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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Huddersfield Giants 24 Leeds Rhinos 31

11th September 2011

By Leeds Rhinos

A dramatic fightback from the Rhinos saw them defeat Huddersfield at the Galpharm Stadium and book fifth spot in the Engage Super League.

Leeds Rhinos were looking to book fifth spot in the Engage Super League table as they travelled to high flying Huddersfield Giants on the final day of the regular season.

WP – Home MPU

Leeds knew that a win would guarantee them fifth regardless of what Catalan Dragons did at Salford because of their superior points difference however a slip up against Nathan Brown's side would mean that a victory for the Frenchmen at the Willows could see the Rhinos finish sixth.

Brian McDermott welcomed back the likes of Brent Webb, Rob Burrow and Chris Clarkson, who had all missed the previous weeks win over Wakefield at Headingley Carnegie.

Leeds made the perfect start when Carl Ablett knocked back a short kick off to get the visitors on the front foot. Ben Jones-Bishop was unlucky not to get a try inside the first three minutes when he wrong footed Leroy Cudjoe but just lost control of the ball as he stretched for the line.

The Rhinos enjoyed the lions' share of possession but the opening exchanges were dominated by some tough defence. Leeds eventually did get their reward when Zak Hardaker showed why he is getting some rave reviews for his centre play when he powered his way over in the corner. Sinfield added an excellent conversion to make it 6-0 after 14 minutes.

The lead was extended five minutes later when Brent Webb finished off a great move from the Rhinos which included a superb offload from Ryan Bailey to Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who burst forward before putting Webb away. Sinfield converted to make it 12-0.

The fortunes then turned in the game with Huddersfield going on the ascendency. They got their first try through Michael Lawrence as he managed to get through the tackle of Hardaker and Webb. Danny Brough added the touchline conversion to make it 12-6.

Three minutes later the scores were level but there was a large slice of good fortune in the build up for the Giants. Despite strong claims for a forward pass, referee James Child allowed play to continue and eventually Luke Robinson showed great pace to finish well. Brough adding the conversion.

The Giants were in full control as the half came to an end with the Rhinos their own worst enemy with too much spilled ball. However, it appeared they would ride the storm out only to concede with 90 seconds remaining. Robinson created the chance with a dancing run before popping up a pass to Larne Patrick who cut a great line to go through and score. Brough added the conversion to make it 18-12 at the break.

Leeds came out fired up at the start of the second half and got their reward with an early score. Ali Lauitiiti got the move going before passing to Webb, who fed McGuire. The half back released Carl Ablett who unselfishly gave the final pass to Ryan Hall to score in the corner. Sinfield was unfortunate to see his conversion attempt get blown off course at the final moment so the Rhinos still trailed by two.

The game was turning into a very tight contest with both teams working hard but no real clear cut scoring opportunities for either team. Just before the hour mark the Rhinos were awarded a penalty when Jamie Peacock was held down ten metres out and Sinfield levelled the score with a simple kick.

The home side then retook the lead two minutes later when referee Child penalised Brett Delaney and Brough made no mistake to put his side into a 20-18 lead.  

The game swung back in favour of Leeds when they crossed for a try with eighteen minutes to go. There was an element of doubt surrounding the scorer after Carl Ablett appeared to ground the ball first off all only for it to be kicked clear, Ryan Hall was alert to the danger and picked up and went over to score. Ablett left the field after that as Sinfield added the conversion to make it 24-20 to the visitors.

Leeds then sealed the win when Danny Buderus and Sinfield combined to send Jones-Buchanan over between the posts. Sinfield converted to put ten points between the sides.

There was still time for a tense finish when Jermaine McGillvary got the better of Sinfield out wide to score. Brough's conversion was blown off course but the Giants still have just under a minute to snatch an equalising score.

They looked as if they may get it when McGillvary broke down field only to be pulled back for a forward pass. To put the final nail in the coffin, Sinfield then bobbed over a 35 metre drop goal from the ensuing scrum to make the final score 31-24 to the Rhinos.

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