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Leeds Take a Day Off
Posted by southstander on May 01 2006 - 18:36:28

Opener

After ten days without a match the Rhinos players should have been as keen as their supporters to get this game underway.

With just Feather and the badly missed Sinfield still on the injured list, it was an almost full strength side that travelled to the Halliwell-Jones to take on a Warrington side that demolished the Bulls on their last outing.

It was always going to be a tough one, as the bookies four point handicap for the home side showed, but no-one could have expected that the Rhinos would have such a bad day at the office.

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

16

Rhinos

v

Wolves

44

SLXI - Round 12

1st May 2006

Leeds Take a Day Off

The Rhinos kicked off the game into a strong wind, and heading towards their supporters in the West Stand. It was a good gathering from across the hills, who were in good voice and quickly rewarded for their journey. With just three minutes on the clock, Ellis picked the ball out of the back of the scrum and passed it through the hands of McGuire and Senior before Smith found space to ground in the corner. Burrow goaled brilliantly from the touchline in spite of the swirling wind, and we had the best of all starts. Sadly, this was all we would have to show for the opening half as Warrington took over.

On fourteen, and thanks to Leeds indiscipline through a head-shot by Mathers after a Diskin knock-on, the Wolves moved the ball wide right and Fa'afili went over in the corner. Briers missed the conversion. Five minutes later and it was all Warrington. Leeds were falling off the tackles at an alarming rate and Rauhihi swatted Bailey out of the way to ground under the sticks making the Briers conversion a formality.

On twenty-six, Donald made a mess of collecting a high ball in his own twenty and three drives later Clarke ran over the attempted tackles from Millard and Ellis to score. As Briers goaled you just had the feeling that this one had already slipped beyond us. We simply weren't in the game. Terrible handling, missed tackles and a great Warrington defence was making us look like amateurs. We needed a try, and quick.

On thirty-four Leeds paid the price for back-to-back dropouts as the Wolves gave it air and Barnett crossed in the left corner. Briers converted brilliantly from the touchline and at 22-06 the game was almost out of the Rhinos grasp.

On forty, just as the hooter offered time to regroup, Smith knocked-on after trying to take a shocking pass from McGuire around his boot laces. As the Wolves broke rapidly there were gaps throughout the Leeds defence and Parker went over. Briers goaled for a half-time lead of 28-06 to the home side. The Rhinos were almost 'dead and buried'.


Strong Showing

The Rhinos started the second half a little brighter than they had ended the first, and seemed to have a little go-forward with the wind at their backs. On fifty, we got our second try of the game thanks to a brilliant Burrow solo effort from his own forty, culminating in a dive over in the corner. He didn;t manage the conversion but there was the slightest glimmer of hope.

This was snuffed out on sixty-five when Parker benefitted from a suspiciously forward pass from Briers to once again find no Rhinos defenders at home. Briers added the extras for 34-10 and with fifteen minutes left the travelling faithful now knew it was all over.


100% Effort
On sixty-nine Fa'afili went over in the right corner off a brilliant 'back-door' pass from Martin Gleeson. Briers missed the conversion but it was immaterial.

On seventy-three McGuire stepped well and scored from twenty metres, but the ground went silent until Ganson pointed to the spot. Smith converted for 16-38.

With three minutes remaining, and the Rhinos looking for more points to salvage some pride, McGuire threw an intercept to Fa'afili which let him canter home from thirty metres for his hat-trick. Briers conversion gave us the final score of 44-16 to the home side, a humiliation for the visitors.

Many will see this as the end of the Rhinos, and indication that we have slipped back into the pack of clubs chasing St. Helens and that we will once again be also-rans this season. For me though it was simply a 'bad day at the office'. We never got started, and Warrington never let us. We made handling mistakes, slipped off tackles and gave away stupid penalties...they didn't.

Well played Warrington, you deserved the two points today and totally outplayed us. But fellow Rhinos fans, it's not the end of the world, just a small setback.

But by 'eck do we miss Kevin Sinfield!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Diskin25%
8
Ellis16%
6
Gibson14%
4
Mathers11%
3
Burrow10%
3
Peacock10%
1
Tansey6%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wolves
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
5
Reardon
2
Donald
2
Fa'afili
3
3
Walker
3
Gleeson, Martin
4
Senior
1
Grose
5
Smith
1
1
18
Barnett
1
6
McGuire
1
6
Briers
6
7
Burrow
1
1
21
Grix
8
Bailey
8
Leikvoll
9
Diskin
9
Clarke
1
10
Peacock
16
Wood
11
Lauiti'iti
11
Swann
18
Jones-Buchanan
12
Wainwright
12
Ellis
15
Westwood
14
Millard
4
Kohe-Love
16
Poching
20
Rauhihi
1
20
Scruton
14
Gleeson, Mark
17
O'Neill
19
Parker
2

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
06-28
Referee:
Steve Ganson
Crowd:
11,753


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