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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 28 Hull FC 22

26th March 2000

By Phil Daly

Iestyn Harris led his side back to the Challenge Cup Final as they overcame Hull in the Silk Cut Challenge Cup semi-final at Huddersfield.

In a game that became infamous at the final hooter by the actions of the Hull FC fans however the match itself was a classic encounter that has been largely forgotten by the history books.

WP – Home MPU

The tie was not decided until six minutes from time when Anthony Farrell proved too strong near the line to stop for the tired Hull defenders.

The Airlie Birds did still rally late on when Wayne McDonald scored a try in injury time to bring the margin back to a modest six points – equivalent to the extra goals kicked by Iestyn Harris. It was a gap that was just about a fair reflection of the balance of play, even if such considerations were put in the shade by what happened next.

Hull had started well, capitalising on David Barnhill’s mistake at the game’s first play-the-ball by winning an offside penalty, converted by Ben Sammut. Within the first five minutes, though, Leeds had gained a foothold in the match.

A brilliant rescuing run by Harris got them out of trouble and Richie Blackmore shook off Deon Bird for the first try. Harris converted from wide out and his penalty after Will Robinson had ripped the ball from Senior established another area of Leeds’ superiority.

Matt Daylight kept his side in the game with a hat-trick of tries, earning him the man of the match award, the first of them after Craig Wilson had stolen the ball from Barnhill.

There was a question mark about Barrie McDermott’s pass to Francis Cummins that set up the position for Ryan Sheridan to score, but, after Paul King’s 40/20 kick, Wilson’s elegantly precise long pass sent Daylight in once more.

Sammut could not match Harris’s accurate goal-kicking and Hull remained four points behind until six minutes into the second half, when Paul Cooke’s towering kick was plucked out of the air by the inspired Daylight to complete his haul.

That was the testing time for Leeds, but they responded with Cummins’ try, when he outleapt Brian Carney to take Sheridan’s bomb.

This time, they were to hang on to their lead, although Hull thought they had their chance to equalise when the hero of last year’s final, Leroy Rivett, stumbled in pursuit of Stanley Gene’s low kick and recovered in time to reach it fractionally before Bird could touch down.

Hull’s downfall came when Paul Broadbent knocked on behind his own try-line straight from a kick-off following a Sammut penalty. Leeds seized their chance through Farrell.

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