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Rhinos Crash to Cup Kings
Posted by southstander on April 06 2009 - 08:52:47

Consolation Try

When this fourth round tie came out of the bag the BBC must have rubbed their hands with glee, as the Saints and Rhinos money men cried into their beer. Free entry into round four for season ticket holders must have seemed like a brilliant idea at the time but on reflection it removed what would have been a bumper pay-day.

the top two sides in Superleague for the last two seasons renewed their rivalry at Headingley, just a fortnight after the Rhinos were well beaten in Superleague at Knowsley Road. This one would be different though...wouldn't it?

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

18

Rhinos

v

Saints

22

Carnegie Challenge Cup

Fourth Round

5th April 2009

Rhinos Crash to Cup Kings

Leeds had Danny Buderus back from injury although he would start the game on the bench. Blueys weekly surprise was that Ryan Bailey was declared as eighteenth man, clearing the way for Ablett and Ashley Gibson to start. Whether Ryan was still suffering with injury, or whether McClennan suspected he would be just too volatile for this crunch match, the evidence was that he was missing out.

After what must have been a slight TV requested delay, possibly due to the overrunning game in the south of France, the teams took the field with the Rhinos staring the game facing into the sun over the Western Terrace.

From the off it was clear that we were going to be in for a rugby treat.

As early as the fifth minute the Rhinos looked to have taken the lead when a nice pass from Gibson saw Donald over in the right hand corner, but a static linesman indicated that Scott had a foot in touch and the try was wiped out. Immediately the Saints went on the attack and on eight minutes the Rhinos defence did well to withstand the onslaught after Ablett was unlucky to have been ruled offside when it looked like Saints had knocked-on.

The opening score of the match came on the quarter hour. Leeds were scrambling in defence after being penalised for offside in their own twenty and as the ball was moved to the right Gardner went over in the corner on a small overlap. Wellens, in the absence of any Saints regular kicker, pushed the conversion attempt wide.

Then, on twenty-three, the Rhinos hit thr front, courtesy of a very scrappy JJB try.


100%er

Deep in the Saints twenty and a loos ball was hacked across field and collected by Sinfield who stepped right and put in a low grubber kick. Jones-Buchanan won the race and managed to get the ball to the line and ground it as the Saints defence tried to turn him on his back. Bentham went to the video referee but Mr Silverwood gave the try. Sinfield added the extras and it was 6-4. That was more like it.

On twenty-six the gods smiled on us when Gidley made a clean break and passed outside to the unmarked Gardner who crossed for what looked like his second. But the referee ruled forward pass and we could all breathe a sigh of relief.

But on twenty-nine the Saints got back a lead which they would carry to the final hooter when Roby was allowed to walk through a weak Leeds defence and score next to the posts. Wellens goaled this one for 10-6 to the visitors and that is how it remained to half time.

We were still in the game. The Saints did have the upper hand but we'd had a number of good chances that we'd failed to take. There was still optimism in the SouthStand.

The opening points of the second half came from the boot of Wellens after Kylie Leuluai was wrongly penalised for a ball steal, Bentham failing to appreciate that it was a one-on-one tackle. But the Saints fans weren't complaining at 12-6.


Gave it all
Two minutes later and the Rhinos should have been in after a brilliant Burrow break but the Saints defence covered back brilliantly to deny us.

And then on fifty the game breaker. A Wilkin 40-20 gave Saints position and from the back of the scrum the ball was moved left and Wellens went over. He failed to covert his own but the cushion was ten points at 16-6.

And six minutes later it got even worse for Leeds.

This time Gidley went past a non-existant Rhinos defence on the last tackle to score, but again Wellens failed to goal. At 20-6 the game had gone and the Rhinos were denied a trip to Wembley once again.

On the three-quarter mark a clumsy Saints knock-on at their scrum on our forty allowed Senior to break down the left wing and find Brent Webb to scamper over, managing to keep his feet despite having his heel tapped. Sinfield converted for 20-12.

Wellens kicked another penalty on sixty-three after a Burgess high tackle in front of the sticks for 22-12 and then it was a matter of holding on for the visitors.

They did this with aplonb as the Rhinos threw everything that they had left at them. The only breach was a consolation seventy-ninth minute try from Keith Senior which Sinfield converted, but as the sides returned for the kick-off there was just nine seconds remaining. Throwing the ball about at the death saw it end up in Peacocks hands and despite a valiant run and pass to McGuire Saints put in the all important tackle which heralded the hooter.

There is no denying that Saints were the better side, and for the second time in a fortnight we were shown what we are up against if we are to make it three Superleague Trophies in a row. There were a few bizarre refereeing decisions (the Leuluai ball steal, the Leuluai knock-on which clearly went backwards, and the non-penalty near the end when Gibson was obstructed) but Saints will cite examples where the Rhinos benefitted from Mr Benthams mistakes.

Out of the cup again, and this time at the first hurdle rather than the in the semi-final. This will now give us a few weekends off during the season, and with the look of some of the players on the field yesterday we'll need them. After a couple of seasons where we seem to have had strength in depth, we are now in a position where we are looking a little treadbare. Perhaps it is time to splash some of that fortune we've been earning over the last couple of seasons Mr Hetherington.


Please vote for your Man-of-the-Match in the front page poll.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Saints
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
1
Wellens
1
3
2
Donald
2
Gardner
1
20
Gibson
3
Gidley
1
4
Senior
1
11
Gilmour
5
Hall
5
Meli
6
McGuire
12
Wilkin
7
Burrow
6
Pryce
8
Leuluai
10
Graham
14
Diskin
9
Cunningham
10
Peacock
18
Hargreaves
18
Ablett
16
Puletua
11
Jones-Buchanan
1
13
Flannery
13
Sinfield
3
17
Clough
19
Burgess
8
Cayless
9
Buderus
14
Roby
1
17
GKirke
23
Fa'asavalu
12
Lauiti'iti
28
Ashurst

Kick Off:
16:30
Half-Time:
06-10
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
17,689


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