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U21's Prove a Point
Posted by southstander on October 02 2006 - 06:29:20

Gale MoM
By Matthew Horton

The Rhinos Senior Academy travelled to the KC Stadium in Hull for this year's Grand Final. The Rhinos had been beaten three times already by Hull this season, including a 44-4 reverse at Brantingham Park a fortnight ago.

There was one change from the victory over St Helens last week; Ian Kirke came into the second row. Steve Brooke dropping to the bench and Dale Harris the unlucky player to miss out.

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

01

Rhinos

v

Hull FC

00

Senior Academy - Grand Final

1st October 2006

U21's Prove a Point

Hull FC got us underway in some awful weather, the rain was driving down and it was sure to have a big effect on the game. Chances were few and far between as the teams just looked to complete their sets in the poor weather. It was Leeds though who were winning the arm wrestle. Dominating field position and constantly challenging the Hull defence but the home side were up to the challenge.

Leeds were over the line in the 9th minute, a cross field kick from Luke Gale was spilled by Sean Wiseman on the northern goal line. Kyle Briggs was on hand to go over in the North West corner and the Rhinos had made the perfect start. That was until the intervention of touch judge, and alleged Hull FC season ticker holder, Paul Stockman. Despite being on the Eastern touchline he determined that Briggs was in an offside position and referee Brooke (Hull born and bred also) disallowed the try and awarded the home side a penalty despite the official on the Western touchline seeing nothing wrong in the build up.

The game became error ridden as both teams struggled to hold onto the football in the atrocious weather conditions. Leeds continued to have the better of the field position for much of the first half but the defensive effort from both sides was magnificent and as referee Brooke blew the whistle for half time the teams went to the shelter of the dressing rooms all square at 0-0. Shades of the first team game at the KC in 2004.

The weather brightened up over the half time interval as the rain ceased and the sun tried to make an appearance. The damp conditions were still having an effect on the game as both sides still looked to find what was now going to be the vital break through in the game. It seemed that it was going to be a case of the first score would actually win the game.

With 15 minutes left, it was Leeds who had the first real attempt at points, Kyle Briggs with a field goal attempt that on first reaction looked good but was waved away from referee Brooke. Hull then went down to the other end of the field and Tommy Lee attempted a field goal but that didnít even leave the ground and smashed into the hoardings behind the dead ball line.

Leeds were denied again 10 minutes from time as from a scrum Lee Smith tried a chip over the top of the Hull line. It was a footrace between Smith and Craig Hall, after Smith got boot to ball for a second time the ball sat up in the in goal. But Hall got a piece of Smithís shirt and prevented the full back from touching down and he managed to put the ball over the dead ball line. Smith complained that he had been held back similarly to Mark Calderwood in Cardiff last year, referee Brooke consulted Mr Stockman again and the penalty try wasnít awarded and a goal line drop out was given.

Hull then had their best chance of the half when Sean Wiseman was released down the western touchline, he looked all ends up a scorer but Lee Smith came from no where to take him into touch 12 metres short of the line. But Mr Brooke ruled the tackle was high and awarded Hull a penalty, Smith still frustrated from the earlier incident has his say and was marched back 10 metres. Hull piled on the pressure but the Leeds defence held firm and lived to see another day.

The game was heading for an extra 20 minutes when the breakthrough finally arrived. Leeds got field position after a Hull error and the set off getting into good field position. It finally arrived and on the fourth tackle Luke Gale slotted the ball through the posts to give Leeds a deserved lead with only 4 minutes left on the clock.

The game though wasnít over, Chris Chesterís kick off found the sideline and it gave Hull head and feed. Leeds needed defend like their lives depended on it. Mike Ratu saved a certain Hull try when he batted down a pass from Kirk Dixon but it gave Hull yet another set of six on the Leeds line. Hull moved the ball into midfield and set them up for a shot to tie the game, the Leeds players charged out of the defensive line and Lee scuffed his attempt straight into the hands of Liam Higgins who was ruled offside. Leeds put the ball into touch and then made sure they were not going to lose the ball, Hull then conceded a further penalty for a high shot to relieve the pressure on Leeds. Four tackles later the final whistle went and Leeds were Senior Academy champions 2006.

Full credit to both teams for providing such a spectacle in appalling conditions for the 2,654 spectators in the ground. The defensive efforts of both teams were immense as the scoreboard reflects. Leeds were hard done to by a couple of calls from the officials but the rose above it all to seize the moment and claim a deserved victory. For the Rhinos the pack, so well beaten a fortnight ago, stood up to the challenge and fronted up to Hull magnificently. The kicking game of Gale and Briggs was vital with Gibson and Ratu leading the chase every time the ball was put downfield.

The Dave Valentine Trophy for the official man of the match went to the game winner Luke Gale who also took home the SouthStander.com award.

Match Facts

Rhinos
Hull FC
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Smith
1
Wildbore
2
Williams
2
Wiseman
3
Gibson
3
Dixon
4
Ratu
4
Hall
5
Hall
5
Close
6
Briggs
6
Lee
7
Gale
1
7
Thackeray
8
Feather
8
Higgins
9
Kaye
9
McLocklan
10
Scruton
10
Benson
11
Kirke
11
Dale
12
Hart
12
Sloan
13
Brown
13
Chester
14
Brook
14
Houghton
15
Burgess
15
Peacock
16
Tootill
16
Lynch
17
Faal
17
Scott

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
00-00
Referee:
P Brook


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