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McGuire Makes Manchester Magic
Posted by southstander on May 28 2012 - 08:16:03

Fantastic Five
The Rhinos headed to Manchester with the only unbeaten 'Magic' weekend record in Super League but knew that a game against the resurgent Bulls would be no picnic.

The temperature inside the Etihad Stadium was reaching boiling point, and the atmoshphere was cranking up, as the sides took to the field and mercifully common sense had prevailed for McDermott who had chosen to start with Lunt at hooker and replaced Griffin with Moore.

We were in for a belter.

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

37

Rhinos

v

Bulls

22

Superleague XVII - Round 15

Etihad Stadium, Manchester

27th May 2012

McGuire Makes Manchester Magic

The Rhinos couldn't have got off to a better start, or the Bulls a worse one. Kopczak got injured in the very first hit-up of the game and left the field, never to return, and then Gale found touch on the full with his first kick of the game as the Rhinos piled on the defensive pressure. With the Bulls defense in disarray, Leuluai found a gap and offloaded to McGuire to go under the sticks for the opener, making Sinfield conversion a simple one.

But Rhinos joy didn't last long and we were soon made to look second best.

On nine, and on the back of Leeds conceeding two stupid penalties, Whitehead crashed over the Leeds line from first receiver and the Gale conversion levelled the scores. The Bulls had their confidence back.


Great Game
Three minutes later and Leeds indiscipline cost another try. Sinfield stripped the ball in a two man tackle and as the Bulls worked the ball close Jeffries found a gap, evaded three poor attempts at tackles, and scored. Gale converted for 6-12.

On eighteen it got even worse when a Gale high kick was missed by Peacock and in the resulting 'pinball', Diskin managed to get his hand on the ball to score. Gale was successful again for 6-18 and we were looking a poor second best. Ill discipline, the bain of the last few weeks, was costing us again.

On twenty-two we got ourselves back into the game.

A Webb pass, which looked suspiciously flat, found McGuire who spun out of a tackle and crossed next to the sticks. Sinfields boot made it 12-18, and McDermott cast the dice throwing Burrow on and withdrawing Lunt.

After helping to defend our line brilliantly to stop a L'Estrange try, Burrow then went on the attack and after thirty-one he'd helped to get us back on level terms after a brilliant jinking break enabled him to find McGuire on the Bulls forty who then went over for his first half hat-trick try. Sinfield added the extras and we were all tied up at 18-18, the status quo maintained until the half-time hooter.

We were more than in the game, and after looking a poor second to the Bulls for period in the first half we were starting to hold our own.

It took seven minutes of the second half for us to regain the lead that we'd only held for seven in the first half.

It took a superb break from the skipper, from a Moore offload, and in space he found McGuire on the Bulls forty to get his fourth of the game. Sinfield kicked for 24-18.

On fifty-five McGuire lost the ball in the acto of scoring, and five minutes later we lost Watkins with an injury but on sixty-three we got a bit of luck when Peacock was stripped of the ball on his own twenty only for the Bulls to knock-on in the act of scoring.

On sixty-nine we increased the lead after amazing Rhinos defence allowed Sinfield to take a quick tap on the twenty and enable Hall to break deep into Bradford territory.


Last try

Despite being tackled there was enough Leeds attacking support to use the ball quickly and this time McGuire was the provider of the last pass which saw Ablett going over, and Sinfield converting for 30-18. The game was almost won.

On seventy-three Sinfield put the outcome beyond doubt with a text-book drop goal and minute later McGuire exploited a tiring Bulls defence, after Webb and Burrow had made decent breaks, to cross for his fifth of the afternoon. Sinfield kicked his sixth, from six, for 37-18 and all that remained was a consolation try from Kear, missed by Gale, to give us a final score of 37-22.

This was a win from adversity. At 6-18 down we were up against it but superb Leeds defence stopped the Bulls from extending their lead and finally wore them down, enabling our fast men to exploit the gaps. McGuire was nothing short of sensational, Burrow was a far more effective tool used when thrown up against a tiring pack, and the skipper marshalled his troops brilliantly.

This was a BIG win for Leeds and lifted us from ninth to seventh but more importantly restored a bit of confidence ahead of two really tough matches in the next two rounds (Wigan & Warrington). This team looked balanced, possibly the best we've looked since winning the World Club Challenge, lets hope we can build on it next friday.

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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Bulls
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
Kearney
14
Smith
5
Kear
1
3
Watkins
2
Purtell
4
Hardaker
3
Lulia
5
Hall
33
Pryce
13
Sinfield
6
1
6
Jeffries
1
6
McGuire
5
7
Gale
3
8
Leuluai
10
Kopczak
31
Lunt
14
Diskin
1
10
Peacock
15
Hargreaves
11
Jones-Buchanan
20
Bateman
15
Delaney
12
Whitehead
1
13
Ablett
1
11
Elima
16
Bailey
9
L'Estrange
19
Hauraki
16
Manuokafoa
7
Burrow
21
Burgess
21
Moore
4
Walker

Kick Off:
16:00
Half-Time:
18-18
Referee:
Thierry Alibert
Crowd:
32,953


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