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Top, Top, Top of the League
Posted by southstander on April 21 2014 - 18:18:19

Leeds Opener

The Rhinos went into todays game against Salford knowing that a win, coupled with Saints losing at a strong Widnes Vikings, would signal ascent to the top of the Superleague XIX pile.

McDermott opted to rotate Watkins and Kirke putting the returning Jones-Bishop in at full-back and moving Zak Hardaker into the centres. Peacock and Bailey added a bit of extra grit to the pack, the coach much have known in advance what new Salford boss Iestyn Harris would employ from his limited tactics book.

From the kick-off it was clear that this would be an arm wrestle with Salfords only gambit being to slow the Rhinos play the ball. For a player who used to love fast free-flowing rugby to resort to such tactics as a coach must make him, his chairman and the Devils supporters so proud! A part of Iestyn Harris must have died today at Headingley.

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

32

Rhinos

v

Devils

04

Superleague XIX - Round 10

21st April 2014

Top, Top, Top of the League

The first half started well. Leeds had all the early ball and when an Achurch bust was followed with a nice inside ball for the skipper to cross by the uprights it looked like we might be in for an entertaining afternoon. Sinfield converted his own for an early lead.

Leeds kept dominating over the next ten minutes or so but a couple of dropped balls and some good Salford defence, coupled with Salford pushing the laying-on rule to, and often beyond, its limit meant that we couldn't increase the scoreline. On sixteen it looked like Joel Moon was over in the left corner but a sensational last ditch tackle saw him pushed into touch short of the line. Leeds frustration was mounting.

As the half wore on the Reds began to dominate and on twenty-eight they made eight metres with one set before Tomkins burrowed under the Leeds tacklers from acting half-back to score. Mullaney missed the conversion that would have levelled the scores.


Great Game
The Red Devils owned the last ten minutes and should really have gone into the break a dozen or so points in the lead. On three separate occasions some excellent last ditch Rhinos defending held the Devils attack up in the goal area and by some miracle we carried a 6-4 lead into the interval.

The visitors had been the best team in the first half. Their tactics had frustrated the Leeds defence and forced errors but the Devils had kept their heads, stuck to their unattractive game plan, and kept themselves in the game.

We'd got better in us and we needed to show it in the second half.

Just three minutes after the break and we extended the lead to 12-4 after a Briscoe half-break found Ben Jones-Bishop who went sixty metres before throwing an over-the-shoulder pass inside for Hardaker to pick up off the floor and score next to the uprights.

Resolute Salford defence managed to keep us at bay until the hour mark when we scored another long-range try as Jones-Bishop and Moon combined to put Burrow free to score under the sticks. Sinfield added the two for 18-4 and all of a sudden we felt much more comfortable.

On sixty-five the Rhinos added their fourth try of the afternoon for 24-4 thanks to another long-range effort, this one created by a Hardaker breakfor forty metres before finding Jones-Bishop to score in the middle of the sticks.

The game was now beyond the visitors. Chase lost interest and Hock was lucky not to see red after throwing two unprovoked punches within a couple of minutes of one another.

On seventy-three any forlorn hope was snuffed out when a right to left passing move saw Hall score in the corner off a Moon final pass. Although the skipper missed the conversion at 28-4 the game was won.


Magical

The icing on the cake came with a Briscoe solo try with a minute left to play when he picked up a bouncing ball on his own thirty metre line and ran the length of the pitch to score in the right corner. Sinfield again failed with the touchlie conversion attempt but it didn't matter. We'd secured a brave 32-4 win in a game where we had been genuinely struggling at half-time. The lads showed their mettle, overcame their frustrations, and did a professional second half demolition job over Harris's boys.

It was another game where the forwards stuck to their game, did all the hard work, and laid the foundations for the back to rip apart a tiring Salford defence.

Special mention to Achurch, Singleton, Leuluai and Peacock who were all immense again.

Widnes did the business against the Saints and the Rhinos finish the Easter weekend in the top spot, and a nice feeling it is too.

Next week is our chance to add to Saints misery and end their Challenge Cup hopes. Fingers crossed!

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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Devils
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
2
Jones-Bishop
1
1
Mullaney
20
Briscoe
1
2
Williams
1
Hardaker
1
36
Platt
4
Moon
4
Sa'u
5
Hall
1
5
Meli
6
McGuire
6
Chase
13
Sinfield
1
4
14
Fages
8
Leuluai
11
Griffin
7
Burrow
1
35
Tomkins
1
10
Peacock
10
Tasi
12
Ablett
19
Ashurst
19
Achurch
12
Hock
15
Delaney
9
Lee
16
Bailey
20
Walne A.
21
Sutcliffe
21
Walne J.
18
Clarkson
24
Howarth
23
Singleton
18
Repira

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
32-04
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
14,013


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