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Too Close for Comfort
Posted by southstander on February 21 2014 - 23:35:11

Worthy MoM

Rugby league was back at Headingley as the Rhinos looked to build on last weeks win over Hull KR and add to the Wolves miserable season start.

Stevie Ward was welcomed back into the Rhinos seventeen, after ten months out, in the place of Brad Singleton as the only change to last weeks winning formula.

Over sixteen thousand made their way through some miserable weather to witness the spectacle, and the sides served up a nailbiter slightly lacking in attacking quality.

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

18

Rhinos

v

Wolves

12

Superleague XIX - Round 2

21st February 2014

Too Close for Comfort

There was no denying that Warrington started well, just as they had done in Round One when they'd taken an early lead over the Saints. You would expect nothing else from a Tony Smith side.

A great kick to the corner was gathered by a high flying Joel Monaghan who made a fool out of the usually reliable Hall and scored the Wolves opener, totally with the run of play as the visitors had dominated the opening ten minutes. Ratchford converted well from close to the right touchline and the Southstanders hadn't got the start that they wanted.

We were made to wait until the twentieth minute when Tom Briscoe repaid another installment of his transfer fee as he broke down the right wing and had the foresight to put in a grubber kick which was picked up by the supporting Hardaker and carried over the line. Sinfield kicked, just inside the far upright, and the scores were level.

On twenty-seven it looked as though Ryan Hall had found a gap down the left wing but the video replay clearly showed he'd had a foot in touch and the score was chalked off.


4 in 2
Three minutes later and a second chance was bombed and Hardaker failed to fully ground a McGuire grubber under the sticks. We should have been twelve points up, but we were starting to look comfortable after absorbing the Warrington onslaught.

As the visitors tired Tom Briscoe showed us once again why he'd been on the Rhinos 'wants' list for the last couple of seasons. He took a great short flat pass from Hardaker and then went sixty metres, through three attempted tackles, to score under the sticks and make the skippers conversion a formality for a 12-6 lead which we carried into the interval.

There was a feeling that we should have been further ahead by the end of the half but a satisfaction that we'd weathered the storm and earned ourselves a valuable lead.

Warrington had the early second half pressure and laid seige to the Leeds line.

On fifty-one Hardaker put in a sensational tackle on Stefan Ratchford when it looked as though the Wire full-back was going to walk over. After defending our own line for over ten minutes we finally managed to break downfield after fifty-six and Hardaker took the opportunity to drop his right shoulder and run the angle to break through a gap and score.

Sinfield added the extras for an 18-6 lead, but we weren't home yet, and Warrington were definitely not finished.

Once again it was the visitors who dominated the next ten minutes with the Rhinos struggling to get out of their own twenty. When we finally managed to have possession in the Warrington half Sinfield attempted a drop goal with eight minutes left on the clock but the ball came back off the post and the Wolves were still in the game.

It was Sinfields last action of the game as within a minute he'd sustained what looked like a foot injury and retured to the benches.

Without our leader we lost a bit of shape and with three minutes left on the clock Westwood somehow managed to find a gap under the sticks to reach out and ground the ball on the line. Ratchford added the extras to narrow the margin to six and left us chewing our nail ends for the remaining three minutes of the game.


Ran the Show

We managed a couple of attacks but with seconds to go it was the Wolves pressing for the equaliser before a desperate kick through with a few seconds remaining was gathered by Hardaker who wellied it into the stands and beckoned the hooter.

This was much closer that it should have been and a game which we should have had sewn up by half-time. That said, some of the Rhinos defence was sensational, particularly the try saving tackle by Hardaker early in the second half.

There were some big performances by the forwards to keep a big Warrington pack at bay, and some class shown by our backs in the form of Briscoe, Moon and Hall.

Hardaker was deservedly named as man of the match in the ground after a two try attacking perfomance backed up by some brilliant defence. The 'England' episode seems to be just a distant memory.

Onwards an upwards, taking out 100% record to Perpignan next Friday and hoping to come home with another two points.

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



Match Facts

Rhinos
Wolves
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Hardaker
2
6
Ratchford
2
20
Briscoe
1
5
Monaghan J.
1
3
Watkins
3
Bridge
4
Moon
4
Atkins
5
Hall
29
Ormsby
13
Sinfield
3
20
O'Brien
6
McGuire
7
Myler
8
Leuluai
8
Hill
7
Burrow
9
Higham
10
Peacock
10
Asostasi
12
Ablett
11
Waterhouse
15
Delaney
12
Westwood
1
18
Clarkson
13
Grix
9
Aiton
19
England
16
Bailey
14
Monaghan M.
14
Ward
25
Evans
23
Singleton
17
Currie

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
12-06
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
16,164


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