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Rhinos Put Vikings to the Sword
Posted by southstander on February 27 2005 - 18:51:09

Quattro!
The Rhinos supporters welcomed back sunday afternoon rugby as they queued out of the south stand car park to gain entry to this afternoons game against Widnes.

The Vikings, fresh from a great victory over the Bulls last weekend were a side not to be underestimated, and we all expected a closer game than the bookies twenty-four point start for the visitors.

The Rhinos were without McGuire (groin) and were up against ex-Headingley favourite Gary Connolly. Someones bubble had to burst, but would it be the high flying Rhinos or the hard working Vikings?

66

Rhinos

v

Vikings

08

Superleague X

27th February 2005

Rhinos Put Vikings to the Sword

The Rhinos started the first half attacking the scoreboard end, and were greeted onto the field by steady falling snow. From the first play, it seemed evident that Widnes had not come to Headingley to give up the points easily. Driving the Rhinos back into their own twenty, they forced an early dropout as Mathers scrambled the ball dead.

On the next set after receiving the dropout they worked close to the Leeds sticks before an overhead pass from Moule found Emelio who dummied past Sinfield to score. Rowlands failed to convert, but this weas just the start that Endacott would have wanted. The Rhinos lads looked stunned, and the crowd quietened.

It took ten minutes before the Rhinos registered their first score. After being penalised for offside, Widnes found themselves defending on half-way. A superb Sinfield pass put JJB free to make it to the thirty, and then great teamwork to keep the ball alive saw the Rhinos move left, then right before Calderwood collected the ball as last man and went over in the corner. Sinfield failed to convert but the scores were level at 4-4.

On fifteen, Sinfield and Burrow both offloaded brilliantly in the tackle and Walker went close before being hauled down. A quick play-the-ball saw Calderwood go blind side from acting half and score his second. Once again Kevin Sinfield failed to goal.

A Rowlands penalty from fifteen metres, after McDermott was ruled to have stolen tne ball, got the Vikings back within two of the Rhinos, but this was the closes that they would be for the rest of the game.


Excellent Game

With thirty-minutes showing on the clock, the Rhinos finally made it back into the Widnes twenty after being camped in their own half for long periods. Good drives from the forwards took us close, then a great offload from McDonald fed Burrow aho in turn found Lauiti'iti to stretch over and score. Once again, the Sinfield boots appeared not to be working.

With three minutes of the half remaining, messing at the play-the-ball cost Widnes metres and the Rhinos presevered with the ball on the right hand side. A sensational offload from Lauiti'iti found Ellis who crashed over, and this time Kev added the two. A last minute two-pointer for Widnes, after Sinfield didn't clean the Play-the-ball area, gave Widnes a little respectablility as the sides went in at 18-8.

This had not been plain sailing for the Rhinos, and while they deserved the lead, Widnes still appeared to have something left in the tank. It could be a nervous second half, and it all seemed to be still 'up for grabs'. Tony Smith's half time teamtalk had different ideas, and the Rhinos emerged for the second half like they had 'see the light'!

With the half just a minute old, a McDermott offload allowed Sinfield to break the visitors line. As the skipper was caught, he passed to Poching who put in a sensational, physics denying, round the corner pass to Bai who went over in the left hand corner. Sinfield hit the target and the South Stand grew in confidence with the Leeds team.

On forty-five, Widnes coughed up the ball from the back of their own scrum and the Rhinos took full advantage as Ellis ran out of a tackle to stroll in under the posts. The Sinfield goal made it 30-8, now we were cruising.


Captains Knock
It was time for the Rhinos to get the Champagne Rugby out of the cupboard!

On forty-eight, an innocuous Sinfield grubber on the last bounded up and came back off the knee of Emelio straight into the hands of McDermott who stretched out a long arm to score. Sinfield two took us to 36-8.

On fifty-two, two steps and a dummy saw Rob Burrow score a trademark forty metre solo try, going under the sticks and making the Sinfield conversion a formality. Now it was 42-8 and with the game won, it was a matter of how many we'd score.

On fifty-seven, a good Rhinos passage of play saw us drive deep into scoring territory. Lauiti'iti pushed off two tacklers and then put a high pass into the hands of Calderwood who gladly accepted the invitation to complete his hat-trick. With Sinfields' goal it was now 48-8 and getting a bit embarrassing for Widnes.

On sixty, came arguably the try of the game. Calderwood collected the ball in his own twenty, and put his foot on the gas. He sped down the left wing, and with just Connolly to beat he put in a step which left Connolly sat on his backside grasping at thin air. Calderwood went to improve the angle and score his fourth, making Sinfield conversion a formality as we broke the fifty barrier.

Three minutes later, and as we returned the kick-off, JJB made a break over half-way. He found Burrow in space and the little scrum half scurried over to score. Sinfield kick made it 60-8 and the Rhinos had put on a mightily impressive show with forty-two points in twenty-three minutes. Widnes didn't know what had hit them.

The Rhinos then eased off, game was over, no point in risking any injuries. Widnes put up a decent enough defence, and it was only breached once more, in the seventy eight minute when an over-the-shoulder ball from Sinfield put Ellis close. The next play saw the ball go to Willie Poching who charged through a gap to score. Sinfield conversion made it 66-8 and a great Rhinos afternoon at the office.

The first half was hard going for the Rhinos, and a tough Widnes defence was not easily broken down. After Millard left the field with a suspected broken jaw, they were a shadow of their first half form, and the Rhinos simply ran riot. The Rhinos line was broken just once, in the fourth minute, and then we hit them with twelve tries without response. How thislot beat the Bulls last week, I'll never know, they were dreadful in the second half.

Great performances from Sinfield, Ellis, Calderwood and McDermott, although very few of the seventeen on show let themselves down in any way. This is what we want to see, good open rugby and a bucket full of tries. A great afternoon for the 17k+ in attendance!

The Rhinos now go two points clear at the top of Superleague X, thanks to an amazing win for the Broncos over closes rivals Wakefield. Onwards to the Galpharm next week to take on Tony Smiths old club the Giants, another potential banana skin!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Calderwood40%
8
Sinfield23%
6
Ellis21%
4
McDermott5%
3
Bai4%
2
Burrow3%
2
Poching3%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Vikings
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
1
Connolly
2
Calderwood
4
19
Rowlands
1
3
Walker
3
Moule
4
Senior
21
Whittle
5
Bai
1
5
Emelio
1
13
Sinfield
9
6
Craigie
7
Burrow
2
14
Hulse
8
Bailey
8
O'Connor
14
Dunemann
9
Millard
15
Ward
17
Whittaker
18
Jones-Buchanan
11
Cassidy
12
McKenna
12
Stankevitch
20
Ellis
2
16
Frame
10
McDermott
1
10
O'Neill
11
Lauiti'iti
1
13
Finnigan
17
McDonald
18
Fa'alogo
16
Poching
1
20
Smith

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
18-08
Attendance:
17,307
Referee:
Richard Silverwood


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