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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Harlequins 26 Leeds Rhinos 36

11th May 2008

By Leeds Rhinos

Very late tries from Jamie Peacock & Danny McGuire ensured that the Rhinos were in the hat for the Quarter Final but they escaped a major upset by the skin of their teeth. The Rhinos had led 24-4 at the start of the second half but Quins then scored 22 unanswered points in an 18 minute period that looked as if it would end the Rhinos Carnegie Challenge Cup dreams. However, that is why this Rhinos team are Champions and they produced the goods in the final five minutes to book their place in the sixth round. Leeds Rhinos arrived at a sweltering Twickenham Stoop for their Fifth Round Carnegie Challenge Cup clash with Harlequins RL. Brian McDermott's side were looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking defeat to Catalans the previous weekend whilst Leeds were looking to go one step closer to Wembley. Brian McClennan started with Jordan Tansey at hooker whilst youngster Ben Jones-Bishop was at full back for Brent Webb, who was travelling back from Sydney having played for New Zealand. Quins looked to put the young Rhinos backline under pressure in the early exchanges with Ryan Hall dealing brilliantly with one bomb and Ben Jones-Bishop watching another bounce off the cross bar and out of play.

On attack, Leeds made good ground in midfield but were left frustrating by some poor kicks on the last tackle. However, eventually they did get their break through and it came from a Quins error. The home side were on the attack through Will Sharp but a good cover tackle by Danny McGuire jarred the ball out and Ben Jones-Bishop was on to the chance in a flash. He rounded the attempted tackle by Henry Paul before racing from half way to score his first try for the club. Kevin Sinfield added the conversion to make it 6-0 after 13 minutes. The home side responded well to that early set back and continued to apply pressure on the Leeds line. They eventually hit back after 23 minutes after Leeds handed possession over 30 metres from their own line. After a number of runs from dummy half eventually Tony Clubb forced his way over from close range. Henry Paul missed a relatively easy conversion so the Rhinos still led 6-4. Leeds needed a spark of inspiration and it came with 11 minutes remaining in the half. McGuire cut back inside to receive an offload from Jamie Peacock and then stepped through the Quins defence to score between the posts. Sinfield's conversion making it 12-4. The home supporters were incensed with referee Ian Smith after what they saw as a number of forward passes going unnoticed. However, the Rhinos were not about to hang around and argue the point and they increased their lead just before half time. Rob Burrow kicked down field for Watkins to collect, he burst through the tackle before eventually being pulled down however he produced a brilliant one handed offload to Donald, who picked the ball off his bootlaces to go over and score. Sinfield added his hardest kick of the half to make it 18-4 at the break.

WP – Home MPU

Leeds pushed home their advantage after the break and score just four minutes after the restart. A good break by Burrow had Quins back peddling and a clever grubber kick by Matt Diskin eluded the home defence allowing McGuire to dive on the ball for a simple score. Sinfield converted to make it 24-4. However, any thoughts that the game may have been won were quickly quashed by the home side who hit back after 49 minutes through Danny Orr. The former Castleford man side stepped near the line which gave him just enough room to squeeze through and put the ball down. Paul converted to make it 24-10. The gap was narrowed even further three minutes later. Quins had forced a repeat set on the Leeds line with a crossfield kick that Donald managed to knock dead but from the ensuing set Henry Paul managed to get over and his conversion made it 24-16 and the game was back in the balance with 26 minutes remaining. Quins sensed their opportunity and continued to pour the pressure on the Rhinos. They cut the Rhinos lead to just two points when Henry Paul again got over from close range and then Danny Orr made it 22 points in 18 minutes when he gave the home side the lead for the first time just after the hour mark with his second try. Paul missed the conversion but Quins had the lead at 26-24. Nothing was going right for the Rhinos and it appeared that their Carnegie Challenge Cup dream was going to melt away in the London sun. However, like true Champions they continued to believe in themselves. They had a narrow escape with nine minutes remaining when Quins had a try disallowed for a forward pass. However, it was a piece of quick thinking by their captain that got the Rhinos back on track. Quins had kicked dead and from the 20 metre restart Sinfield took advantage of the new ruling when you can kick for touch and get the ball back at the scrum if it bounces in play. The scrum was packed down on half way, McGuire broke clear first then it looked like Tansey would score but his offload back inside fell to Burrow. The Rhinos showed real composure not to panic and eventually Jamie Peacock powered his way over. Sinfield converted to make it 30-26. In the final minute of the game, McGuire wrapped up his hat trick to give the scoreline an inflated look at 36-26 but the Rhinos had escaped a major banana skin on their road to Wembley. As it is they will be in the hat for the Quarter Final but their nerves will have be tested severely. 

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