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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Bradford Bulls 12 Leeds Rhinos 26

23rd May 2010

By Leeds Rhinos

Danny McGuire scored his first hat trick for two years as the Rhinos overcame the heat and injury blows to overtake Bradford in the Engage Super League.

Leeds included Scott Donald on the right wing for the first time in 14 weeks whilst the major team news for both teams was the omission of Australian super star Matt Orford from the Bulls line up.

WP – Home MPU

Whilst the days when the two sides were battling it out at the top of the table may be on hold at present, the atmosphere was electric before kick off. However, Leeds were their own worst enemy after five minutes when, having dealt with a set well on their own line, Lee Smith looked to allow Paul Sykes kick to run dead and gave Elliot Whitehead the narrowest of chances to get the ball down which the Bulls man took. Sykes was off target with the conversion attempt so the lead remained 4-0.

Leeds were making heavy weather of getting away from their own line and a number of errors meant the home side were able to keep up the early pressure. There was a lengthy delay after a collision between Kylie Leuluai and Sykes and the Rhinos managed to find their feet after that.

Kevin Sinfield created the Rhinos opening score, when he released Brett Delaney, although Bulls fans appealed for forward pass, the centre then put Scott Donald away before he passed back inside for Danny McGuire to score after 14 minutes, the final pass rubbing salt into the wound of the Bulls fans as they thought that that too had been forward. Sinfield missed the conversion to leave the scores level after 14 minutes.

The Bulls hit the front again after 21 minutes when Michael Platt caught Sykes cross field and then spun out of the tackle by McGuire to go over between the posts. Sykes added the conversion to make it 10-4.  

The Rhinos were given an incredible let off five minutes later when Steve Menzies threw a cut out pass to Stuart Reardon on the wing. It looked a certain try but unchallenged, the winger dropped the ball.

The visitors then went back down the other end of the field and levelled the score. Lee Smith was held up over the line but from the next tackle, Sinfield chipped over the top and McGuire took a sensational catch and dive to score. Sinfield converted to make it 10-10 after 29 minutes.

There should be a special mention for Ian Kirke who made a fantastic cover tackle on Sykes. The England international collected a loose pass ten metres from his own line and set off on what looked like a certain try scoring run. However, the second rower turned and sprinted back up field catching Sykes 15 metres from the Rhinos line and hauling him down. It was a huge effort, especially in the heat of the game, however it appeared to take its toll as Kirke was immediately limping.

The game then took a significant turn with five minutes to go in the half. Scott Donald allowed a grubber kick to bounce and was deceived by the upturn bounce on the Odsal pitch. However, the video replay showed Chris Nero put his hand on Donald back to nudge him into touch. It was the slightest of touches but it was enough for video referee Thierry Alibert to rule out the try. Leeds promptly went down field and took the lead for the first time. A well flighted kick by McGuire was plucked out of the air by Hall who managed to keep his arms free before passing to Senior to score in the corner. Sinfield missed the conversion but the Rhinos now led 14-10.

The bizaare nature of the first half continued until the final second. With Leeds fans ironically calling for forward passes at every Bulls’ pass, Bradford appeared to knock on, having got away with that, the home side went for a quick play the ball which Jay Pitts at marker dived on. Leeds were then penalised for offside and Sykes concluded the half with a penalty to make it 14-12 to the Rhinos at the break.

The Rhinos made the best possible start to the second half with a try after just three minutes. Leeds gained the position when Rikki Sheriffe knocked on a high ball and Menzies had no option but to collect the ball from an offside position. Three tackles later the ball was moved quickly along the line and Delaney used his power to get over the line. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 20-12.

Sheriffe had the chance to make amends eight minutes when Menzies wide pass gave him a run in at the corner but he knocked on as he looked to bring down the high pass and the chance was gone. 

The Rhinos were denied a try after 56 minutes when Sheriffe and Hall contested a high kick before the ball bounced off both into the arms of McGuire. He had two tacklers around him but appeared to show incredible skill to stretch out one handed to touch the ball down over his head. However, Thierry Alibert ruled he had lost control and the score was chalked off. 

However, McGuire did complete his hat trick after 61 minutes when Greg Eastwood produced a brilliant offload on half way and McGuire bamboozled the full back to score between the posts. Sinfield converted to make it 26-12.  

There was still plenty of time left and Bradford looked to cut the deficit only for them to drop the ball over the line once against as Andy Lynch managed to bump off a tackle and stretched out to score only for the ball to fall from his grasp.

With two minutes remaining Lee Smith kicked a great 40:20 that meant the Rhinos were camped in Bulls territory in the final moments of the game. The full back nearly got a try for his efforts on the last tackle of the game as he looked to collect his own kick but he knocked on as he went to ground the ball to leave the final score 26-12.

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