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Rhinos Bigger Than the Giants
Posted by southstander on March 06 2005 - 18:59:33

100% Boot
Thousands of Rhinos fans made the journey to the Galpharm to see if their heroes could continue their unbeaten start to Superleague X. Outnumbering the home supporters, the Rhinos filled the segregated away end, and went on to fill half of the popular stand.

The Rhinos seventeen was unchanged, but Smith couldn't resist a small tinker, with Walker moved to the bench, McKenna to the centres and Lauiti'iti brought into the second row.

The Rhinos fans were expectant, they would not be disappointed.

54

Rhinos

v

Giants

10

Superleague X

6th March February 2005

Rhinos Bigger Than Giants

My watch had just forty-five seconds on it when the Rhinos opened the scoring. With their backs to their massive support they returned the kick-off and Burrow put Sinfield through a small gap, who in turn fed Calderwood some 20m from goal to run in unopposed. Sinfield converted, as he would with every single kick of the afternoon and the visiting supporters chanted 'Easy, Easy'.

This was obviously not part of the Giants game plan, and they then put in a great defensive effort which kept the Rhinos at bay for quarter of an hour. Eventually the Rhinos doubled their lead when a high kick on the last was lost by the Giants defence and collected by Calderwood who fed Mathers to score his first of the afternoon. Sinfields ever relaible boot took us to 12-0.

On twenty-one, with McDermott and Walker having just entered the field as interchanges, Mathers offloaded brilliantly in the tackle and McKenna went ten metres to stretch over and score. With the inevitable goal it was 18-0, the Rhinos were already coasting and the Giants looked to have no answer.

Leeds then gifted the Giants a lifeline. On twenty-five we coughed up the ball and a grubber on the Rhinos twenty was ably chased by ex-Rhinos Hefin O'Hare who did well to ground the ball. Thornam missed the conversion.


Not a foot wrong

Some strong defence, and some dumb Rhinos play kept the scoreboard stationary for the next ten minutes, but just before the break the Rhinos further extended their lead. In a break which took the supporters as much by surprise as it did the Giants defence, Sinfield went through a gap, threw a missout pass to Calderwood on the wing, who then passed back inside for Walker to score. Sinfields goal took the sides in at half time with a commanding 24-4 lead to the Leeds side.

The half-time consesus was that the Rhinos were 'cruising' and hadn't needed to get out of second gear. If we turned it on in the second half it could be another massacre, however, the Giants may have different ideas.

It was the Giants who started the second half the brightest. Luck had a part to play as first Burrow was dragged into touch after collecting a grubber, and then a couple of dubious handling escapes saw Gannon take the ball above his head and ground. Thorman goaled for 24-10, but it was to be the last time that the home fans would cheer for the rest of the afternoon.


Great Game
On forty-eight, a Dunemann short pass allowed McKenna to cross after a good build-up and Sinfields boot re-established the half-time margin.

As Leeds began to run rampant, on fifty-two, Gannon found himself in the sin-bin after lying on Calderwood just short of the Gianst line. From the resulting penalty the ball was moved right and a superb ball out of the 'back-door' by Ellis put Walker over in the corner. Sinfield goaled from the touchline for 36-10.

Now the Rhinos were running hot.

On fifty-eight, and despite an attempt from the Giants tacklers to take his head off, Burrow used incredible strength to force his way over the line. Sinfield boot took us to 42-10. The Giants managed to keep the Rhinos at bay for almost twenty minutes before two tries in three minutes put the icing on the cake.

On seventy-six, and after Willie Poching stretched just centimetres short, the ball was picked up by Gene and carried to the Giants twenty. JJB stole the ball in a one-on-one tackle and ran twenty to score. Sinfield for 48-10, and the Rhinos fans wanted the fifty. With just a minute remaining, Richie Mathers obliged after Leeds stripped the ball from the Giants, Senior collected, and made a short break before passing to the full-back to go thirty-five metres to score. Sinfield boot (nine from nine) took us to the final score of 54-10.

This was far from a classic Rhinos performance and it all got a bit too scrappy on too many occasions. Having said that...how can you grumble at scoring fifty-plus points?

Sinfield was outstanding again today, and is emphasising to Noble that GB would have had a better chance against the Aussies with him in the side. Calderwood is currently in his best form at Leeds, and Ellis keeps on improving. What they are feeding Ward and McDermott on at the moment I'm not sure, but it is definitely raw!

Once again it is great to be a Leeds supporter in 2005, and with a home game against the Wolves, before a trip to the Willows, the clever money would be on us making it six out of six before we head to Odsal.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Sinfield53%
8
McKenna12%
6
Mathers9%
4
Burrow7%
4
Calderwood7%
2
Dunemann5%
1
Walker4%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Vikings
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
2
5
Donlan
2
Calderwood
1
2
O'Hare
1
12
McKenna
2
3
Evans
4
Senior
13
Gene
5
Bai
20
White
13
Sinfield
9
6
Thorman
1
7
Burrow
1
14
March
8
Bailey
8
Slicker
14
Dunemann
9
Drew
15
Ward
10
Gannon
1
18
Jones-Buchanan
1
11
Nero
11
Lauiti'iti
17
Smith
20
Ellis
14
Jones
10
McDermott
15
Penkywicz
3
Walker
2
18
Crabtree
17
McDonald
19
Grayshon
16
Poching
34
St. Hilaire

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
24-04
Attendance:
10,088
Referee:
Steve Ganson


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