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The Real Rhinos Make a Comeback
Posted by southstander on September 01 2006 - 23:29:46

Hat-Trick Hero

If we're honest, most of us went to Headingley with little hope of a Rhinos victory, and with every expectation that the Wolves could turn us over on what should have been a celebration of the opening of the new Carnegie Stand.

What few of us expected was that the Rhinos of two months ago would make a miraculous re-appearance after their two week holiday and play with a spirit a verve that left me convinced that we are actually back in with a chance of making it to Old Trafford next month.

This was a different Rhinos side, and a different Rhinos performance.

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

54

Rhinos

v

Wolves

16

SLXI - Round 26

1st September 2006

The Real Rhinos Make a Comeback

The biggest shock as the Rhinos took to the field, having warmed up on the cricket pitch, was the shocking bleached hair of Thackray and Peacock. The gasps were followed by giggles around the SouthStand, was this waht we'd come to?

Good early Leeds pressure came to nothing, and we were lucky to escape a Warrington double-movement on five minutes after it looked like the visitors had opened the scoring. Three minutes later and we punished the Wolves failure to score. Warrington knocked-on from a high kick and two plays from the scrum, Thackray pushed his way over the line from fifteen metres to score his first Headingley try in blue and amber and the first try in front of the new stand. Sinfield missed the conversion but is was a good start.

On eleven, Sullivan picked up a loose ball on the Leeds five metre and dove over unopposed. Briers kicked the goal and gave the Wolves a 6-4 lead, silencing the home support. Was it going to be one of those nights?

On sixteen Thackray put forward an argument for the whole SouthStand to bleach their hair as he hit the whitewash again. This time Ali collected a poor Briers kick on his own twenty and broke twenty more before passing to Thackray. The Prop pinned back his ears and went sixty to score in the corner, and sent us reaching for the record books. Sinfield converted from wide and re-established a lead that we would not now relinquish.

On nineteen a Sinfield crossfield kick was collected at the top of a high jump by Scott Donald who twisted before landing and got line side of the last Wolves defender for a walk-in. Sinfields goal gave us a 16-6 lead and it was more than we could have hoped for as we controlled the game.

We now needed to kick-on and kill off the opposition, but they had other ideas. On twenty-four the Rhinos spilled the ball on their own twenty and as the Wolves moved the ball left they capitalised as Barnett slid over. Briers managed the conversion for 16-6, the game still needed to be won.


Two Great Tries

On thirty-two Paul Wood was lucky to stay on the field as Thaler bottled it. He'd clothes-lined Rob Burrow who was following his kick through and although the touch judge saw it clearly and flagged as such, Thaler didn't even put it on report. Sinfield goaled the penalty to establish an eight point cushion.

With five minutes of the half remaining, we saw a truly sensational try as Ali stepped past two defenders and ran the angle to score a great try from twenty metres out. The Wire defence collectively didn't manage to lay a single hand on the big man. Sinfield goaled for 24-10. The Wolves continued to try and muscle up, but the tactic wasn't working and they were on a disciplinary tightrope. The Rhinos hurried the last few plays of the game as the visitors tired and on thirty-nine brilliant vision from Tansey saw him put a grubber into the corner which sat up beautifully for Ashley Gibson to collect and score. Sinfield goaled again from the touchline and we took a great 30-10 lead into the sheds.

It had been a half beyond our recent expectations, this was starting to look like the long-lost Rhinos were returning, could we manage another forty of the same?


Two Try Scott
The Wolves struck first in the second half thanks to a bizarre penalty awarded by Thaler after Leeds collected a kick through. The Wolves worked their close posession well and Swann slid over for a four pointer. Briers goaled and got the visitors back within fourteen, there was a nagging doubt that they might be starting a fightback.

The Wolves managed to keep us at bay until the hour mark, but then we once again turned on the style.

A good burrow break was followed by a Sinfield bullet pass which allowed Senior to dive over. The conversion gave us 36-16 and a twenty-point lead. Now Warrington had work to do.

Three minutes later and a Millard grubber was picked up by Senior amidst panic and confusion in the Wolves defence. He improved Sinfield angle making the conversion a formality for 42-14.

On sixty-nine, Sinfield goaded Briers with a drop-goal attempt but the ball slid left of the upright from right in-front. But, two minutes later and Donald picked up a poor Briers kick on his own thirty and went seventy metres to score under the sticks chased by exhausted Wolves backs. Burrow goaled again for 48-16 and it was all over.

Two sensational Leeds tackles deep in their own twenty, both pushing the carrier into touch and both saving tries kept the margin wide an when Keith juggled the ball on his own twenty before going eighty metres for his hat-trick try The SouthStanders could barely believe what they had witnessed. Sinfield goal, as the hooter sounded, made the final score 54-16 and a glorious revenge for the loss at the Halliwell Jones just four months ago.

This was a great Rhinos performance and a very enjoyable game to watch. It was as though our Rhinos had been on holiday for a couple of months but had now decided that this was the right time to return to work. The team spirit was there in buckets for all to see, and the lads had a go-forward that we've been missing for many weeks. Great performances from Thackray, Ali, Scott, Ashley and Sinfield made us look like a side that may just be looking to peak at the right time in the season. Can we still do a '2005 Bradford' and lift the most important trophy from third. On tonights performance, the bookies will be lowering the odds.

Great stuff Leeds, lets give it to Saints next week in their own back yard!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Thackray30%
7
Senior20%
7
Sinfield20%
5
Donald11%
4
Tansey7%
3
Burrow5%
2
Ellis3%
2
Gibson3%

See here for season standings.



Match Facts

Rhinos
Wolves
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
28
Tansey
5
Reardon
2
Donald
2
2
Fa'afili
30
Toopi
3
Gleeson, Martin
4
Senior
3
4
Kohe-Love
27
Gibson
1
18
Barnett
1
13
Sinfield
8
6
Briers
2
7
Burrow
1
25
Bridge
29
Thackray
2
8
Leikvoll
9
Diskin
7
Sullivan
1
18
Jones-Buchanan
16
Wood
11
Lauiti'iti
1
11
Swann
1
10
Peacock
12
Wainwright
12
Ellis
15
Westwood
14
Millard
14
Gleeson, Mark
3
Walker
23
Bracek
22
Kirke
19
Parker
8
Bailey
24
Riley

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
30-10
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
17,349


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