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Fifth Too Good for Fourth
Posted by southstander on September 11 2011 - 18:06:23

Useful Brace
The home team had little to play for other than an unprecedented season double over the Rhinos. Leeds needed to at least match the Catalans result over at the Willows to guarantee fifth spot and a home tie against Hull FC next sunday.

Then there was the 'bad blood' between the players, stoked by coach Browns' comments after the early season meeting about his 'enforcers' handing out their own retribution.

McDermott didn't want a 'bar fight' but in their wisdom the RFL put the woefully out-of-his-depth Child in charge. It all pointed to an interesting afternoon.

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

31

Rhinos

v

Giants

24

Superleague XVI - Round 27

11th September 2011

Fifth Too Good for Fourth

There was great support packed into the Eastern Stand, having made their way from Leeds to cheer their lads into the play-offs. McDermott decided that Burrow was fit enough for a place on the bench which meant that Hauraki, and the soon to be departed (if you believe the rumours) Smith were folding kit and carrying water. The Giants welcomed back 'bully-boy' Mason, back from injury, and prime enforcer Crabtree was in the starting thirteen. The rain cleared and the Rhinos, attacking their own supoprters, made the most of a swirling wind with a short kick-off.

Two consecutive sets saw the ball moved out right and when it looked harder not to score Ben Jones-Bishop spilled the ball in the corner.

Leeds dominated the opening quarter of an hour with the Giants barely registering a play with ball in hand in the Rhinos half. On sixteen the Rhinos finally broke a resolute Giants defence and Hardaker stretched over for the Leeds opener, improved by the Sinfield boot.


11 Points
Three minutes later and we were in again after great breaks from Bailey and Jones-Buchanan put Webb free for his trademark flying score under the sticks. Sinfield goaled for 12-0 and it was all seeming a little too easy.

Then the Giants woke up, and started to turn on the form which saw them finish the regular season in fourth. On twenty-three a penalty for offside, randomly refereed for the whole game by the inept Child, gave the Giants field position and three drives later Lawrence went in over in the left corner. Brough added the extras for 12-6.

Three minutes later and the scores were level after a nice Giants passing move saw Robinson cross. Brough added the two for 12-12, twenty minutes of great Rhinos endeavour undone in three minutes of lax defence.

The Giants continued to dominate as we all wondered where the Rhinos of the opening twenty minutes had gone. Right on half-time a suspect pass from Robinson found Patrick who scored under the sticks and Brough gave the home side a 12-18 half-time lead.

It was difficult to stomach how a game that we'd dominated for twenty minutes had just turned around, and that we were going in at half-time trailing. They needed a good half-time regroup.

And it looked like they got it when within sixty-seconds of the re-start Lauiti'iti, Burrow and then Ablett all combined to put Hall over in the corner. Sinfield failed to level the scores as he slid the conversion wide.

The next opportunity to level the scores came with a Rhinos penalty some ten from the Giants line and right in front of the sticks. With fifty-seven on the clock Sinfield kicked the goal for 18-18.

But it was a short-lived lead and within two minutes the Giants were back on top after Brough kicked a penalty after Leeds held down in the tackle. Was it going to be a frustrating afternoon?


Battler

On sixty-three we got our answer.

Leeds were given a penalty for 'foot-up' in the scrum abd as we moved the ball to the left Ablett went for the line, appearing to lose the ball as he went to ground it. The ball went backards and Hall picked up to dive over. Child conferred with his assistants and gave the try, to the huge relief of the Rhinos fans who must all have expected it to be ruled out. Sinfield kicked from the touchline for 24-18 and we'd regained the lead we lost forty minutes previous.

Now we needed to kick on and put the result beyond doubt.

On seventy-four Bailey stole the ball off Robinson and set up a Leeds attack which saw Sinfield feed Jones-Buchanan to score under the sticks. Sinfield goaled and with six minutes left we were beyond the Giants at 30-20.

McGillvary got an unconverted consolation try in the right corner with a minute left on the clock, but on Leeds next attack Sinfield cooly slotted over a drop goal to secure a seven point winning margin, and a satisfactory conclusion to the regular season.

Did no-one tell the Giants that throwing this game would not change the fact that they have to play the league leaders next friday?

You always felt that Leeds had another gear that they could have moved into if it had been needed, and the Giants side that we saw this afternoon is a shadow of the one which put us to the sword earlier in the season. There were plenty of solid, if not exceptional, performances from Sinfield, Ablett, Leuluai, Peacock and Jones-Buchanan. The only injury worry was Kirke who picked up a knock towards the end of the first half and played no further part in the game.

Next sunday, at home to Hull FC, gets our end-of-season tilt at Old Trafford off the ground. And if we get through that, and the Giants lose at Warrington (as they undoubtedly will), then we are all back at the Galpharm in a fortnight to do it all over again!

Come on Leeds.


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Giants
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
Grix
23
Jones-Bishop
2
McGillvary
1
27
Hardaker
1
3
Cudjoe
12
Ablett
14
Horne
5
Hall
2
2
Lawrence
1
13
Sinfield
5
1
6
Brown
6
McGuire
1
7
Brough
4
8
Leuluai
8
Crabtree
9
Buderus
9
Robinson
1
10
Peacock
10
Griffin
11
Jones-Buchanan
1
4
Gilmour
3
Delaney
12
Fa'alongo
21
Clarkson
37
Ferguson
7
Burrow
13
Faiumi
14
Lauiti'iti
15
Mason
16
Bailey
18
Patrick
1
17
Kirke
36
Simpson

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
12-18
Referee:
James Child
Crowd:
10,428


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