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Sutcliffe Picks the Two Points from the Teeth of Dragons
Posted by southstander on June 29 2014 - 18:40:17

Held his Nerve

There were two bits of bad news before the kick-off. Sinfield had failed to make the seventeen after sustaining a back injury last weekend and as the teams entered the pitch we were informed that Klylie Leuluia had broken down in the warm up and would play no part.

We were without a battering ram, against one of the most physical sides in the game, and a kicker on an afternoon which promised the closest of games.

There was concern on the terraces that it may be too losses too far against a Dragons side just starting to find their form, and desperately looking for a first win at Headingley.

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

32

Rhinos

v

Dragons

31

Superleague XIX - Round 18

29th June 2014

Sutcliffe Picks the Two Points from the Teeth of Dragons

The loss of two key players was compounded by an awful Leeds start when with just ninety seconds on the clock we were opened up by Escare who shrugged off two tackles to add to his impressive seasons tally. Williams kicked the conversion and we were playing catch-up at far too early a stage in the game.

On eight we opened our account when the enigmatic Hicks awarded us a penalty on the half way line and after a few good drives the ball was moved left for Hall to score on the overlap. Sutcliffe lined up the kick from the touchline but we had little hope of him kicking it, and as it slid wide we still trailed by two.

On fifteen the visitors showed their intent by converting a penalty under the Leeds sticks into two points, when they should probably have gone for the try. Leeds showed them why on nineteen when Jones-Bishop picked up a last tackle kick on his own ten metres and pushed off three attempted tackles to run ninety metres and touch down in the left corner. An identical kick was again missed by Sutcliffe and we were at 8-8. It was already obvious that this was going to be a slog and potentially an 'edge of the seater'.


Big Game
Just after the quarter game mark a beautiful pass from Williams put Taia through a gap to score for the Dragons and Williams added the extras, as he did on the half-hour mark when another Williams half-break gave Pelissier the opportunity to crash over under the posts.

We were now 8-20 behind and it wasn't looking at all good as we were conceeding daft penalties and slipping off far too many tackles.

We needed a score before half time and it was substitute Walters who further endeared himself to the Rhinos supporters. The try was made by a fast pass from Peacock and converted from close to the sticks by Sutcliffe to send the teams into the break at 14-20.

The game was still there to be won but it would be an uphill challenge. We'd been too easy to breach and the Dragons expansive play controlled by Williams and Pryce was killing us.

The start to the second half was almost as bad as the first, this time our defence lasted just three minutes before Taia went over for his second after Leeds had been penalised for an obstruction which only Mr Hicks saw. Mercifully Williams hit the post with his conversion, 14-24 and another mountain to climb.

On fifty-one we started our ascent.

Leeds were given a scrum after a ball steal (unusual rules interpretation by Mr Hicks) and from the scrum Joel Moon went over, but as it was once again in the corner the Sutcliffe kick proved too difficult.

On fifty-eight we were back on level terms when Ablett conjoured a try from nothing, backing towards the line with four or five defenders attached he seemed to force the ball to ground between his legs for a four pointer. Sutcliffe kicked the points from almost in-front of the posts for 24-24, game on.

With fifteen minutes left we hit the front for the first time in the game thanks to a shocking Pryce pass, intercepted by Moon on his own thirty and run down the centre field for a gift of a seventy metre try. Sutcliffe goaled for 30-24 and now there was belief that we'd actually snatch the points.

But the joy would be short-lived.


Stand In Skipper

On sixty-nine Leeds were penalised for not being square on their own thirty-metre line and as the Dragons moved downfield it was a Pryce pass to Millard which saw the Dragons half-back score in the corner. Williams converted with calmness from the touchline for 30-30, and at that point we'd have settled for a draw.

But on seventy-six Escare seemed to have broken our hearts when he kicked a drop-goal from thirty metres to give his side a 30-31 lead and three minutes to hold on.

Leeds got a penalty from the kick-off, but I am still not sure why but the Dragons defence held firm and when they regained possession with just over a minute remaining we'd resigned ourselves to the loss.

With just forty seconds left, and running the ball from their own line, and with plenty of tackles in the bank, the Dragons conceeded a penalty for obstruction. The Southstand, to a man, pointed at the sticks and Sutcliffe had the chance to kick the penalty of his life and snatch the points. He ran the clock to the hooter as he placed the ball on the tee and took a drink, and then answered the prayers of almost fourteen thousand Leeds fans as he cooly kicked the ball between the sticks to snatch a 32-31 victory and pick the two points from the teeth of the Dragon.

The Dragons players reacted as though they had been relegated, and the Rhinos fans as though they'd won the cup.

A thrilling end to an enthralling game. We'd survived without the skipper and collected the points, a side to be proud of but with a lot of work to do, especially on defence, if we are to really challenge for the big prizes.

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



Match Facts

Rhinos
Dragons
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
2
Jones-Bishop
1
2
Escare
1
1
20
Briscoe
5
Oldfield
3
Watkins
4
Pomeroy
4
Moon
2
25
Duport
5
Hall
1
18
Millard
1
21
Sutcliffe
4
3
Pryce
6
McGuire
34
Williams
5
23
Singleton
8
Elima
9
Aiton
9
Henderson
10
Peacock
10
Lima
12
Ablett
1
11
Taia
2
15
Delaney
17
Whitehead
16
Bailey
24
Baitieri
14
Ward
12
Anderson
28
Walters
1
13
Mounis
30
Briscoe L.
16
Pelissier
1
19
Achurch
29
Garcia

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
14-20
Referee:
Robert Hicks
Crowd:
13,888


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