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London Calling?
Posted by southstander on April 26 2014 - 17:54:58

100% Performance

It's just under a month since the Rhinos suffered their only loss of 2014 at the hands of Saints.

Since then the Rhinos are unbeaten, with the seemingly infallible Saints having lost their last two on the bounce, including last Mondays trip to Widnes with a weakened side.

Ryan Bailey and Ben Jones-Bishop were the ones to miss out for the Rhinos against a strong looking side from the visitors in perfect conditions for open flowing rugby, despite the forcast of rain.

It had been heralded as the match of the season, would it live up to expectations?

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

32

Rhinos

v

Saints

12

Tetley's Challenge Cup

Round 5

26th April 2014

London Calling?

The bookies had given the Saints a six point start on the coupon and most neutrals were tipping a Rhinos win but ask any Leeds fan and the outcome was far less certain. It was a game that was in the balance, could go either way, and most of us were prepared for a disappointment.

Nerves were settled after just four minutes when we exploited Saints defensive frailty, thanks to a bit of a lucky ruling from Mr Silverwood. A Burrow kick was judged to have hit a Saints player in flight and as it went dead in goal Silverwood pointed to the sticks for a drop-out. A poor kick was easily swept up and moved forward by the Rhinos. A passing move involving Burrow and McGuire allowed Hardaker to find a gap and ground one-handed. The video referee gave the try and Sinfield kicked the extras for an early 6-0.

Saints hit back just before the quarter hour when the Rhinos failed to cover and Soliola passed to Percival who broke the line before finding Swift in support who outpaced Watkins to score in the corner. Walsh goaled excellently from the touchline to level the scores.

Stalemate ensued for twenty minutes as neither sides defence was prepared to give way and it took until the thirty-sixth minute for the Rhinos to re-take the lead.


Great Start
It was a Saints mistake, Makinson losing the ball on his own forty, that gave Leeds head and feed.

From the scrum Leeds moved the ball well with Hardaker making a half-break, Moon flicking a pass to Hall who broke past the defensive line and put passed back to Hardaker to skip over for his second. Sinfield added the extras and the Rhinos nursed a six point lead into the interval.

It had been hard work for Leeds against a well drilled defence and the game was still in the balance. Finger nails were being bitten.

Knowing that the winning margin may be narrow, Sinfield took the invitation to kick a penalty goal early in the second half after Saints interference at the play-the-ball. At 14-6 you still felt that we'd need more points.

On forty-eight we got another six pointer thanks to excellent breaks from Ablett and Burrow, the latter tackled ten from the Saints line. From the next play-the-ball the ball was moved left and Moon dummied to pass before dragging three tacklers over the line with him and grounding. The skipper made it 20-6 and we'd got some breathing space.

Again Saints put on the squeeze thanks to two silly Leeds penalties gifting field position. A delayed pass saw Jones through a gap to score in the corner and Walsh kicked brilliantly from the touchline for 20-12. Saints were back in it and it was getting too close for comfort.

Defences were once again on top for the next twenty. Saints failed to take advantage of a 40-20 with ten minutes left and after a sustained defensive period the Rhinos hit on the counter as Watkins swatted away two tacklers on the half-way line and went to the Saints twenty before passing inside to McGuire to scamper over and score by the sticks, making the Sinfield conversion a simple one for 26-12, sealing the Rhinos progress into the quarter finals.

With three minutes left on the clock, Jamie Peacock crowned a great personal performance with a crash over to score off a Sinfield pass.


Last Try

Sinfield added the extras and the Rhinos ran the clock down against a dejected Saints side for a big 32-12 win, a little harsh on the Saints who'd given us a really tough workout.

It wasn't a classic, in fact the second half was a bit scrappy for two sides of this calibre, but the result was right, a deserved win for the Rhinos. All that matters in this competition is getting into the next round, but of you can take out one of the major competition in doing so then all the better.

One bad piece of news was an injury to Rob Burrow which looked innocuous in the tackle but seemed to cause concern amongst the Rhinos physio staff. It later emerged that it was a probably broken collar bone (6-8 weeks) which with the continued absence of Aiton and departure of McShane and Hood will leave us a little short in the middle of the pack. A new career for Jones-Bishop, or Sinfield into the pack and Sutcliffe into the halves?

It was a good all round performance, much better than a month ago at Langtree Park. We were clinical when it mattered and recovered from the mistakes that we made with great defence.

As for the next round, one of the Championship clubs at Headingley please! Just definitely not Wigan away.

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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Saints
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Hardaker
2
1
Lomax
20
Briscoe
2
Makinson
3
Watkins
3
Turner
4
Moon
1
22
Percival
5
Hall
5
Swift
1
6
McGuire
1
12
Wilkin
13
Sinfield
6
7
Walsh
2
8
Leuluai
16
Amor
7
Burrow
9
Roby
10
Peacock
1
18
Walmsley
12
Ablett
11
Soliola
19
Achurch
10
McCarthy-Scarsbrook
15
Delaney
4
Jones
1
17
Kirke
27
Richards
18
Clarkson
23
Greenwood
21
Sutcliffe
8
Masoe
23
Singleton
17
Wellens

Kick Off:
14:30
Half-Time:
12-6
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
12,194


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