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Senior Academy Blow It!
Posted by southstander on February 26 2005 - 18:02:05

MoM Ablett
By Matthew Horton

The Rhinos Under-21’s travelled to Wilderspool showing 4 changes from the victory over Salford last week. Lee Smith, Luke Stenchion and Ashley Gibson were ruled out through injury and Iain Gordon, Dave Tootill and Michael Brown came into the team.

Liam Botham was with the first team squad and Joe Walsh was promoted from the bench to start in the second row. Luke Burgess and Jason Hart getting their chance from the Interchange.

We bring you all the action.

20

Rhinos

v

Wolves

24

Senior Academy

Grading Phase

26th February 2005

Rhinos Blow It

Leeds had first use of the ball defending the Railway End of Wilderspool with the breeze at their backs. Safety first from the Rhinos as a good kick from Gallagher pinned the Wolves deep in their own half, but it was all to waste as the Rhinos conceded a penalty. Fortunately the kick did not find touch and the Rhinos built the pressure. Warrington has a lucky escape when a Williams pass intended for Golden was knocked down and the chance lost as Murrell lost the ball on the first tackle from the scrum.

Warrington suffered big blow in the sixth minute when Simon Grix, a close season arrival from Halifax, was stretchered off after twisting his leg in a challenge with Carl Ablett. It didn’t seem to hamper the Wolves and they went close to opening the scoring on 8 minutes when Craig Ashall was held up over the line. The Rhinos were though inviting pressure on themselves by failing to control the ball in their own quarter. Again pressure from Warrington and a kick from Durbin was just forced over the dead ball line by Danny Williams, but from the drop out a huge hit by Nick Scruton forced the ball from Steve Pickersgill’s hands.

The rain started pouring down and turned an already poor pitch into a quagmire, but this did not prevent the Wolves taking the lead on 15 minutes when a kick from Durbin wrong footed Michael Brown and Ian Langley was on hand to go in at the corner. Ashall converted superbly from the touchline and the Wolves were 6-0 up. Leeds attempted to hit back and were aided by three penalties in succession from referee Bentham. The Rhinos were camped on the Wolves line but Carl Ablett was ruled to have lost the ball at the play the ball and the opportunity was lost.

Warrington indiscipline continued to give the Rhinos field position, but Leeds were being impatient with their chances and when deep in the Wolves half another opportunity was lost when Joe Walsh knocked on. It was becoming a tale of the referee at the moment as it was whistle after whistle from Mr Bentham. Ruining whatever chance there was of fast flowing game. Both teams though, were not completing their sets as the game became bogged down in midfield. The referee finally lost patience in the 27th minute and dispatched Steve Pickersgill to the Sin Bin after persistent offences by his team.

Leeds looked to take advantage of the opportunity, a huge bomb from Murrell landed in the Wolves in-goal area but Chris Riley took the ball superbly in some heavy traffic. Leeds eventually hit back in the 31st minute, a super little kick from Carl Ablett was pounced on in the in-goal area by Michael Brown. Scott Murrell was wide with the conversion but the Rhinos were back in the game at 6-4.

Warrington had a chance to extend their lead on 36 minutes when Jason Golden was ruled offside after a Rhinos hand had tipped a kick through from Hull and Matt Gardner then knocked on, but Ashall was wide with the attempt. The Rhinos though had the last say before half time, Joe Walsh held up inches short after Murrell put him through a gap. So after a stop start first half ruined by the referee, the home side went in leading 6-4.

The Rhinos got a big break at the start of the second half when Dave Ashton fumbled the opening kick off and from the resulting scrum, Carl Ablett picked the ball up from the base and went under the posts untouched, Scott Murrell added the extras and the Rhinos were in front for the first time at 10-6. The Wolves looked to hit back, a kick from Hull was covered superbly by Michael Brown but was held up in-goal, as happened on the next set when Iain Gordon covered a kick from Durbin. The Wolves tried the short kick for third time, but Murrell covered the danger and a penalty relieved the pressure.

The Rhinos then went close through Scruton, only a desperate ankle tap stopped the prop forward but it was the Wolves who were next on the board, a high kick from Durbin was spilled by Jordan Tansey and Luke Martin was on hand to send Dave Ashton in at the scoreboard corner. Ashall converted again from the touchline and the Wolves were 12-10 up after 50 minutes.

The Wolves were using the wind to try and pin the Rhinos deep in their own half, but Leeds were making silly errors in their own half. The Wolves were camped deep in the Rhinos 20 and had four consecutive sets. Ashall was again held up over line but on the last tackle Tansey was in position to cover a kick by Durbin. The Rhinos had a big blow after 57 minutes when John Gallagher as helped form the field.

The Rhinos has a big let off on 63 minutes when referee Bentham ruled that Baines had not grounded the ball correctly after yet another Durbin kick through. From the resulting 20-metre restart the Rhinos made their way down field, a break form Murrell found Joe Walsh on the inside, he offloaded to Nick Scruton. He found Jordan Tansey who was held in a great tackle from Durbin but he managed to flip the ball out to Jamie I’Anson who went in under the posts. Durbin was sent to the Sin Bin for protesting about a forward pass. Murrell converted and the Rhinos were 16-12 in front.

The resulting kick off went out on the full and it was a chance for the Rhinos to turn the screw, but after Murrell put Gardner clear his final pass to Ratu was ruled forward. Aided by a penalty the Wolves went down field and struck back again a kick through from Ashall causing panic in the Rhinos ranks, the kick took a deflection from an unaware Dave Tootill and Mike Briers was on hand to touch down. Ashall converted and the lead changed hand again with the Rhinos now trailing 18-16 with 10 minutes left.

The Rhinos hit back two minutes later, a knock on followed by a penalty gave the Rhinos the field position and after a few scary offloads and the ball bouncing on the ground, Carl Ablett took advantage of an overlap to slice through the Warrington defence to go in at the corner. Murrell was off target and the Rhinos again lead. But from the kick off Dave Tootill allowed the ball to go over his head and concede a goal line drop out. Warrington pounded the Leeds line but the Rhinos defence held firm.

The Wolves began to put huge pressure on the Rhinos line; Iain Gordon fielded a huge bomb from Ashall but was pushed back over the dead ball line. And then the Wolves scooped a needless offload from Jason Hart up. The pressure began to build and it told eventually as Durbin fooled the Rhinos defence with two minutes remaining to go in under the posts untouched. Ashall added the extras and the lead changed hands again. The Rhinos managed to gather the short kick off but it was to no avail as two tackles later the ball was lost and the referee blew for full time.

A hugely disappointing result, the Wolves have shown many signs of improvement from the team last season and were well led by Durbin and Ashall. The kicking game near the line was excellent and kept the Rhinos on the back foot most of the time. The referee seemed to think he was the centre of attention rather than the players on display and 29 penalties, 20 awarded in the first half alone, seemed to prove this.

It was a disappointing performance and nothing was built on from last week. Changes to the Rhinos team did not help matters but that was no excuse as a lack of respect for the football told at the end of the day. The lads need to show a little more self-control when in possession of the ball and not think that they are going to score every time they are in possession. Best performers on the day for the Rhinos were Nick Scruton, Jason Golden and Scott Murrell. The SouthStander.com man of the match was Carl Ablett for a superb all round performance on an otherwise bitterly disappointing day.

Match Facts

Rhinos
Wolves
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Gordon
1
Royle
2
Brown
1
2
Riley
3
Gardner
3
Ashton
1
4
Buttery
4
Rimmer
5
Williams
5
Langley
1
6
Murrell
2
6
Hull
7
Gallagher
7
Durbin
1
8
Scruton
8
Pickersgill S.
9
I'Anson J.
1
9
Ashall
4
10
Tootill
10
Pickersgill J.
11
Golden
11
Baines
12
Walsh
12
Martin
13
Ablett
2
13
Grix
14
Tansey
14
Colquit
15
Ratu
15
Briers
1
16
Hart
16
Clayton
17
Burgess
17
Johnson

Kick Off:
14:30
Half-Time:
30-00
Penalties:
17-12
Referee:
Phil Bentham (Bolton)


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