Keith Senior scored a hat trick for the Rhinos, in what turned out to be a convincing win for the Super League's leaders when they took on the men from Hull.
Keith Senior scored a hat trick for the Rhinos, in what turned out to be a convincing win for the Super League's leaders when they took on the men from Hull at Headingley. Games between these two sides are always particularly intense and so this game proved with both teams struggling to win the arm wrestle in the first half and an erratic performance by referee Richard Silverwood did nothing to calm tempers. As in the previous week, the Rhinos opened the scoring. Keith Senior crossed for his 13th try of the season after seven minutes, following an initial break by Marcus Bai, and when Kevin Sinfield went from dummy half he managed to slip a pass out of the tackle, his pass to Jones Buchanan hit the floor off the second rower but the video ref adjudged the ball had gone backwards before Bai picked up and fed Senior for the try. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 6-0 Hull missed their first opportunity to score on 17 minutes when Danny Brough missed a penalty from in front of the posts however he did force a drop out and the visitors first try came straight from that. Hull captain Richard Horne broke through the line before drawing Mathers and putting Briscoe through, Brough this time was on target to make it 6-6. The game entered an ill tempered period then as the Rhinos felt aggrieved at a late shot on Rob Burrow and were then further incensed when they were penalised for lying on at the next play the ball. The home side were clearly riled and came firing out of the blocks but they were on done when Brough saw a gap in the on rushing defence and stepped through before passing back inside to Nathan Blacklock to score under the posts. Brough extending the lead to 12-6. The Rhinos responded in expected fashion by throwing everything at Hull however John Kear's men seemed to have all the answers on defence, including some not in the rule book. Calderwood had two chances whilst Bai and McDermott both were unable to get over the line from close range. Hull were beginning to get more and more desperate to defend their own line with a nasty high shot on Rob Burrow the most notable infringement. However with just 40 seconds left in the half the Rhinos levelled the game when Sinfield found Poching who released Senior, the big centre had a simple pass to put Bai in and Sinfield's conversion from near the touchline tied the game up at 12-12 at half time. Hull drew first blood at the start of the second half when Cooke kicked a penalty after McGuire was penalised for interference however the Rhinos soon re-took the lead. A speculative kick across field was knocked back by Walker to McKenna, he found Calderwood who put in an inch perfect kick towards the post from twenty five metres out. Blacklock, under pressure from Burrow and having to navigate round the post, missed the pick up and Burrow reacted quickest to touch down. Sinfield's conversion making it 18-14. The Rhinos next try also came from a kick but a much more unlikely source, a towering bomb from Ryan Bailey. The kicked caught the whole Hull backline knapping as it sailed towards the South Stand and Keith Senior outleaped the cover to touchdown after 60 minutes, Sinfield extended the lead to 24-14. The Rhinos were now on fire and they scored almost right from the re-start as Sinfield sent Ellis through a gap and he brilliant drew the cover before putting Mathers through to scamper to the line, Sinfield's conversion making it 30-14. Senior then completed his hat trick which was put on a plate for him but a sensational reverse pass by Richard Mathers to put him through. The game ended in bizarre circumstances when, with the clock showing time up, Kevin Sinfield elected to kick a penalty for goal, only to kick the place kick to the corner, which Rob Burrow collected to touch down. Referee Richard Silverwood handed the decision onto the video referee Robert Connolly who rightly gave a no try decision.
Following both teams elimination from the Tetley's Challenge Cup last weekend, Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield have agreed to re-arrange the date for their postponed Round Eight Super League clash at the Rapid Solicitor's Stadium which will now be played on Friday 26th July, kick off 8pm.
Rugby League fans will have the opportunity to put questions about the ongoing Policy Review and planned competition restructuring directly to RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood and RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer in a ground-breaking online question and answer session on Friday (May 17).