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It's All Gone 'Pete Tong'
Posted by southstander on March 04 2005 - 08:36:09

MoM Scruton
By Matthew Horton

The Leeds Rhinos Senior Academy now have to contemplate the previously unthinkable...not qualifying for the Championship Phase of the competition after a second successive defeat against a well drilled Halifax side at Stanningley SARLFC last night.

Liam Botham and Luke Stenchion returned to the starting line up, but there was still no Lee Smith and Ashley Gibson through injury.

We bring you all the action.

16

Rhinos

v

Halifax

19

Senior Academy

Grading Phase

3rd March 2005

It's All Gone 'Pete Tong'

Leeds looked to bounce back from the defeat at Wilderspool last week but it was Halifax who made the brighter start in bitterly cold conditions at Stanningley. It was Halifax who struck first in the 7th minute, a kick from Scott Murrell on the Rhinos 40-metre line was charged down by Joe Hirst who regathered the ball to go in under the posts. Wayne Corcoran added the conversion and Halifax were into a deserved 6-0 lead.

Leeds hit back, in the space of two minutes they created chances. First a Scott Murrell kick was fumbled over the line by Chris Buttery and then after another dab through from Murrell, the ball agonisingly beating Matt Gardner and Michael Brown to the dead ball line. Leeds though hit back in the 18th minute, a pass from Gallagher was given the “Fijian” by a dazed Jason Golden, and it landed in the hands of Chris Buttery. He scooted down the wing before offloading for Danny Williams to go in. Liam Botham converted and it was all-square.

Halifax hit back 4 minutes later, after pressuring the Leeds line and getting repeat sets a cross kick from Gareth Greenwood was missed by Murrell and Scott Law was on hand the charge over Iain Gordon to touch down. Corcoran converted and Halifax were 12-6 up. It almost got worse for the Rhinos as Halifax had a try disallowed the Corcoran was ruled to be in front a kick by Hirst.

Leeds began to build the pressure, but resolute Halifax defence was keeping then at bay. But after a penalty and a half break by Murrell, a quick play the ball saw John Gallagher scoot from dummy half to squeeze in at the corner after 33 minutes. Botham was off target with the kick, his first miss of the season, and the Rhinos went into half time 12-10 down.

The second half started much like the first with Halifax looking to build the pressure on the Leeds line. Tempers had been fraying a little and in the 44th minute it boiled over when Danny Williams was bundled into touch and the barrier around the pitch. He took exception to this and it was all on. After consulting with his touch judge, referee Stockman dispatched Williams and Corcoran to the Sin Bin.

12-a-side and it was Halifax who looked to take advantage as Leeds struggled to reorganise. It paid dividends in the 49th minutes as Luke Simeunovich and Brad Attwood created the space for Lee St Hillaire to go in at the corner. In the absence of Corcoran, Craig Fawcett took over the kicking duties and was well wide.

Leeds looked to hit straight back, and after Nicky Walker fumbled the kick off Leeds had a great chance to attack. They took advantage three tackles after the scrum. After Liam Botham went close the ball was moved left and Scott Murrell took a high pass from Gallagher to go in by the posts. The kick from Botham was good and again the scores were tied at 16-16.

It was all to play for, both side were making numerous errors and the game became bogged down in midfield, the game clock was running down and neither side looked liked scoring. Halifax made their intentions clear after 68 minutes when Corcoran attempted a field goal but it was well wide.

The Halifax defence was resolute and Leeds were still making silly errors and not getting a chance to use the football in the Halifax half. Matters came to a head in the 74th minute when Jordan Tansey dropped the football on his own 40-metre line. The shout came out from the Halifax bench and the forwards drove the ball to the posts setting up the position for Corcoran to put over a field goal from 25 metres.

The Rhinos looked to salvage something from the game, a half break from Jamie I’Anson saw him superbly flip the ball out of the back of the hand to Botham but the referee incorrectly in my opinion (and a few others around me) forward. Three tackles later and Carl Ablett was harshly called for high tackle, Jamie I’Anson protested too much and was dispatched to the Sin Bin and Corcoran tagged on the penalty from 30 metres out to give the visitors a 19-16 lead. There was no time for Leeds to stage a late comeback and slipped to a second successive defeat.

I’m not one to normally bag referees but the performance tonight from Mr Stockman was not one I expect at this level. There were many dubious calls and his interpretation of the advantage rule left a lot to be desired at times for both team. The call again Jamie I’Anson late in the game was ridiculous.

Full credit to Halifax, there were well fired up for this game and at the end of the day deserved to take the 2 points back to the Shay, well led by halfbacks Fawcett and Corcoran and a forward pack who dominated proceedings for much of the game.

For the Rhinos the loss of Golden to concussion after 18 minutes was a big blow, but a poor completion rate and kicking game led to their downfall tonight. The passing was slow at times and a general lack of ideas made life easier for the visitors. On a positive note, captain Liam Botham led the team from the front and was well supported by Jamie I’Anson after his move to prop and John Gallagher after his move to the hooking role. The SouthStander.com Man of the Match was awarded to Nick Scruton for a superb performance in difficult circumstances.

The last match in the Grading Phase is at Wakefield next Wednesday night, a must win game if the Rhinos are to qualify for the Championship. The game is at Belle Vue (or whatever its called now) and kicks off at 7.30.

Match Facts

Rhinos
Halifax
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Gordon
1
Walker
2
Brown
2
St. Hillaire
1
3
Gardner
1
3
Attwood
4
Buttery
4
Sawyer
5
Williams
5
Dobbs
6
Murrell
1
6
Corcoran
3
1
7
Gallagher
1
7
Fawcett
8
Scruton
8
Law
1
9
I'Anson J.
9
O'Brien
10
Stenchion
10
Garnett
11
Golden
11
Greenwood
12
Botham
2
12
Simeunovich
13
Ablett
13
Hirst
1
14
I'Anson C.
14
Boothroyd
15
Tansey
15
Barlow
16
Walsh
16
Silcox
17
Tootill
17
Barker

Kick Off:
19:30
Half-Time:
10-12
Penalties:
7-8
Sin Binnings:
Williams (44)
Corcoran (44)
J. I'Anson (78)
Referee:
Paul Stockdale


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