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Playing the Eighty
Posted by southstander on August 30 2013 - 23:44:27

Try on Return

With fourth spot almost assured we needed a miracle to keep the dreams of a third placed finish alive. We needed a win against the Dragons while the Warriors suffered a Challenge Cup reversal against Hull FC.

OUr side of the bargain looked tricky enough, but with the return to action of McGuire, Bailey and Achurch we stood a chance. The likelihood of FC doing us a favour was much slimmer.

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

20

Rhinos

v

Dragons

12

Superleague XVIII - Round 26

30th August 2013

Playing the Eighty

McDermotts hand was forced into yet another strange team configuration as Rob Burrow reported with a sore back which would keep him from selection. McGuire got his call into the run on side at scrum-half with Liam Sutcliffe given the stand-off role. RYan Bailey was named at thirteen so there was no option left for the skipper but to settle into the hooking role. Mitch Achurch was on the bench but there was some semblence of normality with the coach able to name his first choice backs at 1 to 5 for a rare occassion this season.

The opening twenty-five minutes was as brutal as it was error strewn. Neither side could convert possession into points, and to be frank neither side really deserved to.

The catalyst for the opening points was a typical Ryan 'he does what he wants' Bailey rush of blood. After Damien Blanch had been brilliantly tackled into touch, Ryan was first on the scene to congratulate the Catalans player on handing over the ball. Blanch took exception to Bailey's eloquence and slapped him across the face with an open hand. Bailey responded with a full blooded punch and the two ended up in the hoardings, followed by seeing yellow as Bentham sent them both to the bin.

Leeds got the penalty and a few tackles later a Moon play the ball was carried blind-side by Hall who found no-one covering the touchline and he was able to step inside to score. Sinfield added the extras for 6-0.


Leeds Opener
The sides continued to slug it out, and it wasn't pretty.

On thirty-six a great break by Joel Moon earned the Rhinos a penalty some ten from the Catalans line and cucumber cool Sinfield elected to kick the extras and extend the lead to two scores at 8-0. The lead that we'd carry into the interval, and perhaps a rather fortunate one as there was very little to choose between the sides.

The most rewarding element for McDermott will have been the clean sheet, just what we needed to be able to build on in the second half.

The Dragons started the second half like a house on fire, they must have had a real roasting.

With the half just four minutes old the Dragons were right back in it. Leeds had somehow conceeded a penalty when it looked more like the Dragons had knocked-on. The visitors moved the ball to the sticks and Paea went over off a Dureau short ball to score by the sticks. Bosc added the extras for 8-6.

On the hour mark the Catalans hit the front after a terrible error by Ben Jones-Bishop. losing the ball on the Rhinos ten metre line. This time it was Elima who crossed, again by the uprights, and Bosc converted with ease for 8-12. It looked like there was only one side in the game, and only one side that wanted to win it. But the Rhinos kept calm and bided their time.

On sixty-four the visitors had a gilt-edged chance to seal the game after Hardaker conceeded a penalty by holding down after tracking back and tackling a break-away after his own loose pass. It looked like an easy two for Bosc but he slid the ball wide of the posts and gave up the opportunity of establishing a six point lead for his side. It was the turning point.

On seventy-two the Rhinos were keeping the ball alive brilliantly after a Peacock break and Sutcliffe put Achurch, only on the pitch for the last thirteen minutes of the game, through a gap to score. Sinfield converted to regain the Rhinos lead.


Another Great Game

Against the run of play we were 14-12 ahead and now the visitors really began to panic, forcing the pass, and making errors.

With seconds left on the clock a Sinfield side foot grubber split the Dragons defence and McGuire touched down for a try on his comeback. Sinfield kicked the two and against the odds we'd snatched an improbable 20-12 win.

It was another makeshift Leeds side who were up against it for long periods of this game but which still had the grit, determination and confidence to hang in and eventually take the points. McGuire is not back to his best, and hasn't really been for a couple of years, but it was good to see hom playing again. Sinfield lost influence playing at hooker but Sutcliffe is looking increasingly like the finished article.

It looked like Bailey picked up another injury which could see him out next week, even if Red Hall are lenient, and Sinfield seemed to pick up a knock in the first half but recovered in the second.

A good result was made even sweeter by the news that Hull had beaten the Warriors, sending us level on points and leaving us knowing that a win at the DW next Thursday will be enough to see us finish the regular season in a lofty third spot. Now it's all about whether we'd rather go to the Halliwell-Jones or John Smith's?

It doesn't really matter, we can beat both Huddersfield and Warrington on our day.

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



Match Facts

Rhinos
Dragons
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Hardaker
1
Webb
2
Jones-Bishop
2
Blanch
3
Watkins
11
Menzies
4
Moon
25
Duport
5
Hall
1
6
Bosc
2
26
Sutcliffe
3
Pryce
6
McGuire
1
7
Dureau
23
Singleton
8
Elima
1
13
Sinfield
4
9
Henderson
10
Peacock
21
Bosquet
12
Ablett
10
Casty
18
Clarkson
31
Whitehead
16
Bailey
13
Mounis
30
Foster
16
Pelissier
19
Achurch
1
22
Fakir
17
Kirke
23
Paea
1
8
Leuluai
32
Garcia

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
08-00
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
15,576


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