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Testing Testimonial
Posted by southstander on January 22 2005 - 00:26:55

Two Big Ones
Five thousand braved the plumetting temperatures to help Barrie McDermott launch his testimonial season with a home fixture against a plucky Oldham Roughyeds side coached by Headingley favourite Gary Mercer.

A small, but vociferous, contingent made the short trip from the middle of the Pennines to lend support to one of their famous sons. The Rhinos pack aslo turned up in numbers with McDonald, Poching, Ellis, Botham and Feather all picked in a Rhinos squad comprised otherwise of youngsters.

26

Rhinos

v

Roughyeds

10

Barrie McDermott Testimonial

21st January 2005

Testing Testimonial

The mighty Rhinos, Superleague Champions in 2004 and early favourites for a 2005 repeat, took the field against the part-timers from Oldham. The visiting side was littered with trialists and hopefuls, but they looked determined to give the superstars a run for their money. The early exchanged re-inforced this as the Roughyeds gave as good as they got.

It took six minutes for the Rhinos to break the deadlock and draw first blood. Speed was the key as a lightening play saw Poching with space to spare. He powered over in the corner making the conversion difficult for Lee Smith. Four points was all that we came away with.

Six minutes later and a good Leeds drive saw us held up over the line. Ron Laughton brought play back to the five and from the next play, the ball was moved left for John Gallagher to scoot in from around 20 metres out. Smith failed to convert again, it wasn't his night with the boot.

Oldham were looking good in bursts, but the speed of the Rhinos play was occasionally catching them out.


Captain Tonight

The sixteenth minute saw the try of the game. Lee Smith caught a high ball on his own twenty and set off down field. He bust a couple of tackles and palmed off a couple more tacklers to go eighty metres and cross in the corner. Richie Mather must be starting to get concerned as last season Senior Academy Player of the Season continues to impress. He hit the post trying to convert his own try, but after that effort he can be forgiven.

On twenty-five the Rhinos rolled downfield with some nice interplay. A superb offload tricked the Oldham defence and Botham went in from twenty metres. Botham converted his own try to make the score 18-0. Oldham were worth more than they were getting, but onthe half-hour mark, they got their breakthrough.

A penalty gave Oldham another six within the Rhinos twenty and they moved the ball first left, and then back to the middle of the field where Hough went over from dummy half. Turner converted and brought the visitors back within six.

The last scoring action of the first half came with seven minutes remaining. Poching burrowed over from close for his second, but Botham missed the conversion to send the sides into the sheds with a 22-6 lead to the Rhinos.


Top Effort
The openeing twenty-six minutes of the second half saw absolute deadlock. Defences ruled and the Roughyeds gave as good as they got. The Rhinos threw everything at them, but then had to defend well on the counter attack. In the end it was the visitors who broke the stalemate.

After sustained pressure on the Rhinos line, Munro went over to the delight of the hundred or so Oldham fans. The try was in the corner and the conversion fell short.

With just six minutes left, the Rhinos scored the last points of the night, although we were lucky to be awarded the try. A comedy of erros saw frantic scrambling attack as the ball went first left, then right, through many pairs of hands. In the end it went to Murrell lurking on the right wing, some thirty metres out. Murrell put a kick into the corner and went the wrong way round the corner flag to dive on the ball and score in the corner. To me it looked like he had feet in touch when scoring but Laughton gave the try. Gobson missed the conversion attempt and the final hooter sounded on a 26-10 scoreline in favour of the Rhinos.

This was a plucky effort from the part-timers and they gave the game 100%, despite being well out of their depth. Barrie will have been fairly happy with a gate of just over 5k, ad it got his year off to a good start.

As for what we saw on the field. Ellis looked a little slow and jaded, perhaps the training regime is a little tougher than it was at Belle Vue. McDonald looked like he was playing for his place in the World Club Challenge side, and Poching looked as though he will give the Rhinos another outstanding season.

The youngsters played well, particularly Murrell, Gallagher and Smith (if you can ignore his conversion attempts), but tonight was Barries night. Well done Big Mac!

Onwards to tuesday and the WCC warm-up against London. I understand that Smith will play his first choice seventeen, including Richie Mathers returning from injury.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Roughyeds
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
23
Smith
1
1
Goddard
2
BGardner
2
Dodd
3
Watson
3
Munro
1
4
Buttery
4
Wilkinson
5
Williams
5
Johnson N
24
Murrell
1
6
Svabic
7
Gallagher
1
7
Turner
1
17
McDonald
10
Isherwood
9
I'Anson J.
9
Hough
1
10
McDermott
8
Norman
21
Botham
1
1
11
Haughton
16
Poching
2
12
Roberts
20
Ellis
13
Kilshaw
19
Feather
14
Johnson G
25
Golden
15
Barraclough
8
Stenchion
16
Farrimond
13
Gibson
17
Nanyn
22
Scruton
18
Cowell
1
Gordon
19
Barber
26
Ablett
20
Elswood
21
Kirkland

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
22-06
Attendance:
5,196
Referee:
Ron Laughton


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