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French Show Little Resistance
Posted by southstander on March 12 2006 - 19:44:06

Little General

It was a bitterly cold night, but a fantastic turnout from Leeds, as the Rhinos made history in their first Superleague game against the Catalans Dragons.

Around 2,500 Rhinos fans joined three thousand brave home supporters to create a fantastic and friendly atmosphere, despite the wind, driving rain and shockingly low temperatures.

With the Dragons struggling for a coach and a skipper, it looked like there was another big Rhinos score on the cards, and for the second week running we weren't disappointed.

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

58

Rhinos

v

Dragons

10

SLXI - Round 5

11th March 2006

French Show Little Resistance

With Ellis, JJB and O'Neil still missing. Smith decided to blood young half-back Jordan Tansey, bring in him into the seventeen in place of Danny Williams who had not fully recovered from a hamstring tweak suffered in last weeks game. Matt Adamson...Conditioner, Coach and Water Carrier at the Dragons was once again without Stacey Jones, and scratching to put together a side that would show any resistance to the Rhinos.

The Dragons kicked off into the teeth of a gale, with the Rhinos attacking the open end of the Aime Giral. With exactly sixty seconds on the clock, the Rhinos returned the kick-off all the way to the Dragons try line. Great hands saw Rob Burrow to five metres and a quick play-the-ball saw Ali put McGuire over on a four man overlap. Sinfield goaled and we were already on our way...the home support stunned to early silence.

On five minutes Rob Burrow appeared to finally give first posession to the Dragons when he knocked on within their twenty. Leeds pushed at the scrum and Burrow picked the ball up from loose forward and stepped over unchallenged giving Sinfield and easy kick. On seven minutes, and with the Dragons still not having got their hands on the ball, a long pass wide saaw Lee Smith go down the wing, feed inside to McGuire who went fifty metres to score under the sticks. Sinfields goal made it eighteen-nil with just seven minutes on the clock and you feared that the final scoreline would be a massive embarrassment to the home side.

Tempers then frayed as Mathers appeared to be punched 'off the ball' but none of the officials had seen it and they put the incident 'on report', Mathers took a couple of minutes to recover.

The game was already over as a contest, and the Dragons hadn't had their hands on the ball.

As we prepared to cheer the next Rhinos try, Catalan spoiled the party.

On ten minutes, debutant Michael Dobson went over from ten metres, although those close to the incident cast doubt on whether he'd grounded the ball. Frayssinous converted for 18-6 and the Catalans crowd gained a bit more life with chants of 'Allez, Allez'.

Their delight lasted six minutes before Sinfield spoiled the party by punching another hole in a paper thin Dragons defence, passing inside to Scott Donald who went thirty metres to score under the sticks. The Sinfield conversion gave us 24-6.


Sensational Again

Two minutes later and Leeds made it thirty points in eighteen minutes. McGuire and Ali Lauiti'iti interchanged beautifully before the ball was swiched inside for Senior to run the angle for another Rhinos score under the sticks, making the Sinfield conversion a simple one.

The scoring then slowed, and the Dragons kept us out for twelve minutes, before a Sinfield kick through on the last was fumbled by the Dragons defence and pounced on by Walker to walk the ball home. Sinfield missed the goal, after by my reckoning twenty-one consecutive successful attempts, for a 34-6 half time lead, but there was just one footnote to add to the first half.

With the hooter sounding, Chan threw a punch at Walker, who returned fire. Several more punches were exchanged and the touch judges consulted by referee Smith. He showed Chan the red, and Walker the yellow, ending any outside chance that the Catalans had of making a game of it.

It took ten minutes of the second half before the scoreboard was once again on the move. This time it was the Dragons side that was increasing. Following good Dragons pressure, the ball was moved wide right and the winger Murphy went over in the corner. With Frayssinous off the field, Bosc took the conversion but hit the far post. It was 34-10, and from here on in it was the Rhinos all the way.


Debut Try
On fifty-eight, Chev Walker dragged three tacklers for ten metres before offloading to Mathers who was tackled ten metres out. Diskin picked up the ball from acting half and dove over the line with Sinfield adding the extras.

On sixty-two it looked like Lee Smith had added another after a Lauiti'iti pick-up and break, but the video refereee ruled knock-on.

It didn't matter though, as five minutes later a great pass off the floor from Senior allowed Ali to cross in the corner. Sinfield goaled brilliantly for 46-10.

Leeds had eased off but saved a couple more tries to send their jubilant supporters back into Perpignan for a great party night.

On seventy-six a good break down the right wing from Donald saw him make an easy fifty metres past a tired defence. He passed insode to Walker, who fed Burrow, who then passed to Tansey in the Dragons in-goal area, for which he undoubtedly received stern words. The dubutant was, however, delighted. Burrow added the extras in the absence of Sinfield.

On seventy-nine, the last action of the match saw the Dragons deep in the Leeds twenty and keeping the ball alive. The ball was flung out and Smith intercepted before pinning back his ears and going ninety-five metres to score under the sticks. Burrow converted for a final score of 58-10, and we all disappeared into the cold night, delighted that our long weekend away had ended in success.

This was a professional Rhinos performance in conditions more expected from a cumbrian winter than the south of France. The travelling support, and there was plenty of it, had a fantastic time and were welcomed by the populous of a city which seems to be embracing its rugby league team. If you didn't make it this year, I'd encourage you to save your pennies for next year. I just hope that we can play them at the height of summer, rather than in the depths of spring.

Well done Leeds, now lets focus on beating the upstarts from Salford next friday.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Sinfield30%
8
Burrow16%
6
McGuire14%
6
Mathers14%
4
Tansey11%
3
Bailey5%
3
Lauiti'iti5%
1
Smith3%
1
Walker3%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Dragons
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
6
Frayssinous
1
2
Donald
1
2
Murphy
1
3
Walker
1
3
Wilson
4
Senior
1
18
Sadaoui
5
Smith
1
5
Verges
6
McGuire
2
16
Rudder
7
Burrow
1
2
28
Dobson
1
8
Bailey
19
Chan
9
Diskin
1
25
Rinaldi
10
Peacock
8
Beattie
11
Lauiti'iti
1
12
Hindmarsh
16
Poching
10
Guisset
13
Sinfield
7
13
Mounis
14
Millard
20
Fellous
19
Feather
27
Teixido
28
Tansey
1
14
Bosc
22
Kirke
22
Fakir

Kick Off:
19:00 (Local Time)
Half-Time:
34-06
Referee:
Ian Smith
Crowd:
5,763


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