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Woeful Wildcats Give Rhinos a Week Off
Posted by southstander on September 14 2007 - 23:18:49

Almost Faultless

After last weeks shocker against Hull FC someone would have to pay the price.

It turned out to be Bailey and Thackray who both found themselves dropped by Smith in what could be his last game in charge at HQ (fingers crossed).

A win would secure second place no matter what happened at the KC Stadium where the Airlie Bird played hosts to third placed Bulls. A loss wasn't even worth contemplating.

Full report here...

46

Rhinos

v

Wildcats

04

SLXII - Round XXVII

14th September 2007

Woeful Wildcats Give Rhinos a Week Off

It was the first time since the advent of squad numbers that I can remember a Rhinos side taking the field in jerseys numbered one to thirteen. Was this really Smiths first choice starting line-up? Somehow I doubt it.

From the earliest plays it was obvious that this was a different side to the one that apitulated last week. We were playing the ball like it was about to explode, tackling with a ferocity back to our purple patch in the midle of the season, and with a determination which spoke volumes of us not slipping up again.

There were just four minutes on the clock when Webb diffused a bomb on his own twenty and chose the wing rather than coming in-field. He stepped out of four or five tackles on his way to the Wildcats forty before passing inside to the supporting McGuire. Danny stepped out of a tackle himself and went in next to the sticks. Sinfields conversion made him the first Leeds player ever to play and score in every game during a regular season, lets hope he keeps the run alive in the play-offs.

Leeds dominated the next twenty minutes but inexplicably failed to cross the whitewash. It was almost as though we got temporarily blind when within five metres of the scoring zone. The lead was doubled to twelve on the twenty-five minute mark when Sinfield crossed off a clever Burrow ball. He converted hisown try and silenced the large travelling support, still holding onto an impossible dream of snatching the last play-off place.

On the half-hour, Danny McGuire scored a Schofieldesque try, the old masters signature. A chip over the defence on the forty was collected on the twenty, Danny stepped round the full back and went over under the sticks. Sinfield converted and the Rhinoshada comfortable 18-0 half time lead.

It could, and perhaps should, have been a lot more had it not been for a multitude of squandered chances and the enigmatic officiating of Mr Ganson, who gave every 50-50 to the visitors.


Jekyll & Hyde

We were more than satisfied with the first half workrate and looking forward to the lads attacking their favoured Carnegie Stand end in the second half.

The second half was three minutes old when a Sinfield high kick to the wing was fumbled backwards by Donald and found its way to Burrow who went down the wing and scored in the corner. Sinfield failed to convert but at 22-0 it was looking like second spot was more than safe. The Wildcats couldn't keep up with play, let alone the scoreline.

On forty-eight a pinpoint accurate Sinfield grubber on the Wildcats 30m was collected by Toopi on the twenty and scored under the sticks. Sinfield made it four from five and took the score to 28-0.


Perfect
On fifty-three a great passing move through six pairs of Rhinos hands saw Burrow over under the sticks making Kevins conversion a formality for 34-0. It was turning into a rout.

The Rhinos were tearing the opposition apart. Their heads were down, and now it was just a matter of how many they'd leak.

On fifty-three it was McGuires turn to put in a superb grubbe, this one collected by Webb in full flight over the line toground under the sticks. Kev made it six from seven and 40-0.

Brief consolation on sixty-three when a break downfield was halted by Webb but a fast play the ball allowed Jeffries to cross as the Leeds defence scrambled to get back onside. Rooney failed to goal from the touchline and it would be the only attempt that he'd have all night.

On seventy-one Jeffries season finished in disgrace as he was sin-binned for professional foul near his own line and two minutes later a passing move which went from right to left and back to right saw Smith find a hole in the stretched defence and cross nect to the posts. Sinfield kicked his seventh of the day and the Rhinos had sealed a comprehensive 46-6 win to make the play-off in style.

This was far from the perfect performance but there are many positives that can be taken from it. The play-the-ball was sensationally fast, the tackling was ferocious, and for once the lads seemed to work brilliantly as a team with offlods sticking and a brilliant kicking game from Sinfield, McGuire and Burrow.

Now the boys get a week off to recharge the batteries, and watch either Wigan or Bradford bow out of the competition, before travelling to Knowsley Road a fortnight tonight. Now there we do have a good recent record. Come on the Rhinos!

One last thing - about the match day experience. Interviewing Tykes Rugby Union players at half-time in a Rhinos game...tut,tut...never again please. That is one sure fire way to get me to not renew my season ticket next year.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
McGuire41%
8
Webb18%
6
Donald12%
6
Ellis12%
4
Ablett6%
4
Sinfield6%
2
Burrow3%
2
Leuleui3%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wildcats
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
21
Blaymire
2
Donald
22
Fox
3
Toopi
1
3
Demetriou
4
Senior
4
Atkins
5
Smith
1
28
White
6
McGuire
2
6
Rooney
7
Burrow
2
7
Jeffries
1
8
Leuleui
8
Watene
9
Diskin
9
Obst
10
Peacock
25
Moore
11
Jones-Buchanan
23
Golden
12
Ellis
12
MacGillivray
13
Sinfield
1
7
17
Henderson
14
Lauiti'iti
10
Sculthorpe
18
Kirke
15
March
22
Ablett
16
Bibey
23
Tansey
33
Gleeson

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
18-00
Referee:
Steve Ganson
Crowd:
19,226


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