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WCC Warm-up
Posted by southstander on January 25 2005 - 23:17:26

Top Prop
With an hour to go before kick-off it started. That fine drizzle that wets you through! And I guess that many people put drew back the curtains, took a look out, and decided on a night in front of Coronation Street with a nice warm cup of tea.

The couple of thousand of who did bother to turn up at Headingley, including the handful of nutters who spent the entire night getting soaked on the Eastern Terrace, were there to see the final WCC warm-up against the Broncos.

Warm....not being the best description.

18

Rhinos

v

Broncos

06

Pre-Season Friendly

25th January 2005

WCC Warm-Up

We knew well in advance that this was to be the key WCC warm-up game, and Smith named a starting thirteen that could be the same as the one that enters the Elland Road cauldron in ten days time. The Broncos are in the midst of a major team re-building exercise during their pre-season, but this looked a half decent line-up. It shoudl have been an easy win for the Rhinos, but the conditions were a great leveller.

The Broncos were fast out of the blocks, but couldn't make some early posession count. As Leeds bounced back off the ropes, Calderwood went close in the right corner after some expansive play, but he was held up short. From the next play-the-ball, the switch was made inside and captain Kevin Sinfield went over next to the posts.

He added a simple two and gave Leeds a six point lead.


Better

On eighteen minutes, the Rhinos doubled their lead with the try of the game. McGuire started the move with a short pass to Mathers on the half-way line. Mathers made good metres but was caught five out before spinning in the tackle to find McGuire in support. McGuire could see no way past and moved the ball left to Senior who went in for a great try. Sinfield goaled for 12-0.

The pitch was starting to take it's toll, and there were tired legs in the relentless rain. Decent defence from both sides kept the side scoreless for the rest of the half.

As the second half started, Smith rang the changes with McGuire leaving the field, he'd probably seen enough to know that he is a ceryainty for the WCC. Leeds were attacking the Eastern Terrace, into the teeth of a fierce wind. It took fifty-two minutes to get the second half breakthrough.


Not a foot wrong
As the ball broke to the Rhinos left, Mathers went for the corner. Realising he wouldn't make it he passed inside to Jamie Jones-Buchanan who crossed unopposed. Sinfield added the two for 18-0 and the game was over as a competition.

The Broncos were doing well and were a much improved on their Headingley outings last season. They will be much stronger opposition this year and have strengthened well.

The visitors got their reward for their hard work on sixty-four, as they wrapped up the scoring for the game. A nice passing move involving McLinden and Sykes saw the latter put Purdham through a gap to score. Sykes converted to leave the final scores on the doors at 18-6 to the Rhinos.

This was no classic Rhinos performance, but it was at least a decent and competitive workout for the lads. The game had a bit of needle at times and it was clear that the Broncos came to upset us. The night was not ideal for open or flowing rugby and there was plenty of dropped ball from both sides.

Some 'fringe' players gave a good account of themselves and I think that Ward, McDermott, Calderwood and Ellis all played their way into one of the all important seventeen shirts for the 4th February. It was also good to see Richie Mathers and Ali Lauiti'iti back at full fitness. Many Leeds interchanges made for an interesting second half of experimentation, and the scoreline perhaps didn't reflect the Rhinos overall dominance.

Bring on the Bulldogs!


Match Facts

Rhinos
Broncos
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Mathers
25
Luisi
2
Calderwood
23
Greenwood
3
Walker
24
Smith
4
Senior
1
1
Sykes
1
5
Bai
3
Bradley Qalilawa
6
McGuire
21
Dorn
7
Burrow
6
McLinden
8
Bailey
10
Trindal
14
Dunemann
9
Budworth
15
Ward
17
Tookey
12
McKenna
12
Hopkins
11
Lauiti'iti
11
Haumono
13
Sinfield
1
3
2
Wells
10
McDermott
13
Purdham
1
16
Poching
8
Stephenson
17
McDonald
15
Stringer
18
Jones-Buchanan
1
20
Lolhea
20
Ellis
18
Armour
21
Botham
23
Smith

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
12-00
Attendance:
Est. 2,400
Referee:
Ashley Kline


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