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Rhinos Drop to Third
Posted by southstander on August 04 2006 - 22:08:24

Wheels Now Off

Few gave us much of a chance as we travelled to a revitalised Hull FC to try and get our season back on the road, and avoid slipping into third place in Superleague.

The players, coaching staff and fans all needed the lift that a win over the Black & Whites would bring, but could we get enough confidence back in five short days to take the two points?

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

16

Rhinos

v

Hull FC

23

SLXI - Round 23

4th August 2006

Rhinos Drop to Third

Toopi got the nod over Chev Walker in the centres as the Bath bound number three was moved up into second row. Thackray got a place on the bench at the expense of Nick Scruton. For the Airlie Birds Blacklock and Paul Cooke both figured, as did the always dangerous Gareth Raynor.

The Rhinos kicked off with their backs to a small travelling crowd from Headingley who had braved the friday night traffic.

It was a shaky start for Leeds as they spent the first five minutes in defence against a relentless Hull onslaught. Hull keeping the ball alive at every opportunity and running the Rhinos defence ragged. After six minutes a long Cooke pass found Donald absent on the wing, allowing Raynor to catch and dive over in the corner. Cooke pushed the kick wide right of the posts.

With nine minutes on the clock a superb kick by McMenemy to the wing was gathered excellently by Raynor who beat Donald and Smith to the collect and dived over in the corner. Cooke missed again from the touchline, this time to the left of the sticks.

The clock showed thirteen minutes when the Rhinos scored on their first real attack. A Sinfield cross-field kick was gathered by Senior as he rose above Blacklock. He used his strength to push past Whiting and over to score five metres in. Sinfield goaled brilliantly, and after a shocking start we were right back in it at 6-8 behind.

On eighteen minutes, Senior dropped the ball from a tackle and gifted possession to the home side. Hull used the ball well and Domic went straight through Toopi to score. Cooke, looking the worse for wear, missed again and but Hull were a score clear at 12-6.

On twenty-two Peacock put in a try-saving tackle on Washbrook but from the ten metre play-the-ball, on the last tackle, Whiting put a kick through and the Leeds players stood and watched as the ball game back ofthe post and the kicker picked it up and touched down. Cooke kicked his first of the game and Hull FC were 18-6 up. Smith threw Thackray on and his first action was a high tackle on Dowes.


Tormentor

The Rhinos defence was apalling and it was simply luck, mixed in with a few errors from Hull, which kept the scoreboard quiet until the half-time break. The Rhinos had taken up where they left off on Sunday afternoon at Odsal. What has happened to the side which was defending hard and thrilling us with scintilating attack just a few short weeks ago.

Leeds needed to score first in the second half but when Donald make a shocking porridge of a play at the high ball on forty-four it looked like we were in real trouble. Referee Bentham came to our rescue and ruled offide, allowing Leeds to build up-field. As Leeds took the ball downfield a long pass found Donald on the wing who stepped out of a tackle and crossed in the corner. Sinfield hit the post with the conversion but we were back at 10-18. It must have been a shock for Hull that after such dominance they were only eight points up.

On fifty-one another great kick from Sinfield was dropped by Blacklock before he was tackled and Ali collected the bouncing ball and carried it over the line to score. The video referee somehow ruled 'NO TRY', a disgraceful decision for the which controller Cummings needs to explain.


Try Scorer
Hull came down the other end and immediately stretched the lead. A Richard Horne grubber was collected by Whiting to score his second, and knock the stuffing out of Leeds. Cooke missed again but at 22-10 the game was stretching away from us.

With fifteen minutes left, Cooke made slight amends for his many missed conversions by dropping a one-pointer. Leeds now needed three scores to win and time was running out.

On sixty-seven a precision grubber from Sinfield was knocked-on in goal by JJB and once again the video referee ruled 'NO TRY'. It wasn't our day.

With the clock showing seventy we saw the first bit of class from Clinton Toopi as he spun out of three tackles and passed inside to JJB who went twenty to score under the posts. Sinfield converted for 16-23. Time was running out.

The final whistle came as more of a relief to Hull than to the Rhinos. A far better Leeds performance after the break saw a second half win, but this was still only 50% of the Rhinos side that we know is held within those tight fitting Blue & Amber shirts. The game may well have turned on one bad video referee decision, the one that ruled out Ali's try, at a stage where we may well have kicked on for the win. The seasoned pro's stood up and were counted in the second half but the game had already been lost in a lacklustre first half.

The wheels do now seem to be well and truly off the wagon. Next friday night against Wigan, big winners tonight over the Dragons, will need to be the end of our mid-season blip and the start of our unbeaten run to Old Trafford or we are deeply in trouble.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Burrow22%
7
Jones-Buchanan16%
7
Sinfield16%
5
Lauiti'iti13%
5
Peacock13%
3
Ellis9%
3
Gibson9%
1
Senior3%
1
Walker3%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Hull FC
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
5
Smith
14
Tony
2
Donald
1
2
Blacklock
30
Toopi
4
Domic
1
4
Senior
1
6
Whiting
2
27
Gibson
5
Raynor
2
13
Sinfield
2
13
Cooke
1
1
7
Burrow
7
Horne, R.
8
Bailey
8
Dowes
9
Diskin
9
Swain
18
Jones-Buchanan
1
10
Carvell
3
Walker
11
Radford
10
Peacock
17
Chester
12
Ellis
24
Washbrook
14
Millard
19
Horne, G.
11
Lauiti'iti
1
Briscoe
22
Kirke
12
McMenemy
29
Thackray
15
King

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
06-18
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
13,721


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