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Lucky, Lucky, Leeds!
Posted by southstander on March 04 2007 - 18:25:33

Headingley Today

As soon as you saw the state that the Tykes had left the Headingley pitch you knew that the game was going to be a lottery.

With areas of the pitch roped off for the pre-match warm-up, and several others showing standing water, it was quite clear that we were not going to be entertained by a free-flowing game of open rugby.

Nevertheless, both sides ran themselves almost to a standstill, and in the end the Rhinos almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Full report here...

16

Rhinos

v

Giants

12

SLXII - Round IV

4th March 2007

Luck, Lucky Leeds!

As the sides reluctantly took the field the rain was torrential, falling onto an already sodden turf. Some areas of the field were no-go, as the mud oozed over the tops of boots. You feared that Rob Burrow may not have been able to keep his head above water in some of the deeper puddles. The pitch hardly seemed fit for the game to go ahead...but it did.

Leeds started the game attacking the Carnegie Stands and showed some early go-forward, but it was the Giants who registered the first points on six minutes after the Leeds defence were ruled as not square. Thorman acepted the two on offer for an early Giants lead.

It was sixteen minutes before the first try, and thankfully it came to the Rhinos. A loose pass was picked up by Rob Burrow who darted from ten metres out and drew the defence before puting ina short pass for Toopi to hold and dive over the line. Sinfield mised the conversion from a quagmire.

Five minutes later and the visitors got a try of their own. Good hands left and then right eventualy saw Crabtree with the ball and a gap in front of him. He took full advantage a steamed over. Thorman goaled and the Giants were 8-4 ahead.


Standout Forward

It was all action and on twenty-five we saw the third try in nine minutes.

Diskin and McGuire combined well deep in the Giants twenty to put a speedy Jones-Buchanan throough a big gap in the Giants defence. He improved the angle and made Sinfields conversion a doddle. Leeds were back in front at 10-8 and the scoreline just about reflected a game which was seeing both sides strugle to control the ball.


Best Leeds Game?
The last scoring action of the half came after thirty three minutes when superb breaks from Sinfield and then Smith saw the young winger cross in the corner with Giant Paul Reilly attached. As Webb joined in the festivities fists started to fly and although Reilly was the initial aggressor, Brent Webb landed a superb right hander on the veteran Fartowner.

Both players were given ten minutes to cool down and as Sinfield slid the conversion wide the home side went into half time with a narrow 14-8 lead.

The opening half-hour of the second half saw both sides battling up the middle and battling against the elements. Both sides came close but defences ruled, most notably when the Giants kept the Rhinos at bay despite twenty-plus passes in their twenty-metre zone. The only punctuation of this period was the sin-binning of Lolesi for a late challenge on kicker Burrow and he put ina cross-field kick. But the Rhinos couldn't take advantage of the extra man, except to slot over the resulting penalty.

On seventy, great Leeds tackling saw the Giants held up in goal and the subsequent onslaught was thwarted, despite a couple of goal-line drop-outs.

On seventy-six, Brent Webb saw his second yellow of the game for what I can only suppose was dissent and it would prove to be a nailbiting closing few minutes with a man deficit. Withthe clock showing eighty, the referee and linesmen all missed a three metre forward pass and the Giants took full adantage down the wing before an inside pass put Thorman over. He missed the conversion, much to the relief of the SouthStand faithful.

Despite five minutes added time (from where no-one knows) the Rhinos managed to cling on, and when a grubber from the Giants went dead the pressure was releived and the two points to take us level top were secured.

The conditions made this game a joke and either side would have counted themselves unlucky to lose. The Giants played well and with another few minutes they may well have snatched the game. Leeds looked ordinary, and by the end of the eighty (or was it eighty-five) they were out on their feet.

Special mention for Scott Donald whom I thought was outstanding, Gaz Ellis, Kevin Sinfield who worked like a trojan up the middle of the park, and Jamie Thackray who wanted to be into everything during the time thathe was on the pitch.

Hopefully we, and the game, will get better as the summer arrives.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Donald47%
8
Ellis23%
6
Thackray17%
4
Sinfield6%
2
Peacock2%
2
Smith2%
2
Webb2%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Giants
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
6
Thorman
1
2
2
Donald
21
Gardner
3
Toopi
1
3
Lolesi
4
Senior
11
Nero
5
Smith
1
1
Reilly
6
McGuire
4
Brown
7
Burrow
7
Paul
10
Peacock
18
Mason
9
Diskin
9
Drew
16
Bailey
10
Skandalis
11
Jones-Buchanan
1
14
Jones
12
Ellis
8
Crabtree
1
13
Sinfield
2
13
Wild
14
Lauiti'iti
12
Raleigh
15
Thackray
18
Griffin
8
Leuleui
19
Hudson
23
Tansey
20
Snitch

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
14-08
Referee:
Ian Smith
Crowd:
15,703


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