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Rhinos Sunny Delight
Posted by southstander on May 14 2008 - 08:10:17

Hat-trick Hero

A long, hot, and sticky jaunt down the M1 was concluded with a fight for shade at the Twickenham Stoop. We were wilting in the covered seating, and with the temperature pitchside pushing towards thirty degrees centigrade, we feared that exhaustion may well play a part in this afternoons Carnegie Challenge cup fifth round tie.

As kick-off approached, the Rhinos fans outnumbered those from the nations' capital in a pitiful crowd of just 2,300. We had to hope that the players could be more 'bothered' than the fans.

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

36

Rhinos

v

'Quins

26

Superleague XIII

Challenge Cup - Round 5

11th May 2008

Rhinos Sunny Delight

Leeds absentee list seems to know no bounds. We were now without Webb (on international duty), Luke Burgess (injured) and Eric Anselme (cup tied). On the up side we were relieved to see the return of Gaz Ellis who started the game on the bench. Jones-Bishop was chosen at full-back as Lee Smith was omitted from the side, and Matt Diskin was sat alongisde Ellis on the benches as Jordan Tansey started the game in the hooking position.

Early exchanges belittled the conditions as both sides ran and tackled strongly, and both went close to scoring in the opening ten minutes. And it was a 'Quins attack which led to the first try of the game, ironically for the Rhinos. As the home side attacked the ball was spilled in the tackle and picked up by Jones-Bishop on his own thirty. He tucked the ball under his arm and went seventy metres to score under the sticks. Sinfield kept his run of scoring games going and we were up, somewhat against the run of play.

On twenty-two it was the 'Qunis turn to profit from a mistake, this one much closer to the line. Watkins dropped the ball after a dodgy Diskin pass and three tackles later Clubb burrowed over the line from acting half-back. Paul, surprisingly, missed a simple conversion.

The 'Quins resurgance was short-lived. On twenty-six a Peacock half-break and brilliant offload allowed McGuire to step past two defenders and score by the sticks making Sinfields conversion a simple one for 12-4. The favourites were on their way to the quarter finals.


100% Booter

As the sides started to tire towards the end of the first half, Leeds were in again. This time it was good passing combinations and a couple of half-breaks before a sensational offload from Watkins found Donald in space to score in the corner. Sinfield converted well from the touchline for 18-4 before the lads headed for the shelter of the dressing room to take on some hard earned half time fluids.

Leeds seemed fully in control, we'd not really need to get out of first gear, everything pointed to a simple and relaxed second half saunter to victory. How wrong could we be.

Leeds got the second half off to a cracking start when just two minutes in a grubber kick into the 'Quins goal was missed by all the defenders and touched down by Danny McGuire. Sinfield kicked to goal for 24-4, surely it was all over for Brian McDermotts side.

But on forty-eight the fightback began.

A drop in Leeds attention allowed Danny Orr to spin out of a tackle and drop over the line. Paul converted this one to narrow the deficit to fourteen. No real need to panic yet.

Four minutes later and Leeds were bamboozled by Paul crossed on his back but in the eyes of Mr Smith he managed to get the ball down. He converted his own to take the score to 24-16. Now there was some mild concern.

Just five more minutes had passed before the 'Quins took full advantage of a high tackle by Senior in his own twenty and Paul tapped the penalty to himself and dove over the line. He converted the try and now the home side were just two adrift. Concern was turning into panic.


80 Minutes
Three minutes later and the Harlequins momentum saw them into the lead. A dropped ball by Burrow and a missed tackle by Senior contributed to another try for Danny Orr, but Paul hitting the post with the conversion attempt meant that the Londoners had just a narrow two point lead at 24-26, and twenty minutes to hold on.

Leeds had been blitzed by twenty-two unanswered points in twelve minutes from a 'Quins team that looked like they meant business. This game was drifting away from us, the chance of a clean sweep was laying in tatters, and I was struggling to see how the lads could get back into the game after such a lacklustre spell. But we're stronger than that!

Leeds tried everything to get back into it, and the team spirit was there for all to see. But it was the 'Quins who came close to sealing the win on seventy-four when Sharp went over in the corner, only for referee Smith to call a forward pass, much to our collective relief.

On seventy-seven, and time running out, Sinfeld put a twenty-metre kick out on the bounce and got us a scrum just over half-way. Leeds made full use of the ball and went close on a couple of occasions before Peacock, on the field for the entire match, hit the ball at speed and crashed over. Sinfield goaled for a four point Rhinos lead. Now it was the 'Quins playing catch up.

As they started to throw the ball about a pass was missed and McGuire completed a hat-trick with a jinking individual try from ten metres out. Sinfields goal gave us a lop-sided 36-26 win, and we'd snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

The Harlequins played well in this game, showing none of their previous weeks frailties. This should have been a game that they won, especially with the momentum that they managed to get in the second half. In the end it was a bit of luck and a bit of McGuire class that clinched the victory, but if we go on to Wembley then we'll look back on this game as a lucky escape.

There were several good Leeds performances in difficult conditions. Jones-Bishop didn't put a foot wrong, McGuire showed his style in scoring his hat-trick and Jamie Peacock ran his blood to water for the full eighty minutes. It was, above all, a good team performance and showed that we can dig deep when we need to.

We're in the hat for tonights draw, and to be honest, that is all that counts!


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


Match Facts

Rhinos
'Quins
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
34
Jones-Bishop
1
2
Wells
2
Donald
1
24
Sharp
32
Watkins
3
Gafa
4
Senior
4
Howell
22
Hall
5
Sheriffe
6
McGuire
3
23
Paul
2
3
7
Burrow
7
Orr
2
8
Leuluai
8
Temata
21
Tansey
9
Randall
17
Scruton
17
Ward
10
Peacock
1
19
Clubb
1
19
Ablett
27
Worrincey
13
Sinfield
6
18
Mbu
9
Diskin
14
Rinaldi
12
Ellis
15
Mellingk
28
Worrall
16
Heggarty
25
Allan
20
Grayshon

Kick Off:
15:00
Half-Time:
18-04
Referee:
Ian Smith
Crowd:
2,300


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