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Giants Brought Down to Size
Posted by southstander on February 10 2008 - 18:38:24

Superman?

What a gorgeous afternoon for the first round of Superleague XIII at the Galpharm Stadium.

The Rhinos were looking for two on the bounce at the start of the campaign, but Sharp had been building his side up all week in the press and the Huddersfield public turned up in the thousands, clutching their free tickets, and with great expectations.

Leeds were there to spoil the party.

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

30

Rhinos

v

Giants

10

Superleague XIII

Round 1

10th February 2008

Giants Brought Down to Size

McClennan dropped last weeks two try scorer Lee Smith, and replaced him with Ryan Hall. Jamie Jones-Buchanan was back in the side and Nick Scruton was the one to make way as Bluey followed Smith in the role as 'tinkerman'. The Giants took the field with a number of new faces and the half back pairing of Robinson and Brown was one that intrigued. Big in the pack, with Ryan Hudson at hooker and the massive Eorl Crabtree, the Giants were likely to muscle up to us from the outset.

Defending the massed Rhinos supporters in the 'Pink Link' stand, the Rhinos were over the whitewash after just two minutes, the worst possible start for Sharps men. Two penalties from an ever-so-pedantic Ian Smith gave us good field position before a Diskin low grubber was touched down in goal, to almost silence, by Superman Brent Webb. Sinfield added the extras and we'd hardly settled into our seats before we'd got a 6-0 lead.

The Giants then set out their stall. It would be a fare of rugged defence, attempts to drag Leeds into touch whenever we were within twenty metres of the sideline, and a policy of lying on and slowing the play-the-ball as much as possible. It was a policy that worked well as Leeds became increasingly frustrated. On nine minutes it had been the Rhinos turn to defend several penalties and as we tired the Giants moved the ball left for Jensen to find a gap, be missed by a flying attempt from Webb and cross. Thorman missed the conversion but the Giants were back in the game at 6-4.

The next score came after seventeen with Leeds probing the Giants defence from close up. Jone-Buchanan got the ball and carried a couple of tacklers over the line with him. Sinfield missed the conversion from ten metres in from the sideline but the margin was now six.

The Giants looked like they were back in it after twenty three when danger man Jensen once again went down the wing. As he looked to have rounded the last Leeds defender Brent Webb appeared from nowhere and tacked Jensen round the angles dragging him into touch a couple of metres from the Leeds line. It was a try-saver and the turning point to the game as the Rhinos then turned the screw.


Try for JJB

On thirty-one the Giants fumbled the ball on the wing and McGuire picked up and fed Ryan Hall who made good ground down to the Giants forty. A good set of six followed with Leeds keeping the ball alive well. On the fifth tackle a McGuire grubber was picked up by Webb who dove over for his second of the afternoon. Sinfield converted this time for 16-4 and the light at the end of Huddersfields tunnel was geting dimmer as the chmpions turned on the style.

With a minute remaining on the clock the Giants were testing the Leeds line. A grubber went dead just ahead of a Giants hand and the ball was thrown to Diskin for a quick tap. Diskin fed Ali who broke a tackle before offloading brilliantly inside to Ryan Hall who went sixty metres to outrun the chasing defenders and score. Sinfield slotted over the extras for 22-4 as the half-time hooter sounded. It had been a great half, the game was already close to being won.


Hall Brace
Leeds got the second-half, this time attacking towards us, off to a great start when a loose Giants pass on the Leeds line was intercepted by Ryan Hall who sprinted ninety five metres to score next to the sticks. Sinfield converted and at 28-4 the Rhinos were home and dry.

A slight wobble came after sixty-three when Smith penalties pushed us right back in defence before Robinson dropped both shoulders and scooted in for a try, converted by Thorman. But at 28-10 down with seventeen minutes remaining there was no way back for the Giants.

Leeds ran the clock down, often being too fancy for their own good, but failed to register any extra points until a seventy-fifth minute penalty goal for Burrow after Ellis was beaten up in a tackle. The final hooter sounded with most of the Giants 'one-game' supporters having already headed for the exit.

Leeds were, once again, workmanlike without necessarily really getting into the top gear which we know they have. We did enough to win comfortably over a side who were heavily tipped for the top six this season. We could, and should, have scored a lot more than we did but we coughed up the ball far too often in the second half.

The Giants looks a more formidible defensive side with Crabtree on the pitch and Robinson and Brown will cause a few problems this season, as will superfast winger Jensen, but a repeat of last seasons sixth spot is the best that they can hope for.

The Giants were going for an attendance record, so the free tickets were out in force. I'd guess that no more than half actually paid their way in, and that half will have included all of the excellent travelling support who were ripped off for 18.50 each.

The way the Giants played this afternoon, you can expect that the gate will fall back to the usual four thousand for the visit of the Tigers in a fortnights time.

Good wins this afternoon for Hull KR and Wakefield, Bradford and Saints now joint bottom of the league. What a great weekend.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Webb66%
8
Hall14%
4
Ellis7%
4
McGuire7%
4
Peacock7%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Giants
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
2
1
Thorman
1
2
Donald
3
Elford
3
Toopi
4
Whatuira
4
Senior
13
Wild
25
Hall
2
24
Jensen
1
6
McGuire
6
Brown
7
Burrow
1
7
Robinson
1
8
Leuleui
8
Crabtree
9
Diskin
19
Hudson
10
Peacock
18
Griffin
11
Jones-Buchanan
1
11
Lolesi
12
Ellis
17
Snitch
13
Sinfield
4
12
Raleigh
14
Lauiti'iti
9
Gatis
16
Bailey
10
Skandalis
18
Kirke
16
Mason
19
Ablett
21
Cudjoe

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
22-04
Referee:
Ian Smith
Crowd:
15,629


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