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Didn't Matter, Didn't Care
Posted by southstander on September 09 2012 - 18:33:20

Big Game
As the early weekend games ran their course it came increasingly obvious that the Rhinos trip to the John Smith's Stadium to take on the seventh placed Giants was a non-event. It would have taken Super League scores of record proportions to have made any difference to the final league standings, so this was a nothing game, simply about gathering some momentum going into the play-offs.

Leeds brought back Liam Hood for his first game since March as Shaun Lunt was prevented from playing against his loaning side by virtue of a bizarrely enforced contract clause.

The bookies, home supporters and a couple of thousand travelling Leeds fans thought that it would be a simple win for the Rhinos. But no-one told the Giants.

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

24

Rhinos

v

Giants

48

Superleague XVII - Round 27

9th September 2012

Didn't Matter, Didn't Care

The Giants have spent the second half of Super League XVII stumbling from one disaster to the next, barely able to register a league point, and causing their supporters to write off their play-off chances before a knock-out ball is kicked. Anderson had named Danny Brough as his new club captain ahead of the game, and the Dewsbury man has obviously decided to take it seriously.

It took just three minutes for the home side to register their first try of the afternoon after Leeds conceeded the first, of many, penalties on the Giants 40m line. Using the ball well, Cudjoe went over off a short pass and Brough kicked the goal. Three minutes later and the home side were in again as the Rhinos looked shocked. This time it was a Brough kick to the corner which saw George rise above Ben Jones-Bishop and collect the ball to score. Brough failed from wide left and the score was 0-10, you felt it must just be a matter of time before we kicked in, but we would spend the rest of the afternoon waiting.


Hospitalised
On fifteen Kirke, just on for Hauraki, got clattered by O'Donnell in what initially looked a fair tackle. A fourteen minute halt in play saw the medics work hard to remove Kirke from the field while avoiding further damage and depite having been transferred Alibert recalled O'Donnell at the end of the injury suspension and red-carded him for leading with the elbow.

Kirke was taken carefully to an awaiting ambulance and off to hospital.

The Rhinos now had sixty-five minutes against twelve men, surely there could only be one outcome? Wrong!

On twenty-eight, and after defending brilliantly against the Rhinos onslaught, the Giants finally got back in the Leeds half and after giving the ball some air Lawrence found a gap to go over, despite a suspicious looking double movement. Brough goaled for 16-0.

On thirty-two Delaney was helped off the field with what looked like a wrist or hand injury and we were down to two substitutes, but you still felt that the game was there for the taking as the home side must tire in the September heat.

On thirty-three we registered our first try, but not without a heart in the mouth moment. Good passing found a three man Leeds overlap with Hauraki being the man with the ball. The line was begging and undefended but he decided to pass to Keinhorst (a disaster in the offing) but fortunately Jimmy held on and scored. Sinfield missed the two from wide, but we had our first, and last points of the half.

As it looked like we'd take a recoverable 4-16 into the interval, a loose Sinfield pass saw Ablett scoop the ball backwards straight into the hands of Brough who broke down field and scores under the sticks making his conversion for 4-22 a formality. We were being given a rugby lesson by a twelve man Giants side who hadn't been able to buy a league point for the last two months. It was simply awful from the Rhinos.

The Giants registered the first points of the second half with a Brough penalty goal after Peacock fouled in the tackle. The Giants skipper added another five minutes later after Leeds were offside on their own ten metre line and all of a sudden we needed four converted tries as we trailed 4-26. We needed action...and fast.

On fifty-six the Giants extended their lead even further when a pathetic attempt at a tackle from Griffin allowed Ferres to break and pass inside to substitute Robinson to score.Brough made it 4-32 and it was dawning on the Rhinos fans that the game was gone.

On the hour mark, Ferres was penalised for holding down and the Rhinos passed the ball left before a lucky miss-out bounce pass found Hall who picked up and scored in the corner. The skipper missed the conversion but we were in double figures at 10-32.

The Giants weren't finished. On sixty-seven a Brough grubber on the last was parried into the Leeds goal area by Griffin and collected by Grix to score, Brough goaling for 10-38. Two minutes later it was a Grix grubber which he reached first and palmed back to Robinson to score his second of the afternoon. The boot of Brough made it 10-44 and the home fans were delerious.


Off Target

On seventy-two the Giants kept the ball alive brilliantly through a dozen pairs of hands before Cudjoe crossed again on the right touchline. Brough missed, for once, for 10-48.

We'd been humiliated...by twelve men...and the team which had been in freefall for the last three months.

Three later Rhinos tries did little to instill any confidence. Watkins walked in the first through an exhauseted Giants defence before Ablett powered over from ten and Peacock got a rare thirty metre try running the angle. Sinfield only managed to convert the first and in the end the hooter was a relief that we'd avoided the fifty against.

With the final score at 24-48 it gave us a modicum of respectability which we certainly didn't deserve against a team which had dominated us from the first hooter until the last. There were some shocking Leeds performances and there will need to be a lot of soul searching from the likes of Griffin, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Burrow and Leuluai before next saturdays sudden death knock-out against the Wildcats.

We knew that there was nothing at stake and we played like we didn't care, it was clueless and awful.

A performace like this will simply not be good enough against anyone we have left to play in the play-off series. We've now lost three in the last four, and it would shock very few if we go down to the in-form Wildcats next weekend.

Win it from fifth? Not this year we won't.

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
4
Hardaker
3
Cudjoe
2
2
Jones-Bishop
5
McGilvary
3
Watkins
1
2
Lawrence
1
32
Keinhorst
1
17
Wardle
5
Hall
1
20
George
1
13
Sinfield
2
1
Grix
1
7
Burrow
7
Brough
1
8
8
Leuluai
8
Crabtree
24
Hood
13
Faiumo
10
Peacock
1
10
Mason
11
Jones-Buchanan
12
Fa'alongo
15
Delaney
36
Ferres
12
Ablett
1
1
O'Donnell
17
Kirke
9
Robinson
2
19
Hauraki
15
Patrick
25
Ward
16
Ferguson
20
Griffin
18
Chan

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
04-22
Referee:
Thierry Alibert
Crowd:
9,128


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