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Gritty Rhinos Hold Onto the Two Points
Posted by southstander on August 18 2006 - 23:18:59

Phew....

The last time that the Rhinos lost six consecutive games was at a time when you; wouldn't have seen a Mini on the road (they hadn't been invented); would not have seen a single episode of Coronation Street (it hadn't started); and would have only bumped into Paul McCartney and John Lennon at their school.

This was not a record that the lads wanted to be saddled with, but Wakefield were very, very hungry for the win to boost their chances of Superleague survival.

Something had to give.

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

14

Rhinos

v

Wildcats

12

SLXI - Round 25

18th August 2006

Gritty Rhinos Hold Onto the Two Points

Tony Smith decided that this would be a game won in the pack and he sacrificed Chev Walker and Shane Millard to have four of our bruisers on the bench. Willie Poching and Nick Scruton were welcomed back into the side, and Jamie Thackray was rewarded for a great home debut with a starting position. Tansey got the nod at full-back once again with Diskin being asked to play the full eighty without hooking cover. It was a plan...one which could have badly failed...but nontheless a bit of positive thinking from the gaffer.

It took just fifty seconds for the plan to look like a bloody good one.

A Peacock offload, Diskin jink and half-break, Senior fend and inside pass allowed Jordan Tansey to cover the remaining forty metres to score and send the visiting supporters gathered behind the opposite goal into raptures. Sinfield slotted over the conversion and it was a dream start for both the Rhinos full-back and the embattled support.

On four minutes, Rooney narrowed the gap to four after Bentham penalised the Rhinos for being offside on their own twenty. But there then followed twenty minutes of aggresion and solid defence as neither side could break through.

On twenty-four, and the third consecutive set of six in the Rhinos twenty, a nice short pass allowed March to go through a gap and score next to the posts. Rooney converted and gave the home side a precious 8-6 lead which they managed to hold for the next ten.


Great Start

On thirty-two a Wakefield knock-on in their own twenty gave the Rhinos head and feed. Two plays from the scrum and Diskin somehow managed to burrow under two defenders to ground just over the line. The referee put the 'square in the air' anf the video referee agreed with Diskin that the score should count. Sinfield goaled the extras and the Rhinos held onto a 12-8 lead to take into the interval.

All the half time talk was whether we'd be able to hold on against a second half Wildcats onslaught and opinion was heavily divided. It was going to be a tough ask!


Crucial Try
It took six minutes of the second half for Wakefield to breach the Rhinos defence. Ellis had passed the ball carelessly into touch and from the scrum Wakefield went downfield through several pairs of hands before Saxton scored. Rooney missed the conversion, which perhaps he should have kicked, but the scores were level at 12-12.

Three minutes later and the Rhinos edged ahead once again, this time through a Sinfield forty-metre penalty after interference at the play-the-ball. Leeds were 14-12 ahead andlittle did we know that it would be the last scoring action of the game as the Rhinos held on for a vital two points and stopped the rot.

With twenty-minutes remaining JJB looked to have been instrumental in a crucial try as he chased a kick, caused confusion, and allowed Donald to pik up and score but the video referee ruled it out.

Rhinos hearts were in mouths with three minutes left when Tansey collected a kick through with a foot in touch. From the resulting scrum Demetriou knocked-on and the Rhinos managed to drive the ball downfield, neutralise the last Wildcats set, and hold on for a two point victory.

This was far from a vintage Rhinos performance but we hung in against a dedicated and desperate side for the closest of wins. No great individual performances but a good all-round battling game from a group of players who know that they are operating at far below their capability. A win is a win and at the end of the day this was a big win for the Rhinos and gives us the slightest glimmer of hope that the season may not be over.

Hopefully the guys will get a week off now and be back raring to go against the Wolves in a fortnight.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Diskin37%
7
Ellis18%
7
Tansey18%
5
Sinfield14%
4
Lauiti'iti10%
3
Jones-Buchanan2%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wildcats
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
28
Tansey
1
27
Saxton
1
2
Donald
1
Halpenny
30
Toopi
3
Demetriou
4
Senior
28
Atkins
27
Gibson
5
Tadulala
13
Sinfield
3
16
Rooney
2
7
Burrow
6
Jeffries
18
Jones-Buchanan
29
Watene
9
Diskin
1
9
March
1
29
Thackray
10
Korkidas
10
Peacock
17
MacGillivray
11
Lauiti'iti
19
Henderson
12
Ellis
11
Solomona
8
Bailey
7
Obst
16
Poching
8
Griffin
22
Kirke
14
White
20
Sruton
18
Elima

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
12-08
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
5,497


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