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Solid Defence Lifts Rhinos Above Giants
Posted by southstander on April 19 2009 - 12:22:27

2 for Superman

With four losses in the last five, slippage to fourth in Superleague, and a tough game against second placed and unbeaten in six Huddersfield Giants, it was make of break time for the Rhinos.

Would they put the Cup exit behind them and set the record straight after humiliations against the Bulls and the Reds? Or would they capitulate to the pretenders in Claret and Gold?

Oh 'Me of little faith...', how could I have doubted them?

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

34

Rhinos

v

Giants

06

Superleague XIV

Round 10

18th April 2009

Solid Defence Lifts Rhinos Above Giants

Kylie Leuluai and Ben Jones-Bishop were the two who took the collective punishment for the team being replaced by Ashley Gibson and Scott Donald. The team looked to have a better balance with the bulked up Gibson in the centres and Ablett back in the pack where his niggling could be more effective. The pitch was bathed in late afternoon sun, straight into the Rhinos faces and the partisan crowd, that I was sat in the middle, of were full of expectation. It wouldn't last for long.

The Giants knocked-on Kevin Sinfields kick-off and were forced to dropout under their own sticks. Leeds returned the ball and on the fourth tackle a ball to the right from Diskin found Brent Webb on a charge and he just walked through the Giants defence to score under the posts. Less than sixty seconds on the board and we were up, just the start that we were looking for.

Leeds kept up the pressure.

On fourteen Sinfield added two from a penalty after Ablett was tackled without the ball, and on the quarter mark he did the same again when Webb was obstructed chasing through a McGuire grubber. The home sides support was furious, but for for the first time in a month we were getting teh refereeing breaks.

The Giants did have their moments. They were frequently in the Rhinos red zone. But time after time they put the ball to ground with the line begging, part thanks to great Leeds defence, but part thanks to their own panic and desperation to score.

With just two minutes of the half remaining the home side looked to have weathered the storm but they were about to be hit with a double Leeds whammy.

On thirty-eight the Rhinos were keeping the ball alive on the last and Senior found Ryan Hall on the overlap to cross in the corner. Sinfield goaled the extras.


Back on Song

A minute later and superb Leeds passing through half a dozen pairs of hands once again exposed a frail Giants defence as McGuire went through a gap and dove over under the sticks. The Sinfield conversion gave us a 22-0 lead, but it didn't feel like we'd dominated posession or territory sufficiently to justify the scoreline.

But we were more than happy, and the Giants fans around me's half time talk was of 'cheating' and biased refereeing.

The second half started like the first with an early Leeds early.


Buddy Awesome
On the kick-off return Buderus broke a tackle and fed Webb who went forty metres to touch down under the sticks. Sinfield goaled for 28-0 and the game was over for the Giants. Several left their seats and I don't remember them returning.

Those who didn't missed the Giants only bright point of the game as Robinson finally found a gap in the Leeds defence and passed to Lawrence who scored and gave Brett Hodgson a simple conversion. Face had been saved in avoiding the nilling, but it would be the only joy for the home fans.

Both sides repelled for the next twenty-five minutes until Leeds once again broke down the Giants defence.

A Leeds pass five metres from the Giants line was knocked down by a Huddersfield hand, appeared to bounce off Peacock and a Giants defencer before being picked up by Diskin who walked over the line to score. It looked like a double knock-on but Alibert (in the video box) added to his own mystique and enigma by giving Leeds the try. While this man seems okay with the whistle in hand I am not sure he should be let loose with the big green and red buttons in the video van.

Leeds had won a famous 24-6 victory and had leapfrogged the Giants and the Wildcats on points difference to go back second in the table. The Giants bubble was burst and the Rhinos was showing signs of starting to reflate.

The best of this performance was the Rhinos defence, forcing the errors and with just the one exception of the Robinson break, mopping up any Giants efforts in attack. The Leeds back line looked better organised than recent weeks and the pack stood up to be counted after being heavily defeated in recent matches.

Make no mistake, this was a massive result for Leeds and a big confidence boost. We now face the 'Quins, Tigers, FC and the Dragons (twice) before welcoming the Giants to Headingley. We need our long unbeaten run to start here.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Sinfield47%
7
Buderus18%
7
Webb18%
4
McGuire12%
3
Hall6%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Giants
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
2
1
hodgson, B.
1
2
Donald
21
Cudjoe
20
Gibson
4
Whatuira
4
Senior
19
Lawrence
1
5
Hall
1
5
Hodgson, D.
6
McGuire
1
3
Brown
7
Burrow
7
Robinson
17
Kirke
16
Mason
14
Diskin
1
20
Moore
10
Peacock
15
Jackson
11
Jones-Buchanan
13
Wild
18
Ablett
18
Kirmond
13
Sinfield
7
14
Finnigan
16
Bailey
8
Crabtree
19
Burgess
10
Griffin
12
Lauiti'iti
11
Lolesi
9
Buderus
9
Fauimu

Kick Off:
18:00
Half-Time:
22-0
Referee:
R. Silverwood
Crowd:
11,593


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