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Rhinos Down High Flying Reds
Posted by southstander on April 17 2006 - 18:28:53

Opener

This was the nineteenth encounter between Leeds Rhinos and Salford Reds during the Superleague era, and the Rhinos had won the previous eighteen.

It was a bruised and battered Rhinos outfit who travelled to 'Scally Land' without Walker, Feather, Sinfield, Smith and with the news that Australian Mark O'Neill was still not fit enough to make his debut.

One month on from a titanic battle at Headingley, would this be the Reds time to break their hoodoo?

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

24

Rhinos

v

Reds

18

SLXI - Round 10

17th April 2006

Rhinos Down High Flying Reds

All rugby league eyes should have been focussing on the Willows for this afternoons second versus third clash in Round 10 of Superleague XI. Leeds were down to the bare bones due to injuries with Ashley Gibson and Danny Williams both getting a start. Ellis continued his role at loose-forward, but it was a welcome return for Matt Diskin at hooker.

The Rhinos started the game with a strong breeze at their back, defending the 'Club' end and running straight at a great travelling support from Headingley. Early exchanges were shared, and if we had any illusion beforehand, the first ten minutes told us that this was not going to be a walkover.

The Rhinos breakthrough came after ten minutes, and Leeds were on the lucky end of a Kirkpatrick decision as Peacock appeared to knock-on in the build-up. A McGuire break down the middle got Leeds to the Reds twenty before a fast play-the-ball to Burrow allowed him to find Ellis to stretch over and score just in from the left touchline. Rob missed the conversion, so we have just the four pointer as a lead.

Leeds still had the upper hand for the next ten minutes, but on twenty-two, the Reds hit the front.

Senior was penalised (wrongly) for wriggling as Reds players layed on in the tackle. He argued with Kirkpatrick and got a ticking off. The Reds took full advantage and on the last play in the set Finnigan stretched over and Wilshire goaled for 4-6.

It looked like we might be in for a long, and perhaps low-scoring afternoon.


Welcome Back

On twenty-eight Wilshire missed a penalty from right in-front of the sticks after Diskin was ruled as 'not standing square'. Could it be a sign that it would be our lucky day?

On thirty-four minutes we snatched the lead back with a sensation, if lucky, try. Mathers then McGuire then Senior, with a lovelys pass, found Williams on the touchline. Williams appeared to put a foot in touch, unseen by the linesman, as he made a break and passed inside to Jamie Jones-Buchanan who rounded under the sticks to score. Burrow goaled and we held on for a 10-6 half time lead.

It was proving to be just as tough as we'd feared and the game was on a knife edge, not helped by the erratic an inconsistent refereeing of Kirkpatrick who was allowing Salford to slow the play-the-ball by flopping and laying-on, whilst penalising Leeds regularly for 'not being square'.


Powerhouse
The second half started well for the Rhinos. On forty-three, and looking far more determined, Scruton drove up the middle off a Leeds penalty. At the play-the-ball the ball went to McGuire who passed brilliantly to put Mathers over. Burrow missed the conversion but we were eight clear at 14-6.

Further daylight on fifty-one when Williams charged down a Salford kick on the last, collected the ball before it bounced, broke twenty metres and passed inside to McGuire who went sixty to score under the sticks. The Burrow goal gave us a 20-6 lead but we'd paid a heavy price as Danny limped off with what looked like a hamstring strain.

All Leeds needed to do was hold-on, and if possible grab another score. Then the points were in the bag.

Indiscipline would make the game far closer than it needed to be. On fifty-eight JJB threw the ball away after conceeding the handover. He backchatted the referee and instead of a Reds Play-the-ball on their own twenty, they were half way inside our half. Salford took advantage of chaos in the Rhinos ranks and moved the ball left for Finnigan to cross under the sticks for his second of the afternoon. Wilshire goaled and JJB paid for his insane moment by being substituted by Smith.

With twenty to go it was far too close for comfort.

On sixty-three Leeds were again testing the Reds line when a Poching miss-out pass landed on the floor in front of Williams. Danny trapped the ball with his foot, picked up, and went over unopposed to score in the corner. Burrow missed from the touchline, but we were back in a twelve point lead at 24-12.

Once again, it should have been a cruise to the finish line, but Bailey getting sin-binned on seventy-seven for interfering with Salford as they tried to get to the twenty for a quick tap, could have proved very costly.

Once again we were in disarray as the Reds pushed and Williams had to scramble the ball into touch inside his own twenty. From the scrum the Reds moved the ball left and Wilshire went over in the corner. Wilshire converted to get the Reds back within six at 24-18.

We were now desperate for the clock to beckon the hooter, but the Reds had one last attack in them as they kept the ball alive brilliantly making good yards before Mathers diffused a high bomb on his own twenty and we soaked up the tackles until the hooter sounded.

We'd got the victory, and continued our incredible run against the Reds in Superleague, but it had been a nervy affair and a game in which indiscipline almost cost us dearly. For Leeds I thought Scruton, Burrow, Ellis and Peacock had great games, whilst Donald continues to improve and gain confidence.

Kark Kirkpatrick though...dear, oh dear!


Please vote for your man of the match in the front page poll.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Reds
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
1
1
Fitzpatrick
2
Donald
2
Hodgson
27
Gibson
3
McGuiness
4
Senior
4
Moule
26
Williams
1
16
Wilshire
1
3
6
McGuire
1
6
Dunemann
7
Burrow
2
7
Robinson
8
Bailey
8
Coley
9
Diskin
9
Alker
10
Peacock
14
Highton
18
Jones-Buchanan
1
19
Littler
16
Poching
24
Clayton
12
Ellis
1
11
Finnigan
2
14
Millard
21
Myler
11
Lauiti'iti
13
Charles
22
Kirke
15
Langi
20
Scruton
18
Stringer

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
10-06
Referee:
Karl Kirkpatrick
Crowd:
7,609


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