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Forty Minute Team?
Posted by southstander on March 23 2007 - 23:44:16

Terrier

It was a better than expected crowd that shuffled through the gates to be entertained as the Harlequins came to town. Just over fifteen thousand Rhinos supporters plus a handful of diehards from the capital would see the Rhinos follow the same script that they have all season.

It is becoming predictable now. We'll have a good first half and then hope to be far enough ahead to hold onto the lead until the final hooter, as we fall apart in the second half.

It is a story which won't have a happy ending when we run up against any real opposition.

Full report here...

28

Rhinos

v

Harlequins

16

SLXII - Round VII

23rd March 2007

Forty Minute Team?

Kylie Leuleui was the unsurprising omission from Tony Smiths side, not because he's injured, but because he's shown nothing in the last few weeks to prove he deserved his work visa. Tansey and Kirke were both chosen ahead of the import, and they deserved it on their own merit. The visitors sported a side with Orr and McLinden at half-back and theever dangerous Henry Paul at loose forward. It was in these three positions that the game would be won or lost.

Leeds started the game well with Donald unlucky to be hauled into touch in the opening minute after a blistering break down the left wing. The game moved from end to end at breakneck speed for the opening seven before a hurried error from the 'Quins on their own twenty saw the ball spilled and bounce into the hands of a surprised McGuire, a player who didn't need asking twice to score the opener, and the easiest try of his career. Sinfield goaled from just right of the sticks.

Three minutes later and the Rhinos scored a superb try. A McGuire kick on the last was charged down but the ball went straight to Ellis's hands. The ever improving second rower stepped and went ten before passing inside to Diskin who made his own yards before finding Brent Webb inside to scamper over for the try. Sinfield goaled again and we wondered if we might be in for a try fest.

But the 'Quins weren't going to capitulate and steadied their ship to keep the Rhinos at bay for the next twenty.


Go Forward

On twenty-three the visitors got their own scoreline started after a Rhinos penalty allowed them to get good field position. After testing the Rhinos defence left and right, Melling ent over after backing himself and coming inside despite a massive overlap. Paul struck the post with the conversion and his side trailed by 12-4.

Just after the half-hour mark a scintilating Burrow run, he was like a little terrier all night, saw him win a penalty close in to the 'Quins line afte the visitors defence kicked the ball in the play-the-ball area while scrambling to get back. Two plays later, both moved to the left, and McGuire stepped inside, wrongfooting the Harlequins defence, to score his second. Sinfield goaled, and added a penalty bang on half-time after what could only be described as an aggressive tackle on Burrow.

We took a 20-4 lead into half-time but there were far too many similarities with last weeks near calamity for me to rest easy. I predicted a nailbiting second half.

Early signs in the second half were that my fears were unfounded. Wit the half just to minutes old a great break down the right wing by Ashley Gibson saw him put in a precision grubber just as the touchline loomed. A nice bounce was perfect for the chasing Webb who collected the ball and dove under the posts to improve the angle. Sinfield added the extras for 26-4.


Good Kicking
A Tansey forty-twenty after forty-five minutes earned applause but no points as three phases of Rhinos posession came to nought.

Then on fifty-one the Rhinos defence were dragged infield allowing a long pass to the right wing which found Gafa who crossed in the corner. Paul converted brilliantly from the touchline for 26-10. There was plenty of time for the 'Quins fightback.

On fifty-nine the Rhinos were saved by Scott Donald who came from nowhere to put in a last ditch tackle on Andy Smith. It was a certain try, and Smith was just easing up when Donald hit him. If that four pointer had been converted then the outcome of tonights game could have been very different.

With ten minutes left Sinfield goaled from in front after a high tackle on Ellis to take it to 28-10. In the end a try by Sykes, converted by Purdham, was purely consolation as the Rhinos once again held on for a far from convincing win.

Of the seven Superleague rounds so far this season we have only won one second half, in the game at home to Hull FC. We've only scored forty-eight second half points (averaging seven) while conceeding ninety-two (average thirteen). Is this a sign of a lack of fitness or are we looking to peak later on in the season as I suggested in the front page article last week? It is all a bit perplexing, and one thing is for sure, I'm not relishing the thought of our April schedule!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Burrow44%
8
Webb21%
6
Thackray19%
4
Ellis7%
3
McGuire5%
2
Bailey2%
1
Sinfield2%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Quins
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
2
16
Melling
1
2
Donald
24
Smith, A.
3
Toopi
3
Sykes
1
4
Senior
4
Smith, T.
20
Gibson
18
Gafa
1
6
McGuire
2
7
Orr
7
Burrow
1
McLinden
16
Bailey
20
Grayshon
9
Diskin
9
Randall
10
Peacock
10
Heckenberg
11
Jones-Buchanan
13
Purdham
1
12
Ellis
12
Hopkins
13
Sinfield
6
23
Paul
1
14
Lauiti'iti
14
Rinaldi
15
Thackray
15
Mills
23
Tnsey
17
McCarthy-Scarsbrook
18
Kirke
8
Temata

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
20-04
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
15,123


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