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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Huddersfield Giants 22 Leeds Rhinos 14

18th September 2016

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos lost out to Huddersfield Giants despite tries from Adam Cuthbertson, Tom Briscoe and Ash Handley in the second half for the visitors.

Both teams arrived at this penultimate game of The Qualifiers in vastly contrasting moods. The Rhinos win over Batley, their fifth victory in five post season games, secured Super League status for 2017 whilst Huddersfield’s humiliating defeat at Leigh had put their survival chances in the balance.
 
On a hot September afternoon, the Rhinos were roared on by a large contingent of Leeds fans behind the posts but they were forced to defend their own line for long periods of the first half.
 
Having held the line well with some strong defence, the visitors did concede the opening try after eleven minutes when Leroy Cudjoe found himself in enough space to break the line and stretch out to score. Danny Brough missed the conversion attempt but his side led 4-0.
 
The Rhinos were finding themselves on the wrong side of referee Ben Thaler, conceding an unusually high amount of penalties, and Brough took one of the those opportunities to extend his side’s lead to 6-0 after 15 minutes and further in front with another kick at goal with ten minutes to go in the half.
 
The visitors finished the first half strongly and looked certain to open their account for the day when James Segeyaro broke free after Keinhorst fielded a poor kick by Brough. Referee Thaler halted play for a knock on by Leeds only for his touch judge to interject and say it was a Huddersfield hand that had stripped the ball out. Leeds had to settle for the scrum and were then dealt another blow when an offload by Segeyaro was plucked out of the air by Jake Connor. The centre got his side moving up field and they were ruthless with the chance as eventually Ryan Brierley took the final pass to score between the posts. Brough added the conversion to make it 14-0 at half time.
 
There was more bad news for Leeds at the start when they lost Keith Galloway to injury. The prop suffered a serious leg injury and had to be helped from the field.
 
Huddersfield extended their lead after eight minutes, following back to back repeat sets on the Rhinos line when Brough took an offload before cutting back inside Ashton Golding to score between the posts. His conversion made it 20-0 and the home side looked set for a comfortable win.
 
Leeds winning did break their duck for the afternoon when Adam Cuthbertson powered his way over from close range following a period when the penalties were going the visitors way. Liam Sutcliffe added the conversion to cut the gap to 20-6 with 21 minutes to go.
 
The Rhinos turned up the pressure on Huddersfield minutes later when Tom Briscoe created and scored his side’s second try. The ball was moved wide and Briscoe raced clear down the touchline. With Sutcliffe in support, he opted to kick ahead for the full back to chase however the ball spun back towards Briscoe and he appeared to just beat his team mate to the touch down. Sutcliffe missed the conversion attempt from wide out but the gap was now 20-10.
 
Leeds looked to open up the Giants again but the home side showed their desperation but holding firm. Following an error by Leeds, they gave themselves some breathing space with a third Brough penalty of the game to make it 22-10.
 
The Rhinos did make it three tries apiece with five minutes to go when an offload by Keinhorst put Ash Handley in space and the young winger finished in spectacular style. Unfortunately, Sutcliffe’s conversion attempt dropped short and Leeds were still left with needing two scores to win.
 
Leeds battled hard but had left themselves too much to do and slipped to their first defeat in the Qualifiers. 
 

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