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Rhinos Lose The Plot
Posted by Number 2 on June 29 2007 - 18:22:38

Back from injury
By Matthew Horton

A much tougher proposition for the Rhinos this week as the Rhinos took on the Bulls in the Headingley Carnegie curtain raiser. Ali Lauitiiti made his comeback from injury against a Bradford team that is the only one to lower the colours of leaders Wigan Warriors this season.

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

22

Rhinos

v

Bulls

28

Senior Academy Championship

29th June 2007

Rhinos Lose The Plot

After a tight opening it was the Rhinos who got on the scoreboard first in the 8th minute. After a penalty allowed the Rhinos to get deep into Bradford territory and they took advantage. The ball being moved to the left and Ali Lauitiiti providing the final pass for Mike Ratu to get over in the corner. Kyle Briggs converted from sideline to give Leeds a six point advantage.

Bradford recovered the kick off and could have scored the the final pass from Paul Mennell only found the sideline. Again the Rhinos took advantage of poor Bradford discipline, back to back penalties allowing them to get downfield. Once again it was Lauitiiti who was the provider, his long cut out pass enabling Ryan Hall to squeeze in at the corner. Briggs again converted superbly to make the score 12-0 with a quarter of the game gone.

Leeds then scored on their next set, Mike Ratu was released down the South Stand touchline and he went 60 metres to score in the corner with a spectacular dive. Briggs this time was off target with the kick but the Rhinos were 16 points in front.

The Rhinos were now in control and hammered home their advantage in the 28th minutes. This time Carl Ablett making the bust through the middle of the Bradford defence and Ben Jones-Bishop was on hand to go over under the posts. Briggs converted to take the lead to 22-0.

The Bulls blew another opportunity five minutes from half time, Dave Halley's neat chip over was collected by Paul Mennell but Halley couldn't take the return pass with the line begging. It was a similar story for Leeds straight after with Jones-Bishop unable to take a pass from Carl Ablett in similar circumstances.

This time though the Bulls succeeded, Mennell again with the chip through and regather and this time the final pass was on the money for Dave Halley to go in at the corner. Richie Hawkyard's conversion hit the cross bar to leave the Rhinos 22-4 up at half time.

The Bulls struck first in the second half with six minutes on the clock. Leeds were a man down in the defensive line and the Bulls took advantage, Alex Szostak with the offload to Dave Halley and Richie Hawkyard was on hand to cross. His conversion attempt was wide but the gap was narrowed to 14 points.

The momentum had now swung in favour of the Bulls and three minutes later they were in again. After running crossfield, Halley found Larne Patrick and he managed to offload for Vinnie Finigan to get in at the corner. Hawkyard again was off target to bring the score back to 22-12 in favour of Leeds.

The Bulls continued their comeback, after a poor last tackle play gave the Bulls field position deep in the Rhinos half, they again went to the right hand side and Halley put Larne Patrick through the gap to go over. Paul Mennell took over the kicking duties and was off target. The gap was now down to 6 points and these missed kicks could prove crucial.

The recovery was complete in the 63rd minute, a penalty gave the Bulls another set on the Rhinos line. On the last tackle, a kick through from Hawkyard hit numerous legs and Paul Mennell just managed to touch the loose ball down. Hawkyard converted and the scores were level.

Leeds were over the line with 9 minutes left, a great offload from Nick Scruton released Kyle Briggs but he was unable to ground the ball over the line after some great defence from Halley and Finigan. Leeds twice turned down the chance of a field goal, attempting to run the ball but both times the kicks went dead in goal.

It was to prove costly for Leeds, after a penalty allowed Bradford to get down into Leeds territory. With just 5 minutes left the Rhinos marker defence went to sleep and George Flanagan buried his way over the try line to steal the game for the Bulls. Hawkyard converted to cap a fine fightback and give the visitors a 6 point lead.

A disapointing result and total contrast to a fortnight ago against Huddersfield. After getting into an early 22 point lead, the Bulls took complete control of the game and it was a remarkable comeback. For the Rhinos, Mike Ratu, Kyle Briggs and Nick Scruton were impressive but Willie Poching will be having a long look at the tape to see what went wrong.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Bulls
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Jones-Bishop
1
7
Halley
1
2
Williams
2
Finigan
1
3
Broughton
3
Patrick
1
4
Ratu
2
23
Kilroy
5
Hall
1
5
Clayton
6
Brown, M
6
Hawkyard
1
2/5
7
Briggs
3/4
28
Mennell
1
0/1
8
Scruton
8
Kopczak
9
Kaye
9
Flanagan
1
10
Haley
10
Cherryholme
11
Lauitiiti
11
Armitage
12
Hart
12
Szostak
13
Ablett
13
Helliwell
14
Reittie
14
Carlisle
15
Worrall
15
Dee
16
Brook
16
Shackleton
17
Jones
17
Crossley

Kick Off:
17:45
Half-Time:
22-04
Referee:
James Child


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