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Rhinos Close the Gap on Saints
Posted by southstander on June 09 2006 - 22:38:59

Beam me up!

The sun was still cracking the flags, and the strains of Nessun Dorma were still echoing through the stands as the two sides took to the field. It was second versus bottom with both sides desperate for the points, but for very different reasons.

The architect of so many visiting sides victories over the years, Brian Noble, brought a side busting at the seams with youth, and told them to kill the game. They did exactly what they were told but still got a beating.

It looks like 'the only way is down' for Brian and the Cherry & Whites!

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

48

Rhinos

v

Warriors

22

SLXI - Round 16

9th June 2006

Rhinos Close Gap on Saints

Leeds were without Danny McGuire and the out of favour Ryan Bailey as they lined up with the setting sun on their backs to take on a very youthful looking Wigan Warriors side. The visitors had just two wins under their belt all season, and the early exchanges gave them little hope as the Rhinos dominated.

Somewhat against the run of play, the opening score came on eight minutes and was credited to the visitors. Wigan appeared to lose the ball in the tackle but as they picked it up off the floor the referee (in the loosest sense of the word) wiped the count clean and Wigan moved the ball right for Orr to cross in the corner. From the reaction of the large number of visiting supporters (all credit to them) you would think that they had already won the game, and when Tickle added the goal they were ecstatic.

We weren't worried in the SouthStand, it would only be a matter of minutes before we were back in it...or would it?

Attack after attack failed as the Rhinos were stifled by repeated, and unpunished, laying on at the play-the-ball. We seemed clueless within the Wigan twenty and bombed chance after chance. Then, on twenty-two, the visitors extended their lead. Logan made a great break through a poor Rhinos tackle and went close before passing to Ashton to do the honours. Tickle added the two for 12-0 and the away supporters must have thought that they were dreaming.

What happened in the next quarter of an hour made you wonder if Leeds capitulating a twelve point start was just added cruelty to the Wigan supporters, raising their hopes so high and then bringing them smashing back down to earth.

On twenty-five Leeds were still looking like they had no idea when a spark of Burrow genius got us on the board. Robbie made a dart right and through a gap down the right wing from deep in his own half. As he was caught close to the touchline he flung the ball inside to the supporting Donald who crossed by the side of the sticks. Sinfield converted, his first of eight in a 100% record tonight.

Six minutes later and we were on level terms. A superb break by Willie Poching, followed by a chip and regain allowed him to fling a pass to Danny Williams who acepted the invitation of a four pointer. The Sinfield goal levelled the scores and the visiting support fell silent.


Awesome again

On thirty-four Sinfield kicked a 40-20, our first of the season, but the referee put the scrum down in Wigans favour, it typified the awful night he was having with the whistle.

This just spurred the Rhinos on. On thirty-seven a jinking ten metre run by Burrow saw him cross and the Sinfield goal gave us an 18-12 lead. From the kick-off return, Smith passed left to find Williams who went sixty-metres before passing inside to Senior who ran the angle to cross next to the post. Sinfields conversion made it 24-12 to the Rhinos and Wigan had been hit for four converted tries in fourteen minutes. Where had this Rhinos form been in the opening twenty-five?

The second half started as well as the first had finished for our Rhinos.

Wigan knocked-on from the kick-off and after Poching went close from the foot of the scrum, Ali Lauiti'iti crossed before another tackle was made. It was now a fourteen point lead and the Warriors were seriously up against it.


8 from 8
A Millard 40-20 (far more dubious than Sinfields in the first half) got us deep into attack after forty-four. From the tap, Walker went over without a tackle being made and the Sinfield goal made the game points safe at 36-12. Leeds had scored a devastating unanswered thirty-six points in nineteen minutes. It had been a brilliant passage of play.

On fifty Wigan gave themselves the smallest glimmer of hope when a big Leeds gap and good Wigan passing saw Richards over in the corner. Dobson converted well for 36-18 but Leeds still had more points in them.

On fifty-eight the Rhinos made the most of a penalty deep in the Warriors twenty when Ali slipped a pass out of the back door and allowed Jamie Jones-Buchanan to cross. Four minutes later and fast Leeds hands from Burrow and Walker put Donald over in the corner for his second of the night and with Sinfields conversion we now had forty-eight points on the board.

Silverwood gave Wigan a final try on sixty-eight when the ball came free in the tackle and Goulding touched the loose ball down, no doubt expecting a knock-on (just like the rest of us) but seeing Silverwood point to the ground. Tickle missed the conversion and the final score was 48-22 to the Rhinos.

Wigan stifled the Rhinos early on and good defence, along with Rhinos panic near the line gave them a hard fought lead. There was never any question of them winning this game and the Rhinos soon turned on the style and score some great tries to make the game save either side of half-time. Silverwood had an absolute shocker, allowing Wigan to ruin the speed of the game by laying on in every tackle and very rarely giving a penalty. Leeds won despite this idiots refereeing, assisted by his limping linesman.

Burrow was once again sensational, as was Willie and big Ali. Sinfield looked a bit out of sorts, and we really do need to tighten up the defence as it showed the same frailties as it did last week against the 'Quins.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Burrow54%
8
Poching16%
6
Lauiti'iti13%
4
Donald5%
3
Sinfield4%
1
Ellis2%
1
Jones-Buchanan2%
1
Smith2%
1
Walker2%
1
Williams2%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
5
Smith
29
Ashton
1
2
Donald
2
5
Dallas
3
Walker
1
35
McAvoy
4
Senior
1
24
Goulding
1
26
Williams
1
3
Richards
1
13
Sinfield
8
6
Orr
1
7
Burrow
1
20
Dobson
1
18
Jones-Buchanan
1
8
Logan
9
Diskin
9
Higham
20
Scruton
12
Fletcher
10
Peacock
15
Tickle
2
12
Ellis
11
Lock
16
Poching
13
O'Loughlin
14
Millard
10
Paleaaesina
11
Lauiti'iti
1
18
Godwin
17
O'Neil
33
O'Carroll
19
Feather
36
Hill

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
24-12
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
14,989


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