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Heroes to Zeros
Posted by southstander on July 13 2007 - 08:17:03

Go Now?

A week after the stunning victory at St. Helens, the Rhinos once again travelled deep into Lancashire this time to take on the Wigan Warriors. The top of the table was beckoning and all the lads needed to do was to show the determination that was on display last week.

One eye was on the interweb and the outcome of the Salary Cap Hearings at Red Hall, but the players should have been focussed on the next eighty minutes and securing the two points.

It would, however, be a night where the Rhinos would show us how easy it was to turn from heroes to zeros in the space of just six days.

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

02

Rhinos

v

Warriors

18

Superleague XI

Round 19

12th July 2007

Heroes to Zeros

Once again it was Nick Scruton who was named as water carrier with Ian Kirke starting in the second row wearing a nose guard. Kevin Sinfield was named at hooker, but would look as uncomfortable as the pre-match Elvis tributes jump suit! The rain was pouring before kick-off and showed no sign of relenting as the sides took the field for tonights rugby feast, to be broadcast to the masses on SKY.

The Rhinos set off like a train. The entire first ten minutes was played in the Wigan half and we went close on two or three occasions, the best being a twenty-metre effort from Webb which saw him hauled down just before the line, an early indication that it might not be his best night.

Despite the early dominance it was the Warriors who registered the first points, on their first foray into the Leeds half. A high tackle by Ryan Bailey gave Richards a forty metre penalty opportunity which he grasped with both hands. Five minutes later and the Warriors doubles their lead, this time after Leeds were adjudged offside on their own twenty.

The Rhinos then prodded and probed but couldn't get past a resolute Wigan defence. There was plenty of dropped ball, notably a couple of shockers from Brent Webb, but the apalling weather conditions were playing their part. A scrappy twenty minutes was pointless, but as the sides went in at half time there was still a relaxed confidence that the lads would keep hold of the ball more in the second half.

Unfortunately the second half was to be more of the same.

On forty-five it looked like Wigan were in for the first try of the game but the linesman, and then the video referee, ruled foot in touch. Three minutes later and Richards kicked a penalty from forty after another Leeds offside, but Sinfield responded a minute later from twenty after Fletcher failed to play the ball.

We were now 6-2 behind and heading for the hour mark without a single try in the game.


100%'er

Some of the refereeing decision were becoming increasingly enigmatic at the Rhinos started to get on the wrong side of a penalty count that would end up 9-5 against us. Some of it was down to Leeds frustration, particularly at the way that Wigan were slowing the play down, but some of it was just poor refereeing.

On fifty-nine the Warriors finally got the ball down over the whitewash, but only after the video referee had a good look. A grubber on the last bounced in goal and Webb tried to scoop the ball dead rather than just drop on it and ground it in goal. As the ball bobbled Colbon got a hand to it and grounded it. The video referee ruled try and with Richards touchline conversion we were 12-2 and it looked like the game was slipping away.


Impotent
We had time to come back, but the unforced errors were mounting as we seemed incapable of holding onto the ball for a full set of six.

On sixty-nine the Rhinos looked to be running out of steam as Fletcher was allowed to power over the line with tacklers attached. His try was under the sticks and Richards goal was a formality taking the score to 18-2, and a comprehensive defeat.

When Gaz Ellis was sent to the sin-bin with a minute remaining, for bad mouthing the referee, it summed up our night. In the end we'd been lucky to get the two points and avoid the nilling, but it was not a night to remember.

Neither side played particularly well, but the Warriors played less badly than we did and in the end they more than deserved the points. How the Rhinos can turn in two diverse performances like they have in the last six days beggers belief, we just don't have the consistency.

We now appear to have a fairly easy run-in to the end of the season with the away game at Bradford on the 2nd September looking like the one thaht will determine who finishes as runners up to Saints.

We just have to put this behind us and focus on getting at least twelve points from our last seven games.


Please vote for your Man-of-the-Match in the front page poll.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Warriors
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
5
Richards
5
2
Donald
2
Calderwood
3
Toopi
3
Bailey
4
Senior
14
Vaealiki
25
Hall
23
Colbon
1
6
McGuire
6
Barrett
7
Burrow
7
Leuleui
10
Peacock
8
Fielden
13
Sinfield
1
96
Higham
16
Bailey
10
Paleaasina
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Hock
18
Kirke
12
Fletcher
1
12
Ellis
13
O'Loughlin
23
Tansey
18
Prescott
14
Lauiti'iti
19
Hansen
15
Thackray
20
Goulding
8
Leuleui
25
McIlorum

Kick Off:
19:45
Half-Time:
00-04
Referee:
Ben Thaler
Crowd:
14,554


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