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Prayers Go Unanswered
Posted by southstander on July 22 2006 - 20:27:02

Game of the Season

Game of the season...there was no other description.

A win for the Rhinos and the race for the minor premiership would be back on, a loss and the Saints would be 'home and hosed'.

Tony Smith rang the changes against an almost full strength Saints side. Out went Smith, Williams and O'Neill after poor performances against Castleford and in came Sinfield, Ellis and Tansey.

As the sides took to an already saturated pitch, the heavens opened once more and I was delighted to be under cover in the South Stand.

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

14

Rhinos

v

Saints

18

SLXI - Round 22

22nd July 2006

Prayers Go Unanswered

Sinfield kicked-off with his back to the nearing completion Carnegie Stand. A chjeeky short kcik-off was regained by the Rhinos and Sinfield had set out his stall for what would be an inventive afternoon.

Early exchanges were rough and tough, but the conditions were playing their part with slips, knock-ons and missed tackles a pleanty. It took until the fourteenth minute for the first points to be registered and it was McGuire genius and Ellis determination which saw the scoreboard turn. A Burrow short ball allowed McGuire to step and fire a perfect short pass to the on-rushing Ellis who went thirty metres to score. Sinfield kicked his 500th Rhinos goal to give the Rhinos a well earned lead.

Four minutes later and the Saints were level pegging. A silly Leeds penalty allowed the visitors to build for three tackles before Fa'asalavu buried under the tackle and the video referee ruled 'benefit of the doubt'. Lyon goaled to temporarily silence the South Stand.

From my vantage point you could see the lightening, but the atmosphere was such that you couldn't hear the accompanying thunder. It was as electric in the stand as it was on the pitch.

The next score came on twenty eight after a poor Pryce pass on the Rhinos twenty found its way into the hands of Keith Senior. As Senior went through a gap a hush fell over the South Stand, and you could near an en-masse muttering 'He'll never make it'. Keith proved the doubters wrong as he went seventy metres on the waterlogged pitch to score next to the posts. Sinfield converted to send the Rhinos fans crazy and subdue to the good crowd from Scouse land.

The Rhinos were good for the 12-6 lead and extended it with a thirty-sixth minute penalty after Talau and Walker found themselves in the sin-bin for a bout of handbags. Now we just needed to hold on until the break


Awesome

But, with just sixty seconds remaining Senior lost the ball in the tackle on his own twenty. Saints moved the ball left and Gilmour slid over, the video referee correctly ruling a fair try despite Leeds appeals for a doule movement.

It was 14-12 to Leeds at half time, and probably a bit less than we deserved.


Jekyl & Hyde
Both sides came out firing in the second half, but once again it was the Rhinos that were enjoying the territory and posession. On forty-seven the ball was knocked-down by Saints in the tackle but Klein took so long to indicate the extra six, Sinfield had already kicked again before the signal went up. The kick came to nothing and Klein had cost us posession.

With fifteen minutes remaining Ali was robbed of the ball in a two man tackle and Klein ruled a knock-on by the big man. Saints made the most of the Rhinos protests and went through a gap to see Gilmour over for his second. Lyon goaled for 18-14 but Leeds still had a chance with a quarter of an hour to spare.

It looked even better for us on sixty-eight when Lyon was rightly sent off for a late shoulder charge on Burrow as he put in a kick, but we just couldn't make the extra man count. As the clock ticked down we squandered chance after chance and the Saints held on for a famous win in a great game.

The Rhinos did little wrong as a team, but a few individual errors (mainly from Senior) cost us dear in the final reckoning. Sinfield, Ellis and Burrow were immense for the Rhinos and I think that on the day we were the best side, but it was Saints who take the spoils.

What Saints showed this afternoon was that they are beatable, and if the conditions had been a little easier for ball handling, then I think that we would have won the game.

Nothing to be too downhearted about here, a far better display than last week, and a great advert for our great game.

Back us to bounce back in big style in next weeks semi-final at Odsal!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Ellis46%
8
Sinfield31%
6
Burrow10%
4
Millard4%
2
Gibson2%
2
Lauiti'iti2%
2
Peacock2%
2
Poching2%
2
Senior2%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Saints
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
28
Tansey
1
Wellens
2
Donald
2
Gardner
3
Walker
3
Lyon
3
4
Senior
1
4
Talau
27
Gibson
5
Meli
6
McGuire
16
Hooper
7
Burrow
6
Pryce
18
Jones-Buchanan
17
Anderson, P.
9
Diskin
9
Cunningham
10
Peacock
10
Cayless
11
Lauiti'iti
12
Wilkin
12
Ellis
1
18
Anderson, V.
13
Sinfield
3
19
Graham
20
Scruton
8
Fozzard
8
Bailey
11
Gilmour
2
27
Millard
14
Roby
16
Poching
23
Fa'Asavalu
1

Kick Off:
17:00
Half-Time:
14-12
Referee:
Ashley Clown
Crowd:
17,700


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