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U21's Tame The Tigers
Posted by southstander on April 23 2006 - 13:06:09

Ratu Step Up
By Matthew Horton

The Under 21ís looked to bounce back from the defeat at Brantingham Park a fortnight ago when they entertained Castleford Tigers in the curtain raiser at Headingley Carnegie last night.

The Rhinos, after losing Jordan Tansey, Danny Williams and Ashley Gibson to the first team handed a Senior Academy debut to Ryan Hall with Luke Gale and Mike Ratu also making the step up.

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

56

Rhinos

v

Tigers

26

Senior Academy

21st April 2006

U21's Tame the Tigers

The Rhinos, attacking the new Carnegie Stand, were first on the scoreboard after only three minutes when Luke Burgess made a one on one ball steal on his own 20 and set off up field, he was pulled to ground just 5 metres short of the line. Two tackles later, while the Tigers defence was reorganising Mark Watts went from dummy half and stretched out to touch down. In the absence of Gibson and Tansey, Carl Ablett got the kicking duties and he tagged on the extras.

It stunned the Tigers into action and they hit back 8 minutes later after sustained pressure on the Rhinos line, after forcing a back to back set the ball from moved right by Danny Grice and Grant Edwards, his inside pass finding Jason Mossop who went over the line. Grice added the conversion to tie the game up.

It was a mere blip for the Rhinos as they came charging back three minutes later, the ball was worked to the Northern side by Chris Buttery, he found Nathan McAvoy and his offload in heavy traffic found his winger Dale Harris. He showed great speed down the touchline, before and ďin and outĒ left Tigers Full Back Danny Grimshaw flat footed to go over. Ablett was off target with the conversion attempt. Leeds began to turn the screw and pushed home their advantage on 19 minutes, a kick through on the last tackle by Ablett ricocheted off a Castleford defender before Grimshaw lost control in the in goal area and Ablett was on hand to touch down. This time his conversion was successful to take the gap to 10 points.

Leeds then hammered home their advantage in a purple patch in the 8 minutes leading to half time, first Luke Gale found Watts and he showed great strength to brush aside some weak Tigers defending to touch down. The on the next set, with the help of a penalty, the Rhinos were camped on the Tigers line. With the defence stretched, Ablett went to the short side and he sent Michael Ratu in for the try. Then right on half time, a superb offload from Michael Brown found Ablett, the stand off charged up field but as halted by the Castleford cover. It was a brief respite as Watts and Gale combined and Ayden Faal joining into the line to create his own overlap and go in at the corner. Ablett converted two of the tries to take the Rhinos into 32-6 lead at the break.

It was the visitors who made the brighter start to the second half when Grice intercepted a stray Rhinos pass and charged downfield. The cover tackle from Ablett was superb, but the Rhinos defence just couldnít reorganise and Ryan Boyle went in at the South-East corner with less than a minute on the clock. The conversion from Grice from wide out was successful to take the Tigers into double figures.

It stirred the Rhinos into action, first on 44 minutes a high cross field kick form Luke Gale on the last tackle was spilled by Chris Poskett and Dale Harris was on hand for his second touchdown of the evening. The three minutes later Luke Gale put Nathan McAvoy into the clear, his offload found Steve Brook and with options either side he found the supporting Gale who went in by the posts. Only one try was converted by Ablett but the game was safe with the 42-12 score line.

Castleford though hit straight back, after Gale has knocked on from the kick off. Eddie Croft collected the ball from the base of the scrum and wrong footed the Rhinos defence to go in by the side of the posts untouched and Grice added the conversion. Again it only stirred the Rhinos into action and on 56 minutes Mark Watts completed his hat-trick. Liam Halliday going close before Watts went from dummy half and showed the strength to get over the line and three minutes later Leeds went the short side with Chris Buttery and Luke Gale releasing McAvoy and his offload sent Dale Harris in to complete his hat-trick of tries. Ablett was off target with both conversions but the Rhinos hit the 50 point mark.

Credit to the Tigers and they never gave up and on 68 minutes they hit back again, after getting field position on the back of two penalties from the referee, Danny Grice found Damien Blanch and the Australian import showed great strength to force his way in at the corner. Grice was off target but the Tigers were now over the 20 point mark.

It wasnít to deter Leeds and they struck again five minutes from time when Dave Tootill took the ball into the Tigers defence from 50 metres out, he broke through the first line of defence and went charging up field, brushing aside all attempted tackles to touch down under the posts. A score appreciated by a rapidly filling South Stand. Ablett tagged on the conversion.

It was though the Tigers who had the last say on the night, after recovering a short kick off the Rhinos defence just couldnít reorganise and Danny Grice found his way through the cover to go in at the South-East corner. He injured himself in the process and passed the kicking duties onto Michael Knowles but the attempt was well side to give the Rhinos a 56-26 victory.

Although Graeme Halls and Francis Cummins will be disappointed at the points against column last night, the Rhinos with a very young team out at this level bounced back well from the disappointed at Hull a fortnight ago. Gale and Ablett were at the heart of everything the Rhinos did and the defence of Luke Burgess and Jason Hart was powerful. Nathan McAvoy again set the example and Ryan Hall showed up well on his first appearance at this level. Dale Harris showed great speed and took his three tries well but the SouthStander.com man of the match went to the other hat-trick scorer Mark Watts, he filled the suspended Jamie IíAnsonís shoes magnificently and directed the team up field with his good work from dummy half and on defence.

The Senior Academy are back in action next Saturday when they travel to Wilderspool to take on the Warrington Wolves. Kick off is at 2.30pm.

Match Facts

Rhinos
Tigers
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Endersby
1
Grimshaw
2
Harris
3
2
Goodacre
3
Ratu
1
3
Mossop
1
4
McAvoy
4
Blanch
5
Hall
5
Blanch
1
6
Ablett
1
6
6
Grice
1
3
7
Gale
7
Ireland
8
Burgess
1
8
Boyle
1
9
Watts
3
9
Lee
10
Tootill
1
10
Hesketh
11
Faal
1
11
Tordoff
12
Hart
12
Knowles
13
Buttery
13
Edwards
14
Brown, M.
14
Payne
15
Brown, L.
15
Wood
16
Brooke
16
Massey
17
Halliday
17
Croft

Kick Off:
18:00
Half-Time:
32-06
Referee:
J. Rowe


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