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One Game Too Far
Posted by southstander on September 27 2013 - 23:53:15

Equalising Try

With the Warrington Wolves already safely through to Old Trafford and installed as favourites, as always it is 'their year', the Rhinos travelled to the DW Stadium hoping to make their third consecutive Grand Final.

Wigan had their own agenda, the potential double, and after a week off they would undoubtedly be the fresher side.

Leeds walking wounded of Jones-Buchanan (heavily strapped) and McGuire made the seventeen but Delaneys injury was too much and he made way for Clarkson.

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

12

Rhinos

v

Warriors

22

Superleague XVIII - Play Off III

27th September 2013

One Game Too Far

It looked like the Rhinos had got off to the perfect start when Ben Jones-Bishop went over in the right corner on the last tackle but as the Rhinos fans celebrated from the other end of the field the referee put the square in the air and daylight could clearly be seen between the Rhinos wingers fingers and the ball. NO TRY.

From a position where we should have been in-front, on six we found ourselves behind when Bentham gifted the home side a penalty ruling Leeds offside. Wigan moved the ball to their left and Richards put Thornley over with a nice inside pass. Richards kicked the goal for 0-6.

It promised to open a try scoring bonanza but the two defences had other ideas. Most of the remainder of the half was played in the centre of the field with the kicking game from both sides being somewhat below par.


Consolation
The Warriors should have doubled their lead on thirty-five when Thornley went on a great run down the left touchline but somehow Ian Kirke tracked back to effect a brilliant try saving tackle and send the two sides into the interval separated by just the early Wigan try.

Wigan had just edged the half and deserved their slender lead but the Rhinos were still right in the game and attacking towards the North Stand, packed with travelling Leeds fans, the second half was there for the taking.

Just five minutes into the half and the Rhinos opened their account after a great fifty metre Ablett break saw him pass to Joel Moon from ten metres out for a walk in. Sinfield kicked the extras and the two sides were tied at 6-6, the Rhinos with the momentum. We needed to strike again, and quickly, to cause Wigan panic.

After a handful of Leeds errors in the first half our usual composure deserted us as we tried to force the fancy plays.

On fifty-two we lost the ball on our own twenty and it took Wigan just two tackles before Farrell crossed with ease. Richards re-established the Warriors six point lead.

Six minutes later and a speculative kick through was parried by Ablett into the hands of Goulding who walked in from five metres. Richards extra two gave the home side a twelve point lead and it was starting to look desperate for the Rhinos despite there still being a quarter of the game left.

Leeds tried every thing that they had in the play-book over the next quarter hour with imaginative grubber kicks, long passes and high bombs, but nothing went to hand and on seventy-two a Wigan passing move stretched the Leeds defence and Charnley went over to win the game.


Big Game

Richards missed the conversion, as he did a very kickable penalty from thirty metres out just two minutes later but three tries in six minutes was beyond the Rhinos.

On seventy-six a nice Burrow grubber was collected by Ablett who passed inside for Sutcliffe to walk in under the sticks but it was mere consolation as clock ran down to its inevitable conclusion.

There is no denying that the lads gave 100% effort tonight but they were simply not good enough for the side who'd had an extra week off. We were carrying a lot of injuries into the game but those injuries weren't responsible for some of the dropped ball and suicidal play that eventually cost us dear.

It was one game too far for a lot of aching bodies and for the first time since 2006 we've finished the season without going to one of the showpiece finals. The lads will be gutted but hopefully bounce back even stronger and even more determined in 2014.

As for next Saturdays Grand Final...it's just a shame that someone has to win!

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



Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Hardaker
1
Tomkins S.
2
Jones-Bishop
2
Charnley
1
3
Watkins
3
Goulding
1
4
Moon
1
17
Thornley
1
5
Hall
5
Richards
3
13
Sinfield
2
6
Green
6
McGuire
7
Smith
8
Leuluai
10
Mossop
7
Burrow
9
McIlorum
10
Peacock
20
Dudson
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Hansen
12
Ablett
12
Farrell
1
16
Bailey
15
Flower
18
Clarkson
4
Hughes
19
Achurch
21
Taylor
17
Kirke
23
Tomkins L.
26
Sutcliffe
1
25
Crosby

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
00-06
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
14,620


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