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Warriors Stay Top
Posted by Number 2 on June 10 2007 - 16:23:13

Back from injury
By Matthew Horton

The biggest game of this season's Senior Academy Championship took place at Stanningley this afternoon as the second placed Rhinos took on leaders Wigan Warriors. An early start, hot conditions and a large crowd all in anticipation of what was going to be a thrilling encounter.

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

20

Rhinos

v

Warriors

37

Senior Academy Championship

10th June 2007

Warriors Stay Top

With the weather perfect for open Rugby League it all added up to some superb entertainment on show from the top two teams in the League. Leeds had Lee Smith and Ben Kaye back in the side after the victory against Warrington last time out. It was the Warriors who got the first points of the afternoon with 5 minutes on the watch, Joel Tomkins splitting the Rhinos defence. He was held down too long in the tackle and Nicky Stanton slotted over the penalty from 20 metres out.

The Rhinos hit back five minutes later, Simon Worrall offloaded the ball. It went to ground and Lee Smith picked up and released Mke Ratu. He set off down the touchline and a superb hand off enabled him to go clear and touch down. Kyle Briggs added the conversion to edge the Rhinos ahead 6-2.

It was end to end stuff, and this time the Warriors hit straight back. A short pass from James Coyle released Tomkins into the clear and Coyle was on hand to take the return pass to go over. Stanton added the conversion to edge Wigan ahead again.

Wigan were dominating field position and possession and had three possible scoring opportunites ruled out for forward passes. The Rhinos were guilty of a few errors and not keeping the football for a full set of tackles. Leeds went into the break level though, in the last minute of the half Tomkins was ruled to have gone high in a tackle and Briggs slotted the penalty over from 30 meters out to level things at 8-8.

With the game on a knife edge the first score of the second half was crucial and it went the way of the visitors four minutes into the half. James Coyle with the break, he had fullback Sam Raye in support who in turn found Danny Hill who went over in at the corner. Stanton converted to put Wigan 14-8 in front.

Wigan looked to turn the screw but were rocked themselves in the 48th minute, attacking deep in Rhinos territory the Warriors looked to run the ball on the lsat tackle but a pass from James Coyle was intercepted by Kyle Briggs. He set off upfield and as the Wigan defence converged he found Mike Ratu who went in for his second try of the game. Briggs then converted to level things up again at 14-14.

A mix up from the kick off between Luke Gale and Michael Haley forced the Rhinos to drop out from under the posts and the Warriors hit straight back again. The ball moved to the left and again Sam Raye found an unmarked Danny Hill who went in for his second try. Stanton converted to restore the 6 point advantage.

Again the next score became crucial and again it went way of the visitors who were dominating field position. A short side move involving James Coyle and Ross Bradley sending winger Andy Thornley in at the corner. Stanton missed his first kick of the afternoon but the Warriors advantage was now 24-14.

In the 64th minute there was a lengthy hold up in play after a serious looking injury to Tom Coyle, he was eventually helped from the field but looking very groggy indeed and his afternoon was unfortunately over.

Leeds needed to get back in the game quickly and they did three minutes after the restart. It was a carbon copy of the earlier Ratu try, Kyle Briggs again intercepting a James Coyle pass on the last tackle but this time Briggs had the pace to go the distance himself. Briggs then added to conversion and the Rhinos were 4 points behind with everything to play for.

It wasn't to be for the Rhinos though as Wigan made the game safe, firstly Danny Hill completed his hat-trick with 7 minutes left after the Warriors had pushed Leeds off the ball at a scrum on their own 10 metre line. Then Sam Tomkin added a field goal with four minutes left to extend the lead and on the last play of the game James Coyle recovered a chip over the top and sent Ross Bradley in. Two further goals from Stanton completed the scoring and a 37-20 victory for the Warriors to keep them top of the table.

Great game, Wigan are the best side I have seen at this level this year and will take some stopping when it comes round to the business end of the season in September. The scoreline does in truth reflect the game as Wigan dominated field position and controlled the ball a lot better. For the Rhinos Kyle Briggs and Mike Ratu continued their recent good run of form but the ISC Sponsored SouthStander.com Man of the Match went to Simon Worrall for his big contribution on the day.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Smith
1
Raye
2
Hall
2
Stanton
6/7
3
Ratu
2
3
Colbon
4
Broughton
4
Bradley
1
5
Williams
5
Thornley
1
6
Briggs
1
4/4
6
Coyle, J
7
Gale
7
Coyle, T
8
Scruton
8
Kavanagh
9
Kaye
9
Sykes
10
Haley
10
O'Carroll
11
Worrall
11
Hill
3
12
Hart
12
Tomkins
13
Brown, M
13
Tuson
14
Burton
14
Tomkin
1
15
Reittie
15
Walker
16
Brook
16
Holland
17
Faal
17
Davies

Kick Off:
13:00
Half-Time:
08-08
Referee:
Matthew Thomason


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