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'The Entertainers' Royally Entertained
Posted by southstander on April 21 2007 - 21:40:08

110%

Few wearing Blue & Amber will have made their way to Headingley tonight with any expectation that we'd beat 'The Entertainers', without doubt the best team in a toughly fought 2007 competition.

What would unfold was a sensational game, and a Rhinos performance as good as many will be able to remember, as the Rhinos set about humbling the World Champions. This was one of those nights when it is great to be a Rhinos supporter, a near perfect performance, and sending the Scousers back over the Pennines with their tails between their legs!

We bring you all of the action here......

38

Rhinos

v

Saints

19

SLXII - Round 11

21st April 2007

'The Entertainers' Royally Entertained

Late withdrawals of Gardner (after getting beaten up in Barrow) and Gidley (taken ill on the coach) sent the Saints backroom staff scurrying to the Rhinos shop to get a new shirt printed with the name of debutant number twenty-eight Dean McGilvray, withdrawn late from the Senior Academy.

The Rhinos started the game with their backs to the Carnegie stand, and soon found themselves caught cold, despite the fever pitch on the terraces.

An early penalty against Gareth Ellis allowed the Saints to make ground and the visitors used their tackles well to create an overlap for Tyrer to cross far too easily down the right. Sculthorpe converted for the worst of starts.

Leeds looked to have struck back almost immediately when Donald looked to have scored in the corner, only for the video referee to chalk off the touchdown. On thirteen Donald got one that counted, thanks to an offload from JJB and a precarious juggle which saw the Aussie winger retain the ball to avoid a tackle and improve the angle. Sinfield slotted the extras to tie things up.

On seventeen, Long, looking out of sorts, put a kick out on the full. At the end of the resulting set a McGuire grubber hit the post and almost fell for Burrow but the bounce beat him. We were taking the upper hand.

A minute later and Saints spilled a chance as Sculthorpe lost the ball on the line.

Leeds hit the front on twenty-two when McGuire wrongfooted the Saints defence and ran the angle to score from twenty. Sinfield added the extras from the touchline for 12-6. The SouthStanders were starting to sing with belief.


Much Better

On twenty-six the Saints got back level. A suspiciously forward pass from Long on half-way was carried well and then offloaded by Fa'asavalu to Roby who went the remaining forty to score under the sticks, making Sculthorpes conversion a formality.

On the Half hour the Rhinos regained a slender lead thanks to a Sinfield two-pointer after Thackray was spear tackled by James Graham.

Saints continued to battle and on thirty-six Long kicked a 40-20. From the resulting scrum, Saints used ther tackles well before Wellens spun out of four weak tackles to score next to the posts. Sculthorpes goal gave us 14-18 and when Long dropped a goal as the hooter sounded the Rhinos trailed by 19-14, but it had been a cracking first half.

The consensus in our little bit of the SouthStand was that we were unlucky to be behind, and the feeling was that we were still in with every chance of winning it.

We started the second half of brilliantly.

With the half just a minute old, McGuire put in a short pass to send Burrow through a gap. The pocket-rocket made it to two metres out before being hauled down. A fast play-the-ball and Webb passed to Toopi from acting half-back and the troubled centre crashed over for a confidence building try. Sinfield missed the conversion and now we were one behind.


Go Forward
On fifty-one Sinfield kicked a penalty after the ball was stolen from Peacock some ten metres out. We were now a slender point ahead at 20-19.

Peacock got in on the scoring act on fifty-six when a Burrow pass allowed him to storm ten yards and spin over the line to score. Sinfield converted to increase the margin to seven points. You could see the lads starting to believe in themselves as the confidence flowed back.

With thirteen minutes left, Smith picked up the ball on his own twenty, bust three attempted tackles, and went to half-way before passing inside to Brent Webb who pinned back his ears and went the remaining fifty to score under the sticks.

Sinfield converted and we had a thireen point lead with as many minutes left.

We should have scored again on seventy-one but a Gibson pass was intercepted with a massive Leeds overlap. Despite a good break the Rhinos tracked back and halted Saints progression.

With three minutes remaining Leeds sent the Saints faithful heading for the exit and put the icing on their own cake. As Ssints forced the pass he ball went to ground and was picked up brilliantly by Smith on hisown twenty who then went all the way to the Saints twenty before passing to Burrow to cross. Burrow converted for a final score of 38-19, even the more impressive thanks to a 24-0 second half display that blitzed the Saints.

I'd like to crow about how we bashed the Saints, but to be honest this was a fantastic match between two teams who both gave 100% and played the game in the right spirit, hard and fast. There were several Rhinos players who proved to themselves, and the faithful, that they really are class. Of those lambasted in recent weeks, Toopi, Leuleui and Smith all held up well to a tough inspection. The pack was awesome today with probably Jamie Peacock's best game in Blue & Amber and Thackray, Ellis and Diskin doing great work.

Saints simply had no answer to our aggression, skill and ball handling. The Entertainers were royally entertained!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Burrow27%
7
Peacock20%
7
Thackray20%
5
Ellis8%
5
Toopi8%
3
Sinfield6%
2
Leuleui5%
2
McGuire5%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Saints
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
1
Wellens
1
2
Donald
1
24
Tyrer
1
1
20
Gibson
28
McGilvray
4
Senior
4
Talau
5
Smith
5
Meli
6
McGuire
1
6
Pryce
7
Burrow
1
1
7
Long
1
16
Bailey
8
Fozzard
9
Diskin
9
Cunningham
10
Peacock
1
10
Cayless
11
Jones-Buchanan
15
Bennett
12
Ellis
13
Sculthorpe
2
13
Sinfield
6
14
Roby
1
8
Leuleui
17
Graham
15
Thackray
22
Clough
3
Toopi
1
23
Fa'Asavalu
18
Kirke
20
Moore

Kick Off:
18:15
Half-Time:
14-19
Referee:
Ashley Klein
Crowd:
21,975


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