gasp tackle from Kevin Brown that jarred the ball free.

It was Leeds who were first on the board, and what a thrilling try it was. On halfway and on the last tackle, Peter Fox noticed the Wigan defence was lacking in his number on the blind side. Carl Ablett found Nathan McAvoy and the big centre bust through some poor tackling to find Jason Hart. He was in the clear with only Melling to beat; he had options both side and chose Chris Buttery and the Rhinos captain went in by the side of the posts to make the conversion for Ashley Gibson a simple one.

Leeds were on a roll and pressed home their advantage with two quick tries from Danny Williams, first on 15 minutes McAvoy was stopped just short of the line. From the play the ball, Buttery found Luke Burgess, he offloaded to Jordan Tansey before a long pass found Gibson and the centre drew in the Wigan defenders before a one handed pass gave Williams the space to go in at the corner. Three minutes later and the try of the match, James Endersby fielding a high bomb from Kevin Brown on his own 10 metre line, he found Williams and the 2005 SouthStander.com Shooting Star showed great strength to beat 5 attempted tackles as he ran the ball back 90 metre to go in under the posts. Gibson converted both to give the Rhinos an 18-0 lead.

Wigan began to get a foothold in the game; Luke Burgess was lucky to stay on after a clumsy high tackle. And with the penalty count stacking up against them, the Rhinos were under pressure and the defence finally cracked on 34 minutes. Mostly anonymous until this time, Kevin Brown popped up on Matt Astley’s shoulder to take the offload and go in by the posts. David Small adding the extras.

Kevin Brown was beginning to have more influence on the game now and he was at the heart of the second Wigan try three minutes later. It was his break that caused the Leeds defence to be unorganised as Thomas Coyle sent Darren Goulding over. Its was beginning to feel like Friday night all over again the way Wigan got the roll on. Small was unsuccessful with the conversion but it was game on at 18-10.

Leeds though got a huge break right on the stroke of half time, from the kick off Chris Feather was ruled to have knocked on. From the scrum Wigan spread the ball left but Chris Melling dropped a simple pass and Ashley Gibson was on hand to collect the football and go over the line. He added on the conversion and took the Rhinos into a 24-10 half time lead. It was a score against the run of play and must have been a huge blow for the Wigan side.

The home side were the first on the board in the second half, but it took 14 minutes for the score to arrive as both sides just simply could not find holes in either defence but it was the home side who were enjoying the territorial advantage and were camped on the Leeds line. It was that man Brown again who was the provider as his long pass from dummy half caught the Leeds defence on the hop for David Small to go in at the corner. Chris Melling was off target with the conversion attempt.

Leeds managed to put the game out of Wigan’s reach in the 65th minute. After a penalty gave them field position deep in the Wigan quarter, Jamie I’Anson scooted from dummy half and bounced off the first attempted tackle. He turned and found Ian Kirke and his pass to Liam Halliday was superbly timed and the substitute showed enough power to get the ball down over the line. Gibson converted and Leeds were more or less safe at 30-14.

The home side never gave up and immediately struck back three minutes later and it was the props at the heart of the movement, a super pass from Eamon O'Carroll finding Paul Prescott and the big prop charged over from 40 metres out after brushing off Chris Buttery. Melling added to goal to bring Wigan to within 10 points.

It was all set up for a grandstand finish, but the two teams cancelled each other out and there were no further scoring opportunities.

A good opening victory on the road for the Rhinos against a well organised and drilled Wigan side, something you come to expect of a team coached by Stuart Wilkinson. For the Rhinos the front row of Feather, I’Anson and Burgess were again impressive as were the half backs in Ablett and Tansey. Danny Williams stuck his hand up for a first team spot in the possible absence of Lee Smith next weekend. Leeds will have to work on their discipline in the next week, conceding 14 penalties was probably not what was expected by the coaching staff. The SouthStander.com Man of the Match went to Ian Kirke. Powerful on defence all afternoon, he set the example for his team.

Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Endersby
1
Melling
1
2
Williams
2
2
Small
1
1
3
Gibson
1
5
3
Gleeson
4
McAvoy
4
Goulding
1
5
Fox
5
Brocklehurst
6
Ablett
6
Brown
1
7
Tansey
7
Coyle
8
Feather
8
Prescott
9
I'Anson
9
McIllorum
10
Burgess
10
O'Carrol
1
11
Hart
11
Holland
12
Kirke
12
Kavanagh
13
Buttery
1
13
Walker
14
Brown
14
Thornley
15
Watts
15
Kay
16
Halliday
1
16
Astley
17
Tootill
17
Brindle

Kick Off:
13:00
Half-Time:
24-10
Referee:
Andrew Smith


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