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Mauled by the Wolves
Posted by southstander on March 05 2011 - 21:59:00

Good Opener
Both sides entered tonights game with a chance to go top of Superleague XVI. For the home side it would require a twenty-four point winning margin and for the Rhinos a win by fifteen would lift them above the overnight leaders the Huddersfield Giants.

Warrington were the nailed on favourites after a big win over the Saints as the Rhinos crumbled to the 'Quins last week. Leeds welcomed back talisman Brent Webb and loose forward Karl Ablett but were still without Bailey who couldn't make it from the ninteen to the seventeen again.

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

24

Rhinos

v

Wolves

40

Superleague XVI - Round 4

5th March 2011

Mauled by the Wolves

Leeds were back in the pink after last weeks first loss in the first outing in the home kit, against a Wolves side with their own injury problems. The bookies had given the Rhinos a six point start on the coupon and it did feel right that we were the underdogs.

The opening ten minutes had been all Wolves with the Rhinos giving away penalties and forced to dropout. Then, out of nothing, the Rhinos opened the scoring. A Sinfield long ball found Smith on the wing to break before passing inside to Sinfield who in turn found Watkins to go the last twenty to score under the sticks. Sinfield added the extras for 6-0, a prefect start against the run of play.

On eighteen the Wolves got punished for obstruction thirty-five metres from their own line and Sinfield accepted the invitation to kick the two and take the score to 8-0.

On the twenty-minute mark Leeds paid for knocking the ball on from the kick-off. Warrington made full benefit of the Lauiti'iti mistake and Evans went over. Despite it looking like a dodgy grounding 'Saint' Steve gave the try and Hodgson kicked the extras for 8-6. The Wolves were right back in it.


Brace
On twenty-five the Rhinos reverted to XVI form with a sloppy Hauraki pass being intercepted by Lee Briers who went forty to score in the corner. Hodgson got close with the conversion but slid it just wide but the home side were 10-8 up and the Rhinos early initiative had been blown.

Just three more minutes had elapsed when the Wolves worked the ball brilliantly down the left wing before Evans put Myler over. Hodgson kicked the extras and an eight point lead had become an eight point deficit in eight minutes.

Three minutes before the interval and Sinfield went down in the tackle after looking like he clashed heads with Kallum Watkins. It took an age for him to regain his feet but he opted to stay on the field.

With thirty seconds left Hall handed the ball to Evans in the tackle. Evans passed to Michael Monaghan who chipped to the corner and found Riley in space to collect and score. Hodgson kicked the extras and we had gone from 8-0 up to 8-22 at half-time. It felt like last week all over again. Daft mistakes had cost us dear and we needed to be much better in the second half. It was a fourteen point deficit. We could overcome it but would we? I was doubtful.

'Saint' Steve showed his Leeds hatred as he judged that Cross had knocked-on from the kick-off when the ball looked to have been reefed by the Wolves tacklers. Warrington took full advantage as Grix spun over under little challenge from the Leeds defence. Hodgson goaled and the game was slipping from Leeds at 8-28.

On fifty-four Hall missed the tackle and Briers put Joel Monaghan over for a walk-in try. Hodgson added the extras and it was game over at 8-34.

On fifty-eight Sinfield put in a grubber which was picked up well by Webb who dove over under the sticks. A smear of respectability as we hit double figures. We were back at 14-34.

With sixteen minutes left Leeds went in again as a Webb pass was knocked-on by Joel Monaghan and picked up by Ryan Hall to score. Sinfield failed with the touchline conversion but it was back to 18-34.


Consolation

Twelve minutes left and Higham burrowed over from acting half-back which killed off the Rhinos fightback. Hodgson added the two and the home side had posted forty points, an embarrassment for the Rhinos.

With two minutes left Leeds benefitted from penalty after a ball steal by Higham and Ablett put Hall over in the left corner. Sinfield added the two and the Rhinos had the last score of the match for 24-40.

Last week should have been a blip, and to be honest I would have accepted a small defeat at Warrington tonight, but this was a humiliation. This Leeds side seems to have good spirit, are playing as a team, but the tackling is poor, infringement of the laws to frequent and ball handling appalling. Leeds seem to panic, even from the first whistle, and we need a lot more poise if this season isn't to be a total disaster.

We'd taken our eye off the ball slightly last season but we still went into every game thinking that we'd get a win but so far this season confidence has been shattered. We look like also-rans with no hope of real improvement. I know that the season is not won in March, but we need to be poised in a reasonable position to strike for the top. On the current performances we're going to be in the bottom half of the table.

Same call as last week Mr McDermott, we need to get back to basics. I'm almost dreading the visit of Salford next week, almost!


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wolves
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
1
Hodgson
6
2
Smith
2
Riley
1
19
Watkins
1
20
Blythe
4
Senior
24
Evans
1
5
Hall
2
5
Monaghan. J
1
13
Sinfield
4
6
Briers
1
7
Burrow
7
Myler
1
18
Burgess
8
Morley
9
Buderus
9
Monaghan. M
11
Jones-Buchanan
10
Carvell
14
Lauiti'iti
12
Westwood
20
Hauraki
26
Solomona
12
Ablett
13
Harrison
15
Cross
14
Higham
1
17
Kirke
15
Clarke
23
Jones-Bishop
16
Wood
30
Clarkson
17
Grix
1

Kick Off:
17:45
Half-Time:
08-22
Referee:
Steve 'Saint' Ganson
Crowd:
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