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Rhinos Triumph in Bulls Bruiser
Posted by southstander on July 20 2012 - 23:25:36

Watkins Brace
No-one seems to have told the Bulls players that they are teetering on the brink of extinction, they are playing like they are pushing for Superleague honours.

This was never going to be an easy fixture, Leeds still smiling broadly from last weekends cup upset, and the Bulls looking to take another two Super league XVII points off their nearest neighbours.

We needed the two to keep our push for the top four alive, and keep our momentum towards the seasons showpiece events.

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

34

Rhinos

v

Bulls

16

Superleague XVII - Round 21

20th July 2012

Rhinos Triumph in Bulls Bruiser

Brent Webb was eighteenth man as Stevie Ward retained his spot in the second row and Hardaker was deservedly retained at full back. Hauraki and Clarkson were demoted to the Academy side as Moore and Kirke got the slots on the bench and a strong looking Rhinos side played hosts to our penniless neighbours.

The early exchanges can only be described as ferocious as both sides set out their intent for the game. We were in for a stonker.

The Bulls drew first blood when a nice passing move through three pairs of hands and three good breaks allowed Whitehead to find a gap and register the opener for the visitors. Gale kicked the two for a six-nil lead and there was already a clear indication that we weren't going to have it all our own way.

It took twenty minutes for us to re-establish parity. Ward broke brilliantly, finding a gap in the Bulls defence, before passing to McGuire who went close before being tackled. A quick play the ball and fast hand saw the ball find its way to Watkins who went through a gap to score and Sinfield a simple conversion.

What followed was a twenty minutes slug-fest as the forwards battled it out and the back failed to make and real breaks of note. Delaney was one victim of the brutality and left the field clutching his right hand with what looked like either a dislocation or break, and he'd not return.


Superb
A half-time score of 6-6 was a reasonable reflection of the first half. You could argue that the Rhinos just shaded the possession and position but there was no arguing that the visitors were good value.

A ten minute spell at the start of the second half would give us a clearer indication of the games destiny. On forty-six a moment of genius from Hardaker who dummied to kick, bought by the Bulls defence, before passing to Watkins running the angle to score under the sticks. Sinfield made it 12-6.

Three minutes and a gift of a try from the Bulls defensive comedy of Pryce and Sammut who both went for a Hardaker bomb on the last, and neither of whom made it. The ball bounced free and was picked up by Watkins who passed inside to Lunt to go over next to the sticks. Sinfield goaled for 18-6 and it was pretty close to game over.

Steve 'Saint' Ganson must have heard that his beloved Saints were training against the Catalans because he spent the next twenty minutes trying to get the Bulls back into the game with a catalogue of poor and strange decisions.

On fifty-seven he sent Sinfield to the sin-bin for something only he saw, but despite the helping hand the Bulls couldn't breach the Rhinos line. In the absence of the skipper the Rhinos even extended their lead thanks to breaks by McGuire and Leuluai before Hardaker eventually found a gap to cross. He converted his own try for 24-6 and these was no coming back for the Bulls.

On sixty-nine Ganson finally penalised the Rhinos enough to let Elima spin out of a tackle for a Bulls consolation, converted by Gale for 24-12, but the margin didn't stay narrowed for long.

Two minutes later and Langley dropped the ball on his own twenty, under little pressure, and McGuire almost looked embarrassed to pick up and walk over under the sticks allowing Sinfield an easy kick for 30-12.

Pryce went over in the left corner for the Bulls after seventy six, the kick missed by Gale, but it was mere consolation.


1 try, 4 goals

Just as the hooter sounded the Bull spilled the ball again on their own twenty and this time it was Sinfield who couldn't believe his luck to pick up and run over in the right corner. He missed the conversion but the Rhinos still had a convincing eighteen point victory at 34-16.

This was a 'bruiser' of a game, but one which we did more than enough to win and to make it six victories on the bounce. There were some great individual Leeds performances, especially from youngsters Ward, Hardaker and Jones-Bishop but it was the forwards who had to put in the defensive effort with Peacock, Griffin and Bailey all having good games.

It's two more points in the bank but with Saints beating the Dragons I think that fifth may be the best that we can hope for this season. Now it is all about retaining form for the cup final and the play-offs.

All-in-all a most satistfying win.

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
4
Hardaker
1
1
1
Kearney
2
Jones-Bishop
18
Ainscough
3
Watkins
2
29
Platt
15
Delaney
3
Lulia
5
Hall
33
Pryce
1
13
Sinfield
1
4
22
Sammut
6
McGuire
1
7
Gale
2
10
Peacock
16
Manuokafoa
7
Burrow
9
L'Estrange
8
Leuluai
15
Hargreaves
25
Ward
11
Elima
1
11
Jones-Buchanan
12
Whitehead
1
16
Bailey
13
Langley
31
Lunt
1
4
Walker
21
Moore
19
Olbison
17
Kirke
21
Burgess
20
Griffin
25
O'Brien

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
6-6
Referee:
Steve 'Saint' Ganson
Crowd:
18,520


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