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Rhinos Claim Challenge Victory
Posted by Number 2 on December 26 2009 - 21:14:46

Two Tries
By EmmaMur01

The traditional festive challenge took pace at Headingley after some very hard work by the groundstaff and a number of volunteers. The Rhinos fielded their strongest team for many a year with 6 of the Grand Final line up in action whilst Wakefield also had some of their new faces on deck.

Read more here......

32

Rhinos

v

Wildcats

12

Festive Challenge

26th December 2009

Rhinos Claim Challenge Victory

As the sun shone on Headingley and the frost covers remained on the pitch, there must have been some doubt that the match would take place. The kick off was delayed for half an hour to give top groundsman Jason Booth, his team and the volunteers time to clear the rest of the pitch. This was a sterling effort by all involved and even though the pitch looked muddy and very soft, it stood up well throughout the course of the match.

The two teams came running out to a subdued welcome from the fans and stood arms around each other as the minute’s silence was impeccably observed by both sets of fans. The Wakefield fans had relocated to the Carnegie stand due to the western terrace being closed.

Leeds kicked off and Wakefield began the match dangerously. In the first minute they were unlucky not to score as on the fifth tackle they kicked on, only to fumble the ball five metres from the try line.

The team exchanged the ball a few times before the first try of the game was scored by Wakefield. On 6 minutes a superb pass from Jeffries, making his second debut for Wakefield found the arms of Dale Morton who had an easy walk in as the Leeds defence had been sucked in. Brough, who for once had a haircut that was surprisingly normal missed the conversion from the touchline.

Burrow kicked off to restart the match and Ambler gave away a penalty for interference at the play the ball.....the third in 7 minutes given by ref Matthew Thomason who went on to have a good match.

On 10 minutes Newton, making his debut knocked on, on the Leeds line and a further penalty gave Leeds breathing space, but Scott Donald, who once again looked about as happy to be playing on Boxing Day as a child who had asked Santa for a pair of Nike trainers, and ended up with a pair of Gola best, would be, was pushed into touch.

Leeds continued to be put under pressure by a dominant Wakefield and then Ablett had to be subbed on 20 minutes as he limped off and Chris Clarkson took his place, making his first team debut. On 21 minutes Kallum Watkins, who proved useful throughout the match, scored for Leeds, but Burrow who went on to miss three out of five kicks, missed the conversion.

The unlimited substitutions saw both teams make changes and on 29 minutes these almost benefited Wakefield as the consistent Blanch looked to score as he began a length of the field gallop, but was tackled just short of the Leeds twenty.

29 minutes saw Leeds win head and feed at the scrum and superb hands from the exciting Michael Coady, also making his first team debut for Leeds saw Brent Webb score the first of his two tries.Burrow again missed the conversion but on 37 minutes Wakefield again saw a chance go begging as Blanch looked to score, only to see young Leeds winger Tom Bush make a try saving tackle that seemed to epitomise Leeds’ attitude towards the match.....defend, defend and defend some more. The first half ended with Ben Jones Bishop scoring under the sticks with a lovely side step. The conversion was a formality for Burrow, who added the two, to make the half time score 14-4 to Leeds.

The first half saw some sublime passing, some exciting moves, but also some passes that were about as useful as a broken Corby trouser press in a mediocre hotel!

The second half began with Wakefield kicking off, with the first real attack of the half from Wakefield on 42 minutes. Brough put a chip kick into the south west corner, only for Wakefield to knock on what would surely have been a try. Wakefield continued the pressure and four minutes later were rewarded with a try. Jeffries looked sure to score under the posts, but Donald put in a try saving tackle. However on the next play, centre Sean Gleeson gave a superb ball to Luke George to send him in for a try in the north west corner. Brough missed the conversion to make it 14-8.

Although on paper the scores were getting closer, Leeds never looked in danger of giving up the lead, although Pitts didn’t help matters when from the kick off he did a head high tackle that brought the Wakefield player crashing to the ground. Pitts put his hands up straight away and Wakefield were awarded the penalty.

50 minutes saw a quadruple substitution for Leeds which saw the excellent Webb benefit from great lay from his teammates. Burrow made a superb dummy to then be tackled. However in the following play, Jones-Bishop shrugged off the weak tackle from Wakefield, to pass to Webb who scored to the left of the sticks. Burrow converted to make it 20-8.

Although Wakefields’ head could have gone down, they continued to attack and on 56 minutes were rewarded from weak defense from Leeds, in what had so far been a strong defensive effort. James Davey was able to score in the corner. Brough again failed to convert and was rewarded with jeers from the louder south stand. The two teams continued to exchange attack, tackles and penalties for 10 minutes, when Burgess would get a well deserved try on 66 minutes, setting up an easy conversion for Burrow by sliding in close to the sticks. Burrow did indeed add the two, making the score 26-12.

Bluey would probably have been happy to go in at the final hooter with that scoreline, but his team weren’t. On 75 minutes they scored the try of the match, started by Watkins, and involving passes from Clarkson, Webb, Burrow, Amor, Webb again, before Ben Jones Bishop scored his second try under the sticks. Burrow converted to make the scoreline 32-12, and this was not going to change.

This was an entertaining match and blew away the cobwebs. Leeds were the strongest team and looked a couple of weeks ahead of Wakefield in their pre season training. However Kear will have been happy with certain aspects of his team’s play. McLennan will be pleased with how the youngsters went. Coady and Amor must get special mention. His first teamers also stood up, with Burrow controlling the match, alongside Webb who played well at half back, and prop Luke Burgess. Ambler played well and looks to be a bit of a character, and McShane looked sharp.

All in all a good game, but the real stars of the day were the groundsmen.

The SouthStander.com team would like to place on record their thanks to Emma for providing the match report. Cheers


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wildcats
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Jones-Bishop
2
1
Murphy
2
Donald
2
Blanch
3
Coady
3
Gleeson
4
Watkins
1
4
George
1
5
Bush
5
Morton
1
6
Webb
2
6
Jeffries
7
Burrow
4
7
Brough
10
Burgess
1
8
Bibb
9
McShane
9
Newton
16
Ambler
10
Korkidas
11
Ablett
11
Moore
12
Pitts
12
Henderson
13
Worrall
13
Ferguson
14
Amor
14
Spiers
15
Manning
15
King
8
Leuluai
16
Davey
1
17
Hood
17
Annakin
18
Bravo
18
Trout
19
Clarkson
19
Southernwood

Kick Off:
12:00
Half-Time:
14-04
Referee:
Matt Thomason
Attendance:
8,797


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