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Lucky. Lucky, Leeds
Posted by southstander on April 29 2012 - 18:39:47

Grabbed Winner
To be drawn against the Salford Reds in the fifth round of the Challenge Cup was the next best thing to a bye, at least that's what it looked like the lads thought as they took the field and a wind-swept and rain-soaked City of Salford Stadium this afternoon.

The Salford public has obviously decided on the only outcome and stayed away in numbers with a five-to-three headcount of home supporters amounting to just over four hundred.

But it was a script that Salford had never received, they were there for the win, and we almost gave it them!

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

16

Rhinos

v

City Reds

10

Challenge Cup - Round 5

29th April 2012

Lucky, Lucky, Leeds

It was the same Leeds seventeen that heroically slayed the Dragons last weekend. We were visiting the ground that bore witness to a massive league win just a few weeks previous, and despite the cold and levelling conditions you were struggling to see anything other than a comprehensive Leeds win.

Salford showed up well in the early exchanges and it was no surprise when, into the teeth of the gale, Jewitt crashed over under the posts as the Rhinos defence decided against tackling him. Holdsworth added the extras and the Rhinos were stunned.

The try sparked the Rhinos into action and they spend the majority of the next half-hour in the Salford half, although with a gale blowing behind their backs they seemed to avoid taking advantage of the kicking game.


Blew Chance
On twenty-four the Rhinos should have scored as Clarkson broke downfield, shadowed by Hardaker, and as he drew the last defender he opted to dummy rather than put Hardaker over for a walk-in. The tackle was completed on the last and the Rhinos handed over, a gilt-edged chance shunned.

On twenty-seven it looked like BJB was over in the corner but Steve 'Saint' Ganson ruled a forward pass, and six minutes later Ablett was judged to have dropped the ball in the act of scoring. We'd shunned chances to be well ahead and with time running out it looked like we might end the half behind.

On thirty-eight a moment of genius from Lunt got us level as he put in a grubber which was touched down by the outstretched hand of Brent Webb. Sinfield goaled and the hooter called the players in for fifteen minutes of warmth with the sides all square at 6-6. It hadn't been pretty. We'd singularly failed to take advantage of the wind, and you could be sure that Salford would use it to much better effect in the second half.

All credit to the home side, they could count themselves a little unlucky to be level at the break after some great defensive effort. But the Rhinos just weren't at the races.

It took ten minutes of the second half for things to get even worse for the Rhinos.

A kick-through was missed by the Leeds defence and as the ball trickled in-goal Broughton got his hand on to score and take the lead back for the home side, despite Holdsworth missing the conversion.

Leeds stepped up a gear, but the Reds defence was up to the demands.

It took until the sixty-fifth before the Rhinos finally broke down the Reds defence, and even then it was a scrappy try.

A Sinfield grubber on the last was dribbled out of the despairing hands of a Reds defender by Carl Ablett and as the ball crossed the line Ben Jones-Bishop managed to stretch out a hand and touch down. Sinfield missed the extras and the game was tied up at 10-10. I was mentally preparing myself for the agony of golden point.


Leeds Opener

With seven minutes left the Rhinos hit the front for the first time in the match.

Some lovely passing within the Reds twenty had seen us go close a couple of times before McGuire broke for the line, being pulled down just short. As he went to ground he offloaded, seemingly to no-one, and from no-where Shaun Lunt picked up the ball (other sites are reporting this was Lee Smith but I am pretty sure it was Lunt) and dove over a pile of players to ground next to the sticks. Sinfield added the extras for 16-10 and the Rhinos managed to hold on until the final whistle sounded relief all round and Rhinos progression into the quarter finals.

This was far from a classic Leeds performance against a Salford side missing key players through injury who put up a massive fight and almost pulled off the shock of the round. If we'd lost there would have been very little to complain about, and in victory we must count ourselves extremely fortunate.

We are in the hat for tomorrow mornings draw, but if we play like that in the quarter-finals then we won't be progressing any further.


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Reds
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
1
Patten
2
Jones-Bishop
1
2
Broughton
1
12
Ablett
3
Gleeson
4
Hardaker
4
Moon
5
Hall
18
Gibson
13
Sinfield
2
6
Holdsworth
1
6
McGuire
7
Smith
8
Leuluai
15
Sidlow
31
Lunt
1
9
Godwin
10
Peacock
8
Jewitt
1
18
Clarkson
11
Ashurst
15
Delaney
16
Adamson
16
Bailey
13
Wild
17
Kirke
24
Howarth
14
Smith
17
Paleaasina
20
Griffin
21
James
21
Moore
14
Nero

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
6-6
Referee:
Steve 'Saint' Ganson
Crowd:
Not many


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