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Rhinos Snatch Controversial Win
Posted by southstander on May 06 2007 - 20:05:51

Match Winner

The culmination of seven hours of Millennium Magic rugby saw the Rhinos take on the Bulls in the competition for top spot. The Millennium Stadium was adorned with all of the colours of Superleague as the beer flowed and the fans sweated under the closed roof.

The Rhinos were without Ashley Gibson, Jamie Peacock, Matt Diskin and Ryan Bailey, the latter two more of a surprise than the former pair. Ali Lauiti'iti was a welcome return from his recent injury on the bench and was joined by Carl Ablett, Jordan Tansey and Ryan Hall. With so many out, it looked like it might be a long night...but nothing had prepared us for what we were about to witness.

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

42

Rhinos

v

Bulls

38

SLXII - Round 13

6th May 2007

Rhinos Snatch Controversial Win

Good Leeds pressure from the kick-off saw ex-Rhino McAvoy slip and get tackled in goal. Bradford worked the ball away well and Deacon kicked a 40-20 with just three minutes on the clock. From the scrum there was a two man Leeds steal and Deacon kicked the goal from in-front. From the kick-off Ganson gave a harsh penalty against Senior for holding back Deacon the chase and Platt went through a gap to score. Deacon added the extras for 8-0. It was not a great start.

Then on eleven minutes came the Rhinos breakthrough with a superb inside pass from Scott Donald, well held and scored by Jones-Buchanan who improved Sinfields' angle slightly. Sinfield slotted over the conversion from wide left to get us back within two.

Two minutes later and we hit the front. A McGuire break from his own twenty saw him to the Bulls forty before he found Webb in support over his right shoulder. A great pass saw the Rhinos full back sprint the remaining forty to score under the sticks. Sinfield kicked the extras for 12-8.

On twenty, Vainikolo looked certain to score but resolute Rhinos defence particularly from Keith Senior kept him out. The Rhinos then went down the pitch and a Smith break down the wing put Danny McGuire over, only for the video referee to rule that Smith had his foot in touch. It had been a breathless passage of play.

On twenty-two a Harris offload allowed Newton to pass the ball to Platt to score his second, this one next to the sticks. Deacon added the extras and the lead once again swung back to Bradford at 14-12.

On thirty-one minutes Ganson earned the Bulls a score after ruling a Bulls head and feed after they dropped the ball. The Rhinos were penalised at the resulting scrum and then held out for five tackles before Vainikolo, off what looked like a Solomona knock-on, went over in the corner. Deacon goaled from the touchline for 20-12.

To add insult to injury, Ali Lauiti'iti limped off after thirty-four, looking unlikely to return.


3 tries and a sin-bin

On thirty-seven the Rhinos edged back within range when Webb went close, knocked the ball back in the tackle to Senior, who powered over the top of the Bulls defender to score. Sinfield converted and the margin was again down to just two points at 18-20.

With seconds remaining, Thackray was mugged of the ball by Henderson in the tackle, although it looked like two men were in attendance. Henderson went to the line unopposed and the video referee bizarrely ruled in his favour. Deacon hit the extras for a 18-26 half time score.

This game was still on a knife edge and if a couple of dodgy decisions had gone our way than we may have been on our way to breaking our Millennium Stadium hoodoo. In the second half we'd need to stop some of the Bulls offloads, it had been this aspect of their game which had cost us dear in the first half.

Just over two minutes showed on the second half clock when a Toopi offload on the Rhinos thirty sent Donald down the wing to the Bulls forty, drawing the Bulls full-back, before passing inside to Brent Webb to go in for his second. The skipper added the extras and once again the gap was down to two.


Impeccible
On forty-five Thackray had the ball stolen again in a two man tackle. Ganson ruled knock-on and Brent Webb back-chatted twice and found himself in the sin-bin. The Bull fortunately scorned their chance knocking on with the line begging. But we had ten minutes to hold out without Webb, for the fourth time this season.

We managed three. A Iestyn Harris pass to Ben Harris saw him crash over. Deacon put the ball between the sticks from out wide and again the margin was up to eight at 32-24.

On fifty-two the twelve man Rhinos took full advantage of their first penalty of the match to get to the Bulls twenty before Burrow ran the angle and evaded two tackles to score. Sinfield added the extras and yet again the margin was two points - the early Deacon penalty.

On sixty, Sinfield threw an intercept to Iestyn Harris who went fifty downfield. The Bulls used three more tackles before Lynch crashed over next to the sticks. Deacon added the extras and the incredible eight-point, two-point see-saw continued.

On sixty-seven the Rhinos got the benefit of the doubt when Ellis offloaded on the ground and Webb kicked the ball forward before collecting and scoring just inches before going dead in goal. Perhaps Ashley Klein, the video referee, was making up for a couple of poor early decisions against us. Webb had his hat-trick and Sinfield converted again.

There were ten minutes to go and we were still on a knife-edge.

After Leeds had forced the Bulls to defend three sets they allowed the Bulls to break downfield and and when it looked like Platt had scored the video referee ruled it out judging a knock-on.

At the death, with seconds on the clock, the Rhinos won the game in extreme controversy. Leeds were given a penalty for a Bulls offside that wasn't. Sinfield elected to kick from forty metres to level the scores but his attempt hit the far upright and bounced back into the field of play. Tansey chased the ball, being offside and in-front of the kicker before the ball was kicked, and collected to score. Rather than go to the video referee who would have seen Tansey was a couple of metres offside, Ganson awarded the try and the Rhinos had the victory. As pandemonium broke out Sinfield added the extras and the Rhinos had snatched another last-gasp win over the old enemy. We had a 42-38 win, but in the end it had been given to us by the officials. If I was a Bull fan I'd be gutted, but I'm not, I'm bloody ecstatic!

This was a sensational game, with sensational tries and an absolutely sensational, if somewhat controversial, finish. Brilliant.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Sinfield29%
8
Burrow22%
6
Webb14%
5
Jones-Buchanan13%
4
Ellis10%
3
McGuire6%
2
Tansey5%
1
Donald2%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Bulls
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
3
19
Platt
2
2
Donald
2
McAvoy
3
Toopi
3
Harris, B
1
4
Senior
1
17
Evans
5
Smith
5
Vainikolo
1
6
McGuire
6
Harris, I.
7
Burrow
1
7
Deacon
7
15
Thackray
8
Vagana
18
Kirke
9
Newton
8
Leuleui
10
Lynch
1
11
Jones-Buchanan
1
15
Cook
12
Ellis
26
Solomona
13
Sinfield
7
13
Langley
8
Ablett
24
Halley
14
Lauiti'iti
16
Henderson
1
25
Hall
22
Kopczak
23
Tansey
1
18
Burgess

Kick Off:
18:00
Half-Time:
18-26
Referee:
Steve Ganson
Crowd:
26,447


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