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Senior Academy - Going one better....
Posted by southstander on February 17 2005 - 17:31:00

2004 Runners-Up
by Matthew Horton

The Senior Academy begin the 2005 campaign with a home game against Salford City Reds in the four game grading phase.

The Rhinos will be looking to go one better than last year, a season which ended in a bitterly disappointing defeat in the Grand Final.

The Rhinos will be looking to rebuild after a number of departures from last season's team. Gone are Dwayne Barker, Jason Netherton, Tommy Gallagher, Jonny Wainhouse, Lewis Taylor and Matt Carbutt, all who have moved onto pastures new. It's also a new start for coach Stuart Wilkinson, who moves from being Tony Smith's assistant to take over from the departed Mick Cook (to York Knight).

The Senior Academy lads went to the Lake District last week for a team building excercise and the feedback from the coaching staff has been very positive indeed. No airs and graces for these boys as fell walking and mountain biking were the order of the day, everybody stayed in a Youth Hostel and mucked in together. The only complaints I heard tonight from the coaching staff were about certain people snoring. (You know who you are!)

The SouthStander.com 2004 player of the year Lee Smith will line up at Full Back and promoted from the Under 18's last seaon are Ashley Gibson, Jamie I'Anson, Danny Williams, Joe Walsh and Jordan Tansey.

I expect the Rhinos to line up like this: 1. Lee Smith; 2. Matt Gardener, 3. Ashley Gibson, 4. Chris Buttery, 5. Danny Williams; 6. Scott Murrell, 7. John Gallagher; 8. Nick Scruton, 9. Jamie I'Anson. 10. Luke Stenchion, 11. Liam Botham, 12. Jason Golden, 13, Carl Ablett; 14. Jordan Tansey, 15, Iain Gordon, 16. Joe Walsh, 17. Dave Tootill.

The two sides met in last years Grading Phase and the Rhinos were comfortable 60-10 winners. Peter Fox grabbing a hat-trick and the man of the match award. The game kicks off at 5.45pm and is the curtain raiser to the Engage Super League X game. Again this season, SouthStander.com will be sponsoring the Man of the Match award and the presentation should be made on the pitch at half time during the main game. Get into the ground early and show your support for the lads.

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