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U21's - The Wheels Are Off!
Posted by southstander on March 10 2005 - 07:38:12

MoM Murrell
By Matthew Horton

Its looking like First Division football for the Leeds Rhinos Senior Academy after they slipped to their third consecutive defeat at the Atlantic Solutions Stadium to a Wakefield side that gained revenge for the three defeats suffered at the hands of the Rhinos last season. It was always going to be a big ask for a very young Rhinos side who were beaten by the pace a size of the Wakefield line up.

We bring you all the action.

18

Rhinos

v

Wildcats

37

Senior Academy

Grading Phase

9th March 2005

U21's - The Wheels Are Off!

Leeds started very brightly attacking the 'Benidorm' flats, on their first set a high kick by Murrell was left alone by the Wakefield defence and was claimed by Chris Buttery. As he ran across field his attempted pass to Jason Hart was intercepted and ruled forward by the referee. Unperturbed the Rhinos continued to attack and went ahead after seven minutes. A kick from Carl Ablett was batted back by John Gallagher into the hands of Ashley Gibson and he found Jason Hart who went over the try line with three defenders on top of him. Gibson converted and the Rhinos were six points to the good.

It get better six minutes later, after forcing four consecutive sets on the Wakefield line thanks to errors and goal line drop outs. After an error by Steve Snitch on his own line the ball was moved from the scrum to Scott Murrell who found Ashley Gibson with a flat pass to send the centre in by the posts. Gibson himself tagged on the extras and the Rhinos were in control at 12-0.

Wakefield hit back after Nick Scruton was penalised for obstructing a Wakefield player on a kick chase. The Wildcats ran the ball and two tackle later were in when Snitch went through an attempted tackle from John Gallagher to go in unopposed. King converted and the deficit was halved. Leeds continued to shoot themselves in the foot, after giving a silly penalty away while on the Wakefield 10 metre line. The home side went up field. Prop Robinson went through the gap between Burgess and Hart, a quick play the ball and Liam Finn was on hand to scoot from dummy half to squeeze over. King converted and it was all square after 28 minutes.

Leeds hit back and began to pressure the Wakefield line, a bomb from Lee Smith was missed by Mark Field and just forced dead by Finn under pressure from Buttery and on the next set a kick from Jordan Tansey was forced dead by Tinsdale at the third attempt. The chance though was lost as Leeds came up with and error and Wakefield attacked from deep in their own quarter. Snitch made the initial break; he found support from Field and Tinsdale before Danny Williams hauled down Speak. The referee played on and then mysteriously went back award a penalty again Williams for holding down, dispatched the Leeds winger to the Sin Bin and King took the two points on offer to send the home side in 14-12 up at half time.

The second half started with the home side looking to take advantage of the extra man, and it took only two minutes. After a harsh penalty against Ablett for holding down the Wildcats advanced up field and after Snitch was held short, it was a numbers game on the outside as Applegarth and Finn combined to send in Mark Field. King again converted and it was an eight-point gap.

Leeds has a big opportunity to strike back 6 minutes later, camped on the Wakefield line Murrell attempted to find Smith with the short ball but it missed its target. The Wildcats recovered and charged downfield. Only some desperate defence keeping the home side at bay before Speak popped up on the last tackle to slot a field goal over and extend the lead to 9.

Wakefield were playing with confidence now and were ripping the Rhinos defence to shreds, on the next set from the kick off they charged down field and on the last tackle Snitch was the first to react to a kick from Finn to touch down again. King was again on target. The nail went in the coffin in the 59th minute, a pass from Jamie I’Anson on the Wakefield line was intercepted by Hesketh, he set off downfield but Scruton was their to cover the danger. The Rhinos prop was injured in the challenge and again Wakefield took advantage of the extra man, before the Leeds defence could reorganise Snitch sent in Andy Robinson for the game clincher. King converted and it was 33-12 to the home side.

Leeds gained some consolation in the 71st minute, after another Mark Field mistake (he had a nightmare of a game) and then conceding a petty penalty for kicking the ball away the Rhinos took a quick tap and Scott Murrell put Matt Gardner into the gap and the winger powered over in the corner. Gibson converted superbly form the touchline and there was the glimmer or a comeback.

Sadly it wasn’t to be, Leeds were now playing panic football and trying to attack at every opportunity and in the 77th minute Scott McDonald intercepted another pass from I’Anson and the winger beat the challenge of Lee Smith to go over the try line. King missed his first kick of the night but the home side were worthy 37-18 winners.

At the end of the day strength told, the Wakefield team were a far more experienced outfit and just had too much power for a young Rhinos side. Snitch was outstanding for the Wildcats and he was supported well by Finn and Applegarth, all three with First Grade experience. For Leeds it was a night when the young side were exposed. Scruton again stood his ground and Gallagher performed well in the hooking role. Matt Gardner had his best game of the season and Ashley Gibson showed what a big loss he has been to the team. The SouthStander.com man of the match, voted by the gathered collective, was Scott Murrell who was outstanding on defence and never gave up the game.

Match Facts

Rhinos
Wildcts
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Smith
1
Field
1
2
Gardner
2
Tinsdale
3
Gibson
1
3
3
Robinson A.
1
4
Buttery
4
King
6
5
Williams
5
McDonald
1
6
Murrell
1
6
Finn
1
7
Tansey
7
Speak
1
8
Scruton
8
Snitch
2
9
Gallagher
9
Wright
10
Stenchion
10
Robinson C.
11
Golden
11
Applegarth
12
Hart
1
12
Waddle
13
Ablett
13
Samuels
14
Gordon
14
Cattley
15
Walsh
15
Ferguson
16
I'Anson J.
16
Hesketh
17
Burgess
17
Taylor

Kick Off:
19:30
Half-Time:
12-14
Penalties:
7-8
Sin Binnings:
Williams (39)
Referee:
Chris Dean


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