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Vikings Defeat U18's
Posted by southstander on April 03 2006 - 07:44:36

Ratu: Good Game
By Matthew Horton

The Under 18ís began their season with a trip to Widnes in a repeat of last seasonís Preliminary Final, which saw the Rhinos triumphant on that occasion. The two teams were much changed for the encounter today in a game played in difficult conditions.

We bring you all the action......

16

Rhinos

v

Vikings

28

Senior Academy

2nd April 2006

Vikings Defeat U18's

The Vikings set off like a whirlwind and held the football for the first seven minutes of the game after forcing the Rhinos to drop out from beneath their posts on three occasions. It was the Rhinos who took the lead though in the 13th minute, much against the run of play when Matt String spilled a high kick from Kyle Briggs and James Archibald was on the spot to touch down, Briggs added a superb conversion from out wide to give the Rhinos a 6-0 lead.

The big looking Widnes side hit back 5 minutes later, Adam Sidlow making the break and he has the full back Scott Yates on his outside to go over. Then three minutes later the home side were in again. After the Rhinos has charged down a kick downfield the Vikings were first to react and get the ball back. The Rhinos defence was still organising itself as Luke France made his way over from dummy half. Yates converted both to put the Vikings 12-6 in front.

The Rhinos were still on the back from as Widnes were dominating, the Leeds kicking game not helping themselves at times. And it was Widnes who scored next, after forcing yet another goal line drop out the Vikings went for the power play and the ball was moved wide from France to Martin Keavney and he found Rob Draper who dummied his way though a stretched Leeds defence to get over the line. Yates converted again to give the home side an 18-6 half time lead.

The only question now as if the Rhinos could get back into the game and they started the second half strongly, putting the Vikings under pressure. And that pressure paid in the 50th minute when Ben Kaye barged his way over from dummy half. Briggs was off target with the conversion but it was an 8-point ball game.

Widnes though were allowed to get a foothold back into the game and it was they who struck next in the 58th minute. The ball being moved to the right hand side and Mike Fairclough found a huge hole in the Rhinos defence to go over from 25 metres out. Yates again converted to stretch the home sides lead to 24-10.

Leeds wouldnít give up and struck back 5 minutes later after a Widnes error gave Leeds a scrum 25 metres out the ball was moved left from Luke Gale to Kyle Briggs, his pass enabling Tom Burton to squeeze in at the corner. The conversion from Briggs was superb and again Leeds were back in the game.

It wasnít to be though, Leeds invited pressure back onto themselves and the home side pounded the line. The Rhinos defence as magnificent at times but eventually the pressure in the 69th minutes told. The ball was moved left and a missed tackle allowed Scott Yates to slide in at the corner. He was unable to convert but the Vikings were now 28-16 ahead.

Leeds never stopped trying and their persistence paid off on the last play of the game, after another Widnes error deep in their own half Kyle Briggs worked the move from the scrum, he found Tom Sheldrake who had created the overlap and this allowed Ryan Hall to score what was only a consolation for the Rhinos. Briggs kick was short of the posts and the Rhinos started 2006 with a defeat.

The Rhinos were up against a Widnes side that was very big and physical and impressive on defence. The Rhinos though can build from this performance and there is plenty to work on in training this week. For the Rhinos Ben Kaye was impressive at hooker as was Ben Jones, who probably got more game time than planned due to an injury to Ben Fawcett. Mike Ratu and James Archibald were the pick of the back but the SouthStander.com man of the match was Michael Haley, his first game back since the broken arm picked up in the 21ís at Huddersfield last year and it was like he had never been away. He drove the ball in well and came up with some superb hits on defence.

Match Facts

Rhinos
Vikings
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Sheldrake
1
Yates
2
4
2
Reitte
2
Strong
3
Ratu
3
Bowman
4
Burton
4
Murphy
5
Archibald
1
5
Liu
6
Briggs
2
6
Bloomfield
7
Moore
7
Keavney
8
Haley
8
Banks
9
Kaye
1
9
France
1
10
Fawcett
10
Marsh
11
Brown
11
Donoghue
12
Chandler
12
Sidlow
13
Gale
13
Draper
1
14
Collins
14
Tunstead
15
Brown
15
Morrison
16
Hall
1
16
Fairclough
1
17
Jones
17
Ostick

Kick Off:
12:00
Half-Time:
06-18
Referee:
Clint Sharrad


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