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Rhinos Grasp Last Gasp Winner
Posted by southstander on July 07 2006 - 22:24:09

Pure Genius

SKY decided that the biggest derby in the sport didn't merit their attendance, preferring instead to plough their money into the relegation clash between the Warriors and the Wildcats.

As the score feeds made their way to the producers and commentators watching the one sided phoenix like rise of big spending Wigan, they must have been ruing their decision.

The capacity 17,700 who packed into the Headingley Carnegie Stadium didn't though...they had a brilliant night!

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

26

Rhinos

v

Bulls

24

SLXI - Round 20

7th July 2006

Rhinos Grasp Last Gasp Winner

Tony Smith omitted Ian Kirke from his eighteen and re-united the half-back pairing of McGuire and Burrow. Millard played hooker for the still injured Diskin, and Sinfield returned to loose forward. Ablett, Scruton, O'Neill and big Ali made up a powerful looking bench. The visitors were without Bai, Gene and Vainikolo and with Johnson on the verge of signing for the Wolves and the very public exit of Stuart Fielden they did look as though they were down to the bare bones.

The Bulls made their intentions clear from the kick-off. They would use the weakness of the referee to target the Rhinos play makers and in the first minute Newton and Langley went in very late on Sinfield after a kick. Sinfield escaped unharmed but the two Bulls players stayed on the ground. A few minutes later and Newton got his man with a deliberate knees-in tackle which saw Sinfield hobble around the pitch for ten minutes before being subbed off and playing no further part in the game. Bentham took no action.

It took just five minutes before the Rhinos hit the front and we all thought we were in for an easy night. Determined Leeds pressure and good offloads tested the Bulls defence before Peacock drew the defenders and offloaded to McGuire who stepped and put Donald over in the corner. Burrow, kicking in place of the deadlegged Sinfield, missed the conversion.

On fourteen the Bulls hit the front. Chev Walker lost the ball in the tackle but his colleagues defended for five good tackles. On the last, and with the defesive line stretched, the ball was moved left and Pryce went over. Deacon goaled well from the touchline.

Two minutes later and it was the Bulls double whammy as this time we were stretched wide right (although on the seventh tackle) and St Hilaire used Hape as a shield to avoid the tacklers and score. Deacons goal gave us 04-12 and the evening was not running to script.


2 Try Scott

The sides then both defended well, although the Rhinos made too many mistakes and gifted too much posession. Bentham was penalising the Rhinos and leting the Bulls get away with similar offences. There was an increasing feeling thatthis might not be our night.

On thirty-five the Rhinos defence broke down again, this time following a Williams knock-on from an attempted intercept. The Bulls moved the ball left and although Pryce had been tackled the referee allowed him to regain his feet and score. Deacons goal made it 04-18 and gave the Bulls waht looked like a winning lead.

The last action of the half was a relief for the Rhinos supporters as Rob Burrow went fifty metres and beat six men with a sensational solo try. Crossing in the right hand corner he gave himself a difficult conversion and hit the post. We went into the sheds at 08-18 and only clinging hold of the game by our fingernails.


Awesome
We needed to get the first score of the second half, and we did.

On forty-five Bentham twice penalised the Bulls in their own twenty. The first was anyones guess, the second for offside. Leeds kept the ball alive and eventually Scruton, tackled around the ankles, managed to stretch over and score off a McGuire pass. Rob goaled for 14-18, but the Bulls lead was extended by two on forty-eight when Deacon goaled from fifteen after a stupid penalty was conceeded.

With twenty-two minutes left the Bulls regained a ten point lead. Peacock and then Smith on the coveroth missed Pryce as he went down the wing and crossed in the corner for his hat-trick. Deacon missed what would turn out to be a crucial goal but his side led by 24-14 and Leeds looked unlikely to overhaul the deficit.

On sixty-three it looked all over when Smith threw out a crazy blind pass on his own thirty straight into the hands of hat-trick boy Pryce. Somehow the Rhinos defence held firm. With eleven minutes left Leeds got a penalty close to the Bulls sticks after McKenna held down in the tackle. Electing to run the ball Leeds made poor use in the first two tackles but then a moment of genius from McGuire saw two sensational steps and a dive over next to the posts. Burrow goaled and we were just four behind. We were in for a grandstand finish.

As the Rhinos next worked the ball back to the Bulls an Up-and-under was fumbled by Withers, picked up by Burrow and taken fifty metres to score next to the sticks. The crown went crazy, and then realised the Bentham had seen an infringement that had gone unseen by everyone else in the ground. He gave an unclear signal and then awarded the BUlls a penalty. Hearts sank, that was surely our last chance of winning the game.

As the clock ticked down to the eighty, the Rhinos stunned themselves, the Bulls supporters and the massed Rhinos hoardes. O'Neill carried the ball well for twenty metres on the angle before passing to Walker who in turn put Donald over in the corner to tie the scores at 24-24. As Harris went 'bonkers' with the touch judge, Bentham pointed at the spot, right on the touchline meaning that Robbie had his most difficult conversion of the night.

He positioned the ball right on the touchline, took his time, an as a hush fell over the SOuth Stand, made a perfect contact with the ball. The South Stand started the cheer well before the ball sailed between the posts for a 26-24 lead and the whole stand were jumping up and down in jubilation.

A short Bulls kick-off was knocked on and the hooter sounded as the scrum formed for a famous Rhinos last gasp victory.

Reversing the way that the Bulls picked our pockets in Round 9 made this fightback even more sweet. The Rhinos played poorly at times, with a couple of chocking individual performances (Smith had a nightmare), but still had the grit and determination to stick in there until the last minute and come away with the spoils. Well played the Rhinos, when the going got tough...you certainly got going!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Burrow63%
8
Ellis21%
6
Donald13%
4
McGuire1%
4
Peacock1%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Bulls
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
5
Smith
1
Withers
2
Donald
2
31
St. Hilaire
1
3
Walker
4
Hape
4
Senior
3
Harris, B.
26
Williams
17
Pryce
3
6
McGuire
1
6
Harris, I.
7
Burrow
1
3
7
Deacon
4
18
Jones-Buchanan
14
Lynch
14
Millard
13
Newton
8
Bailey
10
Myers
10
Peacock
11
McKenna
12
Ellis
19
Ferres
13
Sinfield
16
Langley
20
Scruton
1
8
Vagana
21
Ablett
9
Henderson
17
O'Neill
30
Burgess
11
Lauiti'iti
32
Smith

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
08-18
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
17,700


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