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Under 18's - Rhinos Scrape Home
Posted by southstander on February 17 2005 - 07:58:02

'Old Head' Chaz
by Matthew Horton

In an entertaining game at Morley RFC, the Rhinos Under 18's staged a late fight back to snatch a 24-22 victory over their French counterparts. .

A decent crowd had gathered, and were treated to a top notch match.

The Rhinos took the lead in the first minute of the game, a "Luke Patten" style error from the French winger allowing Mike Ratu to hack the ball forward before regathering to touch down in the corner. The Rhinos extended the lead on 19 minutes when a pass from Kyle Briggs found Tom Burton running a super angle to go in untouched. Briggs converted and the Rhinos led 10-0.

The visitors struck back on 32 minutes when winger Tiafione streaked down the touchline, his chip over Dale Harris sat up like a tin soldier, and the winger dived over the line. Maienes converted and it was 10-6 at half time.

The Rhinos were first on the board in the second half. Mark Watts found Luke Gale, and his inside ball found Ben Tatterson who crashed over the line. Briggs added the extras and the Rhinos led 16-6. This spurred on the visitors and Tiafione grabbed his second try of the night, superbly converted from the sideline by Maienes.

The Rhinos scored next, after a last tackle play saw Briggs but a grubber kick through that was missed by Tiafione and Wayne Reitte was on hand to touch down. 20-12 Rhinos.

France struck back with a double whammy, first Tiafione completed his hat trick and then 4 minutes later captain Maienes capitalised on a bouncing ball in the in-goal area to level the scores. He then added the conversion and the visitors hit the front for the first time.

Fortunately the Rhinos came back immediately. After a penalty, the Rhinos got camped in the French red zone and on the last tackle a kick through from Chaz I'Anson took a horrible bounce for Tiafione and Mike Ratu was on on hand for his second try of the evening to hand the Rhinos victory.

Full credit to the French, the played really well and deserved more out of the game. This was their heaviest defeat on tour after a draw again Hull and a 1 point defeat to St Helens. For the Rhinos, skipper Mike Ratu impressed as did Luke Burgess with some huge hits on defence. Mark Watts was sharp around dummy half and "old head" Chaz I'Anson took control when the going got tough. Out of the three Burgess took the vote as Man of the Match.

Rhinos team was: 1. Dale Harris; 2. Wayne Reitte (T), 3. Mike Ratu (2T), 4. Tom Burton (T), 5. Matthew Whittaker; 6. Kyle Briggs (2/5G), 7. Luke Gale; 8. Liam Halliday, 9. Mark Watts, 10. Michael Haley, 11. Ben Tatterson (T), 12. Dean Townend, 13. James Endersby; 14. Chaz I'Anson, 15. James Brown, 16. Luke Burgess, 17. Jason Hart, 18. Michael Brown

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