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Down, Down, Deeper and Down
Posted by southstander on August 10 2007 - 23:47:18

Awesome

It was all change in the personnel department for the Rhinos as they looked to take advantage of a friday night game to draw level with Saints at the top of the table, for twenty-four hours at least.

Missing were Burrow, Bailey and Webb. The former pairing due to injury and the latter due to an inability to keep his tacking below neck level.

Salford had thirty years of Headingley hurt to overcome, and from the bottom of the table they were looking a long way up to their opposition. Surely it had to be the Rhinos game?

We bring you all the action...

52

Rhinos

v

Reds

14

SLXII - Round XXIII

10th August 2007

Down, Down, Deeper and Down

From the first whistle the Rhinos were all over sorry Salford.

Having been camped in the Reds twenty for the opening three minutes, some great handling saw Hall take a pass in space and cross in the corner for the opener. Sinfield hit the post but it would be his only miss of the half.

The Reds were showing little opposition and even when they had the ball in hand a ferocious Rhinos defence was keeping them deep in their own territory. On nine minutes a Diskin grubber kick found its way under the sticks and was pounced upon by an eager Thackray, the stand-in prop already impressing the SouthStanders. Sinfield added the extras for 10-0.

Salford kick-off sailed out on the full and after Sinfield put the penalty over on the twenty-metre line andother score was inevitable. It took just two more plays before Leuleui burrowed over the line for his first try in Leeds colours. Sinfield made it 16-0 and Salford already looked in a sorry state. It was going to be a long night for their small band of loyal supporters who must have come here expecting this.

The Reds then held Leeds at bay for ten minutes, although the Rhinos played their part in a knock-on-athon. On twenty-one, however, Senior benefitted from a Diskin pass to cross. Diskin was showing us what we'd been missing for the last dozen weeks. Sinfield goaled for 22-0 and we were running them in at a rate of a point a minute.

On twenty-eight the visitors had something to shout about as Littler twice hacked the ball forwards before benefitting from a horrendous Tansey and Donald mix-up (It's yours...no it's yours!) to pick up the ball and walk in a try. Wilshere missed what looked like a simple conversion.


Rare Try

With two minutes to go the Rhinos bombed a simple looking chance as both Donald and Tansey elected to step and get tackled rather than go straight for the line. But we would have the last laugh of the half when a scrum, awarded against Salford for a forward pass, saw Sinfield pick up and chip over for the racing McGuire to collect and score. Sinfields conversion gave us a 28-4 deserved half-time lead.

Despite easing up after the first twenty, this was a half that the Rhinos totally bossed, thanks to excellent work from Diskin, Sinfield and notably Thackray who seemed to be into everything.

The second half started as the first had finished, with a sensational Leeds try.

With the half just seconds old the Rhinos kept the ball alive from centre field to the right wing and back all the way to the left wing as a dozen sets of hands all contributed to a stunning Donald try. Sinfield kicked the conversion for 34-4 and any hopes that the visitors may have been harbouring of a fight-back were shattered.


Stand-Out Six
On forty-seven Dorn ran the angles well for Salford to score in the corner but Wilshere once again missed the extras.

The Reds defence then held well for over twenty-minutes until Korkidas finally ran referee Thaler to the end of his tether and found himself in the sin-bin. From the resulting penalty, Thackray took the ball from acting half and ran the angle to score a backs try under the sticks. Sinfield took us to 40-8 and Salford were shattered.

On sixty-seven Jamie Jones-Buchanan went through a gap on the half-way line and sprinted to the Reds ten before passing inside to McGuire for a walk-in try. With Sinfield now unable to miss with the boot it was 46-8 and we were heading towards our second half-century in a week.

On seventy-one JJB threw and intercept pass and despite the Rhinos hauling down Littler, the subsequent play-the-ball caught us out of position ad Coley went over on the overlap. For once Wilshere goaled for 46-14 but the Rhinos weren't finished.

In the last minute Lauiti'iti went over under the sticks off another Diskin pass and with Tansey taking over the kicking duties we had secured a convincing 52-14 victory over a woeful Reds side that I can't see escaping the drop.

Leeds were hot tonight, but not boiling. Some exeptional moves and beautiful tries were there to behold, but we did make a lot of mistakes, give away some silly penalties, and ease up for long periods. Perhaps we felt some sympathy for the Reds plight but I'd like to see us being totally ruthless. A good performance but there were probably eighty points here for the taking if we'd been at the very top of our game. Still, it is looking like we might have turned the corner and Diskin showed up brilliantly in his first game back.

The news on Nick Scruton isn't so good. On his return from a long injury it looks like he has broken a bone/s in his hand and is unlikely to figure at all for the rest of the year.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Thackray41%
8
Diskin32%
5
Leuleui12%
5
McGuire9%
5
Sinfield3%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Reds
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
23
Tansey
1
29
Saxton
2
Donald
1
2
Hodgson
3
Toopi
19
Littler
4
Senior
1
4
Moule
25
Hall
1
30
Barnett
13
Sinfield
7
5
Wilshere
1
6
McGuire
2
7
Robinson
15
Thackray
2
14
Highton
9
Diskin
9
Alker
8
Leuleui
1
10
Korkidas
10
Peacock
8
Coley
1
11
Jones-Buchanan
31
Leuleui
12
Ellis
13
Finnigan
17
Scruton
6
Dorn
1
18
Kirke
17
Haggarty
1
27
Ratu
23
Turner
14
Lauiti'iti
1
21
Nash

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
28-04
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
15,637


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