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Rhinos Do the Hardest Double
Posted by southstander on July 06 2007 - 23:49:17

Man of Steel?

Despite arriving at Knowsley Road in bright sunshine, just before kick-off the storm clouds began to gather overhead.

With the Rhinos having taken an almighty drubbing last week at the hands of the Bulls, and the Saints flying high after a massive win over the Giants, it looked like the darkened skies may have been a bad omen for the Rhinos.

Could our charges pull off the double over the mighty St. Helens. The next eighty minutes would tell us.

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

22

Rhinos

v

Saints

10

SLXII - Round 19

5th July 2007

Rhinos Do the Hardest Double

Nick Scruton was the unlucky one to miss out with Ryan Hall getting an outing in place of the injured Lee Smith. Keith Senior was in at right centre to add some extra cover, but it was down the middle - in the forwards that this game would be won and lost. We had to be in the faces of the home side from the very first hooter, and stay there for the full eighty. A rattled Saints is a beatable Saints.

The game started well enough for Leeds and the held their own and the territory in the early exchanges. When Saints were ruled offside on their own line the travelling support, who were in fine voice, begs Sinfield to kick the two and he obliged for an early lead. How many of us prayed for the final hooter then.

On fourteen minutes it looked as though we'd open the scoring. A Saints kick was charged down and colected by Sinfield who passed inside to Toopi on the half-way line. Toopi set off for the line but was brilliantly tackled five metres short. From the next play a Burrow pass was knocked-on by Hall with the line begging, but to his credit it would be his only mistake of the night.

On seventeen the Saints looked to have scored but Silverwood went to the video referee who ruled that Talau had lost the ball, under the Hall tackle, in the act of scoring. We were still just the two points up.

With a quarter of an hour left in the half, Leuleui put in a high tackle and from the penalty the Saints took three tackles before Roby went over from acting half with his first touch after coming off the bench. Tyrer goaled and the Saints were ahead.

Now we braced ourselves for the onslaught.


Brilliant JJB

On thirty-three the Rhinos got reward or a period of good pressure when a Saints knock-on on their own line gave the Rhinos head and feed at the scrum. Sinfield took the ball from the back row and passed inside to McGuire who stepped right and dove over under thesticks. Sinfield added the extra two and re-instated the two point lead. Now we needed to hold on until half time.

With just ninety second to go, and after Silverwood waved the tackle count down despite a clear Saints knock-on, Tyrer took full advantage of a flowing move down field to score in the corner. He missed his own conversion but as the half-time hooter sounded the Saints had taken a narrow lead ina thrilling game.

Leeds had led the game for twenty-six minutes, the Saints for only nine, but it was the home side with the advantage. We'd played a lot better than many Rhinos supporters had expected, and to go in just two points adrift was an achievement in itself. We were playing far better than last week, defending very well, and hitting the opposition hard.

Seven minutes of the second half had passed before Rob Burrow sent the travelling supporters mental. A good passing move on the Saints twenty saw Burrow find a gap to step through and run the angle to the line. Sinfield goaled and we were now four points ahead, but was it too soon.


Enforcer
What was developing was a war of attrition. It was a game of massive hits from both sides and the forwards were starting to get exhausted.

There followed a passage of almost thirty minutes of fascinating and exciting slog as both sides tried to force the non-existant crucial mistake.

With six minutes left it was the Rhinos that broke the deadlock and broke the home sides spirit. A Sinfield kick through was knocked-on by Saints and an the fourth tackle the ball was moved right with Tansey, Webb and then Senior finding Hall to cross on the overlap and score the killer try. Sinfield missed the extras but at 18-10 we were two scores ahead.

Saints tried to come back but now they were forcing the pass and starting to panic. High shots were becoming the order of the day and as the penalty count evened up at 8-8, the Rhinos used everyopportunity to ease the pressure.

With three minutes left Fozzard tried to offload straight into the hands of Tansey who went fifty metres unopposed, as the Saints tacklers grasped for breat, to score. Sinfield once again failed with the conversion but the Rhinos managed to run the clock down to a famous double and a 22-10 win.

It would be churlish to either pick out the stars, or to cricise any individuals, when the lads put in such a tremendous performance. This win has breathed new life into the Rhinos season and will certainly draw back in the doubters after last weekend. To have done the double over the favourites to win all the seasons silverware is a notable achievement and it proves that when we put our minds to t we have got what it takes to be the champions. Onwards to Wigan next week and another game against a team of salary cheats.

All that could improve my night would be to find out that the Bulls had lost....oh, they did!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Burrow33%
8
Sinfield24%
6
Leuleui22%
5
Hall10%
4
Ellis4%
4
Jones-Buchanan4%
2
McGuire2%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Saints
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
Wellens
2
Donald
24
Tyrer
1
1
3
Toopi
3
Gidley
4
Senior
4
Talau
25
Hall
1
2
Gardner
6
McGuire
1
6
Pryce
7
Burrow
1
21
Smith
16
Bailey
8
Fozzard
9
Diskin
9
Cunningham
10
Peacock
10
Cayless
11
Jones-Buchanan
15
Bennett
12
Ellis
15
Bennett
13
Sinfield
3
12
Wilkin
8
Leuleui
17
Graham
23
Tansey
1
22
Clough
18
Kirke
23
Fa'Asavalu
18
Lauiti'iti
14
Roby
1

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
08-10
Referee:
Richard Silverwood
Crowd:
10,074


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