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Moments of Madness
Posted by southstander on July 18 2014 - 00:18:37

Saw Red

Eighty minutes separated one of these two sides from the top of Superleague. A draw would be enough for the Rhinos but the visitors would need the win.

The Rhinos were back at full strength against a Castleford side full of confidence, the sun was shining on a busy Headingley, and the stage was set for a classic.

But no-one could have predicted what was about to unfold before our very eyes.

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

24

Rhinos

v

Tigers

24

Superleague XIX - Round 21

17th July 2014

Moments of Madness

Hardaker, Leuluai, and Jones-Buchanan were all most welcome additions to the Rhinos seventeen as the squad looks pretty close to full fitness heading into the business end of the season. But there was no underestimating the opposition as this year the Tigers are right up there, challenging for all the honours under the coaching of Daryl Powell.

It was a disasterous opening for the Rhinos, defending the Western Terrace the normally rock-solid Peacock lost the ball on the kick-off return and immediately put the Tigers on the offensive. The visitors used the five tackles to probe the Leeds defence before a Sneyd kick to the corner was knocked back by Carney and picked up by Shenton to drive over. Sneyd is too dependable with the boot to miss even touchline goals and we were six down, but it was very early.

On six minutes a try for Paul Aiton was ruled out for a McGuire knock on but two minutes later and McGuire was the provider with a kick to the right corner which was picked out of the air by Tom Briscoe and walked over the line. Sinfield goaled to level the scores. Then the Rhinos started to exert more control over the game.


Two Tries
On fifteen it was a Sinfield kick to the corner which was tapped back by Hall and found its way into the hands of Ryan Bailey who ran the angle to score giving the skipper a simple conversion and the Rhinos a 12-6 lead.

But Cas were never going to just roll over and on eighteen minutes they got back on level terms with with Dixon going close before finding ex-Rhinos Weller Hauraki on hand to crash over a lacklustre McGuire tackle. The boot of Sneyd tied us up again at 12-12 in what was becoming a tit-for-tat game with nothing to choose between the sides.

On twenty-four the Rhinos hit the front again with a little bit of luck when an Ablett bulldozing run for the line seemed to be ended with him dropping the ball but he managed to regather without it hitting a Castelford player or the ground and touching down. Sinfield addd the extras for 18-12 but on thirty-three the visitors got a six pointer of their own when Massey darted from dummy half foxing the Leeds defence and scoring under the sticks.

There were few complaints that the interval scoreline was 18-18. It had been a game with plenty of mistakes but also some excellent defence from both sides. It was still anyones, but there was a hope that the Rhinos may be the ones who could finish the stronger.

It looked like the Tigers had re-taken the lead early in the second half when Carney went over in the corner but Thaler refered the decision to the video referees who inexplicably ruled 'NO TRY' seemingly for a borderline obstruction. It was a lucky escape and we came close to capitalising on it twice on forty-seven and fifty-two but on both occasions Moon was pushed into touch by the corner flag.

On fifty-six it was Moon who was the hero with a spectacular tackle on Carney which prevented a try and Moons efforts seemed to bolster the rest of his side who went downfield and scored their fourth try of the night through keeping the ball alive on the last tackle. The try came from an Ablett kick forward and chase which saw him touch down a fraction of a second before going into touch. Sinfield added the extras from under the sticks for 24-18 and now it was a case of holding on for the last twenty.

Three opportunities for a drop goal, to increase the lead, came and went as the Rhinos couldn't get into position to give a kicker the chance and the Rhinos frustration mounted, reflected in anxiety on the terraces.


Back in Action

With eight minutes remaining came the talking point of the match, nay round, nay season.

After making a tackle on Luke Dorn Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield got entangled in the legs of the Castleford player and conceeded a penalty. As Dorn got up he suggested to the referee that he might like to consider putting the Leeds captain in the sin bin (using slightly more flowery language). Sinfield seemed to take exception and the two squared up, in the blink of an eye Sinfield head-butted the Tigers full-back and the referee had no option but to reach for the red card.

The crowd were stunned, our impeccible leader with an impeccible disciplinary record had put the nut on an opponent in a tight game that we were just edging. I can only think that his mind had been momentarily posessed by demons!

Down to twelve men and as shocked as the rest of us, the Rhinos set about throwing away the points. On seventy-four three quick penalties put the Tigers in a great position and Millington went over to score and give his goalkicker a simple conversion to level the scores at 24-24.

Now we needed a drop goal and with two minutes left we manufactured a chance but in the heat of battle Burrow passed to Peacock instead of the waiting McGuire and the prop forward had a go, but sailed the ball wide of the left upright. A scrappy last couple of minutes made it look like neither side wanted the win and the final hooter signalled a 24-24 draw which sends the Rhinos to the top of the table, at least until the rest of the round is played.

But as the masses thronged out of Headingley the result was incidental. All talk was of our now inglorious leader, what had provoked such a reaction from the consumate professional, and how long we're likely to be missing his services.

One second of madness could be very, very expensive for the Rhinos season.

This was a game that we could and should have won. We played some dumb football deep in the Tigers half when we should have been establishing a seven point lead with a drop-goal. In the end we were lucky to get the draw, but in all reality a little bit of composure would have seen us win the game, and probably finish with thirteen on the field.

I bet I'm not the only one wanting an explanation for what happened, and dreading the outcome of next Tuesdays disciplinary.

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


Match Facts

Rhinos
Tigers
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Hardaker
6
Dorn
20
Briscoe
1
2
Dixon
3
Watkins
4
Webster
4
Moon
3
Shenton
1
5
Hall
5
Carney
6
McGuire
7
Sneyd
4
13
Sinfield
4
26
Finn
8
Leuluai
8
Lynch
9
Aiton
9
Milner
10
Peacock
32
Jewitt
14
Ward, S.
16
Holmes
12
Ablett
2
12
Hauraki
1
15
Delaney
11
Millington
1
16
Bailey
1
14
Clark
7
Burrow
10
Huby
11
Jones-Buchanan
13
Massey
1
19
Achurch
18
Mariano

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
18-18
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
16,173


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