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Rhinos Return to Form with 13 Try Haul
Posted by southstander on April 09 2005 - 21:55:07

Tri Try Bai
This was one of those games which worried a few supporters before kick-off. London have been blowing hot and cold all season, and after two lacklustre performances from the Rhinos, there was a chance that on a hot day they could overturn us.

We needed a decent win to restore confidence ahead of next weeks trip to the JJB Stadium, and to re-open the two point gap at the top of Superleague.

We were without the influential Ellis and the inspirational McKenna, but the good news was that Ali Lauiti'iti returned.

64

Rhinos

v

Broncos

06

Superleague X

9th April 2005

Rhinos Return to Form with 13 Try Haul

It took just four minutes for big Ali to make his mark, and show us what we had been missing in recent weeks. A good break from Mathers, as the Rhinos attacked the scoreboard end, saw him progress from his own line to over half way. Nice interplay from Dunemann and Senior on the blind took the Rhinos deep into the danger zone, before Lauiti'iti bulldozed over to score the opener. Sinfield hit the post with the conversion attempt, but it was the start that we needed.

London had already proved in the opening minutes that they were here to defend hard, and attack when the opportunity arose. They made a good job of shutting the Rhinos down, and it was almost twenty minutes before we got another score on the board.

On twenty-three minutes a kick from Sinfield spun viciously in the evening air and caused havoc in the Broncos defence. The ball went to ground and was picked up by Willie Poching who stepped inside and crossed.

Sinfield goaled this time for a 10-0 lead. It looked like it would be a tough night for the Rhinos as the Broncos put up a very effective defence.


Welcome Return

Three minutes later though, and the Rhinos were over again. Senior finished off brilliantly after the ball was moved first right, and then left through a multitude of hands. Sinfield failed to add the extras, Leeds biggest problem of the night.

On twenty-nine McGuire was introduced to proceedings and immediately played a part in the Broncos opening, and as it turned out only, try of the night. Knocking on with his first carry, the Broncos picked up the ball and Leuluai went through some shoddy defending to spin off Mathers and score. Sykes added the two and Tony Rea's men had a lifeline.

The Broncos went close on thirty-four but a great sliding cover tackle by Walker and Calderwood prevented what looked like a certain try. And when Leeds crossed again two minutes later the worth of it became even more apparent.

McGuire and Ali interchanged beautifully for Danny to score his first try since returning from injury. Sinfield goaled and it looked like we were heading into the break at 20-6, but we weren't finished.

With the SKY clock already reading '40:00' Mathers put in a desperate cross field kick to the right wing which was superbly collected by Walker who dropped over the line to score. Sinfield added the extras for a hard earned 26-6 half time lead.

We'd been in a real arm-wrestle for long periods in the game, but the Rhinos class was beginning to show, and their form of the early season returning.


Strong Show
The Rhinos started the second half as they had ended the first. On forty-five Ryan Bailey broke the tackle and went thirty metres before passing over his shoulder to the supporting McGuire. Danny doesn't turn down opportunities with the line gaping and went under the sticks for his second. Sinfield added the two and the Rhinos were 'home and hosed' at 32-6.

You had to feel sorry for the Broncos, they had done little wrong up until this point, and were already on the receiving end of a mauling. The Rhinos were simply on fire.

It was all too much for the Broncos and their head went down. Ever increasing gaps were starting to appear in their defence, and the Rhinos were just about to start having a party!

A Sinfield 40-20 after forty-seven came to nothing with a dropped ball, but on fifty-four the Rhinos started a scintilating sequence of six unanswered tries in fifteen minutes. Wow.

On fifty-four Rob Burrow scored one of his superb trademark solo tries from twenty-five metres which saw him outfox five attempted tackles to score under the posts. Sinfield's two took us to 38-6.

Five minutes later and a McGuire grubber forced thr dropout. The kick was received by Bai who set off down the left wing, offloading in the tackle to Mathers who scored a simple try. With the skipper taking a break, Botham took over the kicking duties but missed by a mile.

On sixty-two minutes a Dunemann pass seemed to confuse the Rhinos centres and ended up in the arms of Bai who went in at the corner for the first of an eighteen minute hat-trick. Botham again missed the conversion, but we were now 46-6 ahead. It was beginning to be a bit of a Rhinos exhibition as the Broncos fell apart.

On sixty-four, the Rhinos seemed to be scoring at will. Poching and Mathers both bust tackles to put Senior over to score from fifteen metres. Botham missed again (0 from 3).

On sixty-seven, Leeds made it three in five minutes as Bai and Senior both made good metres with the ball in hand to let Mathers over to score Leeds eleventh try. Burrow took over the kicking duties but hit the post, leaving the score at 54-6, a major rout!

We weren't finished yet. On sixty-nine and Poching offload under pressure, superb pick-up from Dunemann and pass to the unmarked Bai saw him go forty to score in the corner. Sinfield, back on with his kicking duties restored, added the extras to take us to sixty. There was just one more try left in the Rhinos magic box.

In the dying seconds a Dunemann kick to the left wing on the last tackle bounced perfectly for Bai to collect and dive over with the tackler attached. Bai completed a great hat-trick, and even the missed conversion couldn't take the gloss of a sensational 64-6 win by a resurgent Rhinos.

This was probably the Rhinos most complete performance of the season, against a London side who defended well for the first thirty minutes. All seventeen played well and pulled for one another. Players, who could have gone it alone, used their support well and this win willl strike additional fear into the already frightened Superleague competition.

It was a pleasure to be at Headingley tonight and watch this 'complete' performance.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Bailey49%
8
Lauiti'iti29%
4
Bai5%
4
Burrow5%
4
Sinfield5%
2
Mathers4%
1
Dunemann1%
1
McGuire1%
1
Walker1%

Check out the season standings here.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Broncos
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
2
25
Luisi
2
Calderwood
3
Bradley-Qalilawa
3
Walker
1
1
Sykes
1
4
Senior
2
4
O'Halloran
5
Bai
3
2
Wells
13
Sinfield
5
21
Dorn
7
Burrow
1
7
Leuluai
1
8
Bailey
10
Trindall
14
Dunemann
6
McLinen
15
Ward
18
Armour
16
Poching
1
11
Haumono
11
Lauiti'iti
1
12
Hopkins
18
Jones-Buchanan
20
Lolohea
10
McDermott
19
Highton
6
McGuire
2
14
Williams
22
Scruton
16
Mbu
21
Botham
17
Tookey

Kick Off:
18:05
Half-Time:
26-06
Attendance:
14,253
Referee:
Richard Silverwood


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