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Rhinos Create One Hull of a Splash
Posted by southstander on February 17 2007 - 08:28:40

Mighty Performance

After a day of torrential rain in Leeds it was a miracle, and possibly a mistake, that tonights game went ahead.

The pressure of a large crowd and the game being broadcast live on SKY meant that the poor groundstaff must have been sobbing into their pre-match cups of tea as they awaited the devastation that was about to be wreaked on their lovingly manicured turf.

As the game kicked off it was evident that large areas of the pitch were under water. This was not going to be a test of skill, more a test of survival.

Full report here...

18

Rhinos

v

Hull FC

04

SLXII - Round II

16th February 2007

Rhinos Create One Hull of a Splash

The opening ten minutes were amongst the scrappiest I have witnessed in Superleague with both sides struggling to come to terms with the conditions as they tried to play open rugby. With ball like soap there was dropped ball after dropped ball and by the time the Rhinos went over for the first score, both sides were drenched and dirty.

On twelve minutes the pitched robbed Hull of an opener as a kick through stopped in a puddle just short of the Rhinos uprights and the chasing Hull player overstepped the ball allowing the Rhinos defence to tidy up. In dry conditions it would have been a certain try and we could have been looking at a very different outcome.

The first points were on the board after seventeen with a well worked try. Hull had been forced to drop out from under their own sticks after a precision McGuire grubber. On the fourth play Leeds moved the ball right, through seven pairs of hands before Lee Smith, in his first outing of 2007, slid over next to the corner flag.

Sinfield converted superbly from the touchline for 6-0.

Once again, the conditions took over and despite the visitors having a couple of chances near to the interval, they didn't manage to convert possession into points.


Ten Points

The wet and cold sides returned to be field in the same soggy kit as they'd left, but rather than the first half near-stalemate, just three minutes had elapsed before Leeds got their chance to extend the lead. Richard Horne interfered atthe Leeds play-the-ball and Sinfield elected to go for goal. With a relatively easy chance, Sinfield slid the ball wide and the travelling Hull support must have thought that their luck was changing.

Two minutes later and Sinfield made amends. A sensational offload from Lauiti'iti on the forty put Brent Webb through a gap for a thirty metre break before superbly passing inside to Sinfield to score from ten out. He made no mistake with his conversion for 12-0.


Rare Try
In the conditions it looked like twelve would be too many for Hull to overturn, but the jitters started on fifty-eight when Sing followed a kick into goal, slipped in the mud, but managed to get a despairing finger on the ball to ground it. The Rhinos defence had struggled to turn in the mud and in dry conditions the ball would have probably run dead-in-goal.

Tickle missed the crucial conversion and it seemed to knock the wind out of the Hull players.

On sixty-four Rob Burrow fell victim to the same puddle that had robbed Hull of a first half try, as he dribbled the ball towards goal and then over-ran it before slipping and falling in the in-goal area. The retreating Hull defence managed to collect the ball and get out of trouble.

The final scoring action came on sixty-eight when Tansey passed to Bailey who scored while the Hull defence were trying to haul him dead-in-goal. Ganson went to the video referee, and on the big screen it looked like he might have lost the ball in the act of scoring. The video referee pressed the 'TRY' button, and after the skipper slotted over the extras, the game was won.

This was not a game of rugby, this was a battle against the conditions for both teams.

For the Rhinos the bright points were the performances of Gareth Ellis, who was sensational, Kevin Sinfield, and Brett Webb. Ali Lautiti'iti also had his best game for quite a while and our forwards put in the necessary work to overcome a Hull side weakened by injury and illness.

On the down side, Clinton Toopi is increasingly looking like a liability as he dropped ball after ball and seemed to be out of position most of the time. If Gibson is back fit for next weekends trip to Perpignan, what chances Toopi is on the bench with Ash starting in his position.

It was not pretty or clever tonight but we got the points, and for the time being we sit at the top of the pile. Two from two!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Ellis61%
8
Diskin13%
6
Webb11%
4
Bailey5%
4
Sinfield5%
2
Burrow2%
2
Lauiti'iti2%
2
McGuire2%

See here for season standings.



Match Facts

Rhinos
Hull FC
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
Briscoe
2
Donald
2
Sing
1
3
Toopi
20
Whiting
4
Senior
3
Yeaman
5
Smith
1
5
Raynor
6
McGuire
7
Horne, R.
7
Burrow
23
Lee
16
Bailey
1
8
Dowes
9
Diskin
9
Swain
8
Leuleui
10
Carvell
11
Jones-Buchanan
16
Tickle
12
Ellis
12
McMenemy
13
Sinfield
1
3
13
Washbrook
10
Peacock
18
Godwin
14
Lauitiiti
19
Horne, G.
15
Thackray
21
Maiava
23
Tansey
26
Wheeldon

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
06-00
Referee:
Steve Ganson
Crowd:
18,659


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