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Rhinos Youngsters Come of Age
Posted by southstander on April 11 2008 - 22:22:38

Awesome Bailey

Everyone will know of the famous Kipling quote which starts 'If you can keep your head...', well tonight, a whole host of Rhinos youngsters, and a few old timers, came of age and deserved the final line,'...you'll be a Man, my son!'.

It was a side ravaged by injury, up against the wall for long periods, who came from behind to record what was probably the best and hardest fought win of the season so far. It was a night of great Leeds performances.

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

32

Rhinos

v

Wolves

12

Superleague XIII

Round 11

11th April 2008

Rhinos Youngsters Come of Age

The queue outside the Rhinos treatment room would normally comprise the line-up in the tunnel a few seconds prior to a game. McGuire, Toopi, Jones-Buchanan, Lauiti'iti, Kirke, Worrall and Gibson were all absent forcing bluey to name a side with Ablett in the centres, Tansey at loose forward and Kaye and Williams on the bench. As we took to the field against a strong looking Warrington side, led by ex-Rhinos favourite Adrian Morley, I have to admit I had a bad feeling and was beginning to think that my tip for a Rhinos win might have been very optimistic.

Leeds were defending the Carnegie Stand in the first half and were on the back foot from the offset against a Warrington side who were faster in the play-the-ball, faster to the tackle and hitting us as hard as any side has done this season. Seven minutes in an they made their pressure count when Louis Anderson hit a short ball at speed and the Leeds defence couldn't get a hand on him as he crossed and improved the angle for Hicks to goal. Six down and we couldn't really complain.

Warrington pressure didn't stop there. They kept pushing and only some last gasp scrambling defence and ball handling errors by the visitors kept them at bay. Leeds looked slow, lumbering, and dazed by the Warrington onslaught. How it was only six approaching the hour was a miracle. But then, somewhat against the run of play, we got level.

The twenty-eight minute saw one of the best tries that you'll ever witness as Donald got the ball from Bailey and evaded five attempted tackles to go forty metres and score under the sticks. Sinfields conversion levelled the score.

The tide had turned, and Leeds seemed to be starting to believe. On forty the Wolves were penalised for offside and knowing that the clock was almost out, Sinfield opted for the two and gave the Rhinos an 8-6 half-time lead.


Great Kicking

We'd weathered a massive first half storm and the Wolves must have felt like they'd had their pockets picked. They'd dominated the half but somehow we were in the lead, but the game was still anyones. I wasn't confident that our yougsters could keep up this pace for another forty.

Leeds got a lucky break early in the second half. Brent Webb picked up wayward pass, facing his own line, but turned on a sixpence and went ten before finding Scott Donald on the wing who crossed for his second. Sinfield goaled brilliantly from the touchline and we had daylight. We also seemed like a different and far more determined side.


Scoring Machine
On fifty-four Sinfield kicked another penalty, this one after a Morley tackle which was so high it almost missed, and we were 16-6 up. Warrington were starting to make more mistakes and their heads were going down. Ian Smiths patience finally ran out four minutes later and Clarke was singled out for a sin-binning after repeated offside.

From the resulting penalty Sinfield spun over but the effort was chalked off by Smith as he was not ready. It mattered little as from the real play the ball was spun wide and Ablett crossed on the wing. Sinfield converted agains from the touchline for 22-6.

The game was now getting away from the Wolves and the patched up Rhinos were looking more and more determined. Smith decided to try and level the scores and penalised Leeds down into their own twenty. The Wolves took advantage and a bounce pass found Hicks on the wing to cross in the corner. He converted his own to get the visitors back within ten but it would be their last of the day.

On seventy a brilliant Burrow break saw a pass to Donald who went down the wing and when it looked like he'd been tackled he offloaded to the supporting Burrow who took two defenders with him to score in the corner. Sinfield missed the conversion but Leeds were 26-12 up.

Three minutes later and Sinfield kicked a penalty sixty metres to find touch just twenty from the Wolves line. Leeds used the ball well and quickly and Burgess went close before stretching out and scoring on the line. Sinfield converted for 32-12.

On seventy-six Bailey, who had put in an immense performance including a monster hit on Morley, took one hit too many and limped off with an ankle injury. He joined Ellis who also picked up a first half ankle injury on the 'worry' list.

The last action of the game was for Sinfield to drill a penalty, for holding down, against the left hand upright, but with a twenty point winning margin he won't really have minded.

This was probably the best win of the season in terms of grit and determination and grinding out a result. We'd got off to a slow start and had to absorb a great deal from the visitors but in the end they ran themselves to a standstill and we still had some held in reserve. The yougsters were sensational, but I'd pick out old timers Bailey, Burrow and Sinfield as all having amazing games. And what can you say about Scott Donald? Give him theball and he will score!

With the Warriors getting turned over by the Dragons we're back to four points clear. It has been a great night at the office.


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Bailey47%
8
Donald29%
6
Sinfield11%
4
Scruton4%
2
Ablett2%
2
Burrow2%
2
Peacock2%
2
Smith2%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Wolves
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
1
Reardon
2
Donald
2
2
Hicks
1
2
19
Ablett
1
3
Gleeson, Martin
4
Senior
4
King
5
Smith
5
Penny
13
Sinfield
6
13
Anderson, V
7
Burrow
1
7
Monaghan
8
Leuleui
8
Morley
9
Diskin
9
Clarke
16
Bailey
10
Rauhihi
10
Peacock
11
Anderson, L.
1
12
Ellis
15
Parker
21
Tansey
21
Bracek
24
Burgess
1
14
Gleeson, Mark
17
Scruton
24
Mitchell
26
Kaye
20
Riley
23
Williams
22
Harrison

Kick Off:
20:00
Half-Time:
08-06
Referee:
Ian Smith
Crowd:
16,327


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