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Warriors Overpower Weakened Rhinos
Posted by southstander on March 27 2010 - 00:14:55

Only Leeds Try

When Sinfield failed a fitness test and Delaney and Leuluai were ruled out through illness Bluey can't have been far off asking Cummings and Poching to lace up their boots for a return to first team action.

We travelled over the Pennines to form side Wigan more in hope than any expectation. For the first time in a very long time I handed over my entry money expecting us to lose, and lose heavily.

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

04

Rhinos

v

Warriors

24

Superleague XV - Round 8

26th March 2010

Warriors Overpower Weakened Rhinos

This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but we are decimated by injuries which have blighted the 2010 defence since the opening fixture. No side in the tightest Superleague for a decade can expect to win matches with so many first choice regulars missing. The roll call of the sick and injured sounds like a who's who of Rhinos with Sinfield, Delaney, Eastwood, Donald, Watkins, Ablett, Leuluai and Peacock all missing for tonights game. Bluey, looking drawn and tired on the big screen before kick-off, was forced to debut Luke Ambler and rely on youngsters; Bush, Amor, Clarkson and Pitts. Wigan, on the other hand were pretty close to full strength with just Phelps and Hansen missing from their squad one to thirteen.

Despite Leeds massive disadvantage we started off the game full of promise.

For the opening half-hour we gave at least as good, and possibly better, than we got. On a couple of occasions we came close to crossing the Wigan line, and we were bigging up in defence and frustrating the home side who resorted to laying on and slowing the Rhinos play-the-ball. The opening period was very much evenly matched and it looked like the Rhinos had got their reward on twenty-five.


Worked Hard
McGuire broke downfield and threw a long pass inside to the supporting Burrow who went for the line. He was tackled just short by Richards but the momentum sent both players rolling over the line and they were joined by Leuluai who seemed to push the ball onto the ground. Ganson went to the video referee who watched the effort from multiple angles before doing his usual 'toss a coin' trick and pressing the 'NO TRY' button.

Rob thought he'd scored, Wigan thought he'd scored, we all thought he'd scored, the Wigan fans thought he'd scored, but the person in control of the all important button had another of his video referee brainstorms and ruled out the try.

On thirty-three the home side took full advantage after Tom Bush had been pushed back into goal and Leeds were forced to drop-out. Four plays in and Wigan moved the ball to the left for Carmont to come inside, be missed by a McGuire flailing arm and score next to the sticks. Richards added the two for 0-6, somewhat against the run of play.

The Rhinos were straight back at the home side and a Burrow 40-20 with a minute remaining gave the Rhinos more field, and despite them not being able to convert it into points we'd finished the game as we'd started, camped on the Wigan line.

There was a great deal to be proud of from the lads in the first half. Many sides have been blown away in the opening twenty minutes by this Wigan side, but we'd held our own, with a makeshift side. After dreading the first half we were now anticipating the second, we were down by just that one 'toss of a coin' and we'd been close enough on other occasions to have had a half time lead.

It took just five minutes of the second half for us to get right back in it as McGuire went close before JJB and a flicked pass from Clarkson found Ryan Hall with space to go over in the right hand corner. Burrow failed with the conversion but we were on the board and had a platform to build on.

And then it happened, Wigan stepped up a gear as though they had been toying with us for almost an hour.

On fifty-three an overlap found Goulding who crossed in the right corner exposing Bush. Richards goaled excellently for 4-12.

On the hour mark Brent Webb put a line clearing kick out on the full and from his mistake Joel Tomkins found the energy to crash over the top of the Leeds defence. Richards missed a simple effort but at 4-16 you already felt that the game had now drifted beyond us.


Grafter

Two minutes later and Wigan probed left before moving the ball quickly to the right and Gouling grabbed his second. Richards, obviously preferring the more difficult kick, goaled for 4-22. On seventy-two he added a two point penalty after Webb laid on for too long in the tackle.

Leeds almost managed some consolation in the last minute when a Burrow grubber was picked up by Buderus who put in an angled kick which was collected by Webb who went over the line. Unfortunately he grounded the ball on Leuluais' leg and the video referee, this time correctly, ruled out the score. Bailey vented his frustration by getting himself on report with just eight seconds on the clock for what looked like a head-high tackle.

In the end we lost by twenty points but this wasn't a reflection of the effort that the lads put in. In the last twenty Wigan moved up a gear and showed why they have only dropped two points so far this year, and we ended up as well beaten as we'd expected to be when the teams were announced before kick-off.

It is the Leeds youngsters who emerge with the most credit from tonights game. We'd tightened up on last weeks mistakes, and played well as a team, the boys can take a lot of pride from tonight and despite the loss it was a creditable all round performance.

Their is one final solace that we can take from tonights game. However bad we may be, and however rough it gets over the next few weeks, we can never be as bad as Stuart Fielden, who for large parts of his time on the pitch tonight looked like he must have taken a Rhinos back-hander!

All credit to Wigan, they are a side who are worthily sat at the top of the league and tonight they showed that they can be devastating when they need to be to kill off a game. Their fans will hope that they haven't peaked too soon, and their coach will be keeping his fingers crossed that he maintains a fully fit squad for the whole campaign.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Webb44%
7
Burrow22%
7
Bush22%
4
Diskin11%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
2
Roberts
5
Hall
1
24
Goulding
2
27
Clarkson
3
Gleeson
4
Senior
4
Carmont
1
26
Bush
5
Richards
4
6
McGuire
6
Tomkins, S.
7
Burrow
7
Leuluai
19
Burgess
8
Fielden
14
Diskin
9
Riddell
16
Bailey
10
Coley
17
Kirke
16
Bailey
20
Pitts
12
Tomkins, J.
1
11
Jones-Buchanan
13
O'Loughlin
12
Lauiti'iti
14
Prescott
9
Buderus
15
McIlorum
21
Amor
21
O'Carroll
24
Ambler
23
Mossop

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
00-06
Referee:
Steve 'Saint' Ganson
Crowd:
17,883


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