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Rhinos Rushed by Saints
Posted by southstander on March 25 2012 - 23:20:28

Mere Consolation
What a difference a week makes.

In the last round at Salford we were flying high with a big win over Salford Reds while the Saints were crashing to their fourth defeat in a row, at the hands of the Bulls. Just one week later and we're sent squealing back over the Pennines with our tail between our legs after getting an absolute walloping.

Our Rhinos were unrecognisable both with their Sport Relief Red Hair and the way that they performed for eighty minutes of pain.

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

06

Rhinos

v

Saints

46

Superleague XVII - Round 8

25th March 2012

Rhinos Rushed by Saints

A training injury had robbed us of McGuire and illness kept Brent Webb off the coach as the Rhinos made their first ever visit to the impressive new Saints stadium at Langtree Park. Smith was drafted in to full-back, Burrow to scrum-half and McShane got his first start of the season at hooker. All resplendent in their bright red hair.

Parking for just 1, a ten minute saunter from the stadium, and the only slight complaint was we couldn't see much action in the first half due to the unseasonal sunshine. But it was a good opportunity to get the tan started.

The weather must have put the Rhinos in a benevolent mood as it took just three minutes for them to gift the home side an opener.

A high kick to the corner was plucked from the hands of Hall by Gardner who dropped over the line and sent the victory-starved home sides supporters into a frenzy. It was a frenzy that would last eighty minutes. Lomax goaled for 0-6.

Three minutes later and Lomax doubled the lead after a nice step saw him cross the line with just Clarkson able to get a hold on his shoe-laces. He added the extras and the Rhinos and their supporters were stunned.

It just carried on getting worse.

On ten the Rhinos were ripped to shreds by fast plays and fast passing and Wheeler benefitted this time with a walk-in. Lomax again goaled and with just 1/8th of the game gone we were 0-18 and already it had all the hallmarks of an embarrassing night.


Early Injury
We'd already lost Leuluai to an injury, which would see him off the field until the 65th minute, and the forwards just weren't at the party.

On nineteen the Rhinos could get nowhere near Lomax as he went in for his second. He goaled for 0-24, and we'd not looked like answering the Saints onslaught. It was turning into a very bad day at the office.

Somehow the Rhinos managed to halt the scoring, and for the remaining twenty minutes of the half we kept a clean sheet, but we never troubled the Saints line. It seemed impossible that this was the same Saints side who'd performed so badly in recent weeks, they were playing like a team posessed and the red-headed Rhinos had no response.

Saints resumed their points avalanche early in the second half. Smith had been caught in goal and four plays from the dropout Wellens outsmarted the Rhinos defence to score. Lomax, once again, added the extras for 0-30. We needed to regain some pride.

On forty-nine it looked like we'd broken out duck when Ben Jones-Bishop looked to score in the corner. Bentham put the decision to the video referee who can have only ruled the try out for a forward pass (which it was), although this is supposedly not in the video referees remit.

Two minutes later and we did get our only try of the night as Hall broke down the centre of the field and found Hardaker in support to take the pass, run twenty metres, and dive over next to the sticks. Sinfield kept his points scoring run going and we were at 6-30, but any hopes of a fightback were short-lived.

On sixty-four Sinfield failed to get a dropout the required metres and from the penalty Hohaia scored as Leeds failed to cover. Lomax goaled as he did two minutes later when a Wilkin break eventually put Gardner in for his second. Now it was 6-42 and any hope of retaining some pride had left with the throngs of Rhinos fans making for an early exit.

With three minutes left and the Rhinos already mentally on the bus home, Wheeler went through a big gap to score. Lomax missed his first of the night but Saints had wrapped up a massive 6-46 win.


Nightmare Return

This was like the Saints of old, they got on a roll early, and they stuck on it. Leeds never got any chance to play, because they hardly ever got any ball.

We were out-muscled in the forwards and out-thought in the backs. We simply had no answer to a Saints side who weren't going to even contemplate losing this game.

It was one of those 'bad days at the office', a game for us to put in our 'hurt locker' and bring out whenever we need extra motivation later in the season or in one of those crucial games in the play-offs. We haven't turned into a bad side overnight, and the loss of Webb and McGuire can't account for what happened today.

We were simply outplayed by a Saints side who were hungry for the win.

Back on the bike against the Giants next friday, hopefully without the silly red hair, and with a more focussed approach.


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Saints
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
14
Smith
1
Wellens
1
2
Jones-Bishop
2
Gardner
2
3
Watkins
3
Shenton
4
Hardaker
1
5
Meli
5
Hall
17
Wheeler
2
13
Sinfield
1
6
Hohaia
1
7
Burrow
7
Lomax
2
7
8
Leuluai
14
Laffranchi
9
McShane
9
Roby
10
Peacock
8
Perry
18
Clarkson
13
Flannery
15
Delaney
12
Wilkin
12
Ablett
11
Puletua
17
Kirke
10
McCarthy-Scarsbrook
21
Moore
15
Flanaghan
20
Griffin
16
Clough
25
Ward
18
Magennis

Kick Off:
18:35
Half-Time:
0-24
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
15,199


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