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Leuleui Lasted Just 18 Minutes
Posted by southstander on December 26 2006 - 16:46:05

Opener

Last years Festive Challenge saw the Rhinos counting the costs as they lost new signing Mark O'Neill after just two minutes with an injury which kept him out for the early part of the season. Today it was the turn of debut prop Kylie Leuleui who limped off after just eighteen minutes and wasn't seen for the rest of the match.

Long queues in the SouthStand car park either paid testament to the enduring appeal of this fixture, or as was actually the case, to the incompetence of Leeds Rugby who had five turnstiles for the couple of thousand of ticket holders against two cash turnstiles for the 70% of attendees who turned up with just cash in their pockets.

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

22

Rhinos

v

Wildcats

14

Festive Challenge

26th December 2006

LeuLeui Lasts Just 18

It seemed strange seeing the Rhinos in all white, and took a while to work out who was who. We started the game attacking the new Carnegie Stand and the whistle of Richard Silverwood got us underway five minutes later than advertised.

The visitors had the upper hand early on and spent the majority of the opening seven minutes camped in our half. It was, however, the Rhinos who opened thescoring, much against the run of play, on their first break into the 'Casts twenty. Sinfield went close after a delightful step but was hauled down short. From the next play a long ball by Leuleui went to the hands of Scott Donald and with a gap in front of him he accepted the open invitation to score. Sinfield failed to convert but the scoreboard was ticking.

On sixteen Silverwood missed a blatant Wakefield knock-on in the Rhinos twenty and allowing the Wildcats to continue their set, Obst jinked past a defender and put in a grubber kick which was collected and scored by Demetriou. March missed the conversion and the scores were level.

On eighteen we witnessed Leuleui's exit, clutching his knee, and wondered how long it might be before we saw him again in the 'predominantly white'. But it didn't put the youngsters off who were keen to impress.


Great Game

On twenty Tansey passed to Gibson who broke the line and then passed to the supporting Tansey to complete the move with a try under the sticks. Sinfield goaled, with the help of the upright, and opened up a ten point to four lead.

The twenty-eight minute sawthe arrival of guest of honour Willie Poching, but there would be no more scoring before half-time as the crowd gave up on trying to create an atmosphere.


Last Leeds Points
Leeds scored first in the second half. A great break by JJB hadgiven Leeds good field position and four plays later the Rhinos kept the ball alive brilliantly for what must have been close to twenty passes before Diskin saw a space adarted over from ten metres out. Sinfield converted for a comfortable 16-4 win. It looked like the game was in the bag.

Luck was going in Leeds direction especially when the touch judge ruled out what looked like a Wakefield try for the scorer being offside at the time of the kick through. Surely the Rhinos just needed to hold on.

On sixty-eight big Ali hit the self destruct button. He picked up a loose ball brilliantly but as he was tackled he flung the ball backwards straight into the arms of a Wakefield player. Wakefield moved the ball wide left and Henderson went over to score in the corner. March converted well from the touchline and the visitors were now just a converted try away at 16-10.

Straight from the kick-off 'Cats youngster George scored a spectacular 50m try, once again in the left corner, but this time March left the kick short. Rather than being all square, the Rhinos had a narrow two pointlead.

The Rhinos winner came on seventy-five when Leeds had twice gone close before a long throw from Tansey found debutant Hall free to cross in the corner. Willie Poching stepped up for a difficult kick but slotted the ball between the sticks for a two pointer. The place erupted and the Rhinos had the win that they'd been after.

This was the usual boxing day fare with little atmosphere and the usual share of gate/PA cock-ups. It got a bit of fresh air in the lungs and got us out of the house for a few hours, but ultimately served very little other purpose. On the field I was impressed with the youngsters especially Tansey, Gibson, Smith and Hall. Toopi is an ongoing concern, and hopefully Lauleui (who did little wrong in his eighteen minute outing) will show no ill signs from the injury he picked up.

Nothing very positive, but nothing too negative.


Please vote for your Man-of-the-Match in the front page poll.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wildcats
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Smith
1
Blaymire
2
Donald
1
2
Fox
3
Toopi
3
Demetriou
1
4
Gibson
4
Henderson
1
5
Williams
5
Buchanan
6
Sinfield
2
6
White
7
Tansey
1
7
March
1
8
Leuleui
8
Watene
9
Diskin
1
9
Obst
10
Bailey
10
Bibey
11
Lauiti'iti
11
MacGillivry
15
Thackray
12
Golden
12
Jones-Buchanan
13
Ferguson
13
Poching
1
14
Lewis
14
Kaye
15
Moore
16
Burgess
16
Applegarth
17
Scruton
17
Lima
18
Hall
1
18
George
1
19
Ratu

Kick Off:
11:30
Half-Time:
10-04
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
11,153


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