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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Hull FC 30 Leeds Rhinos 43

4th July 2009

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos ran up their biggest ever score away from home against Hull FC but they needed a late Lee Smith try to secure the victory.

The Rhinos appeared in command when they led 24-6 at the break with two tries from Ryan Hall and one from Keith Senior on his 500th career appearance amongst the scorers. However, the Airlie Birds slowly chipped away at the Champions lead and they needed a drop goal from Rob Burrow followed by Smith’s late effort to ease any nerves.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos were dealt a blow before kick off with the news that Danny McGuire had failed a late fitness check on his knee so Kevin Sinfield replaced him at stand off and Simon Worrall started in the pack. 

The game was Keith Senior’s 500th career appearance and he was presented with a special commemorative shirt to mark the occasion and it was not long before he had even more to celebrate as he set up Ryan Hall for his 20th try of the season with a quick offload in the corner. The home fans complained that Hall had put his foot in touch but referee Ian Smith did not refer the decision to the video ref and the try was awarded. Sinfield added the touchline conversion to make it 6-0 after five minutes.

Sinfield then produced a brilliant kick to regain possession deep in Hull territory as he earned a 40:20 kick. From the ensuing, the Rhinos attacked the line and a sublime offload by Senior create time and space for Sinfield to throw a looping pass outwide to Hall. The winger stepped back inside the cover and passed Gareth Raynor to score. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 12-0 after eight minutes.

Hull managed to hit back soon afterwards when they made the most of an opportunity when Leeds felt aggrieved that the ball had been stolen with two men in the tackle. The home side did not hang around though and eventually Shaun Berrigan spung out of the attempted tackle by Lee Smith to score. Danny Tickle added the conversion to make it 12-6 after 11 minutes.

However, the luck evened out soon afterwards when former Rhino Jamie Thackray had his complaints for ball stealing waved away as he lost control of the ball 30 metres from his own line. Once again, Leeds targeted the Airlie Birds right hand side defence and once again they went straight through it and this time it was Senior who touched down for his 230th career try in his 500th game. Sinfield again added the touchline conversion to make it 18-6.

The quick tempo nature of the game continued after that and Leeds got their fourth try of the game after 20 minutes. This time the chance came down the right hand side when quick hands from Ashley Gibson released Scott Donald to score in the corner. Sinfield’s conversion brushed the post and went over to make it 24-6.

The incredible pattern of the first half looked set to continue three minutes later when Hull appeared to score the games sixth try. However, video referee Ben Thaler spotted Paul King taking out Sinfield in back play in the build up to the try. 

With eight minutes remaining in the half, the Champions extended their lead. The chance came from a great break by Rob Burrow who passed back inside to Sinfield 20 metres from the line. The Leeds captain looked for support before deciding to head for the corner and score himself. He added the conversion to make it 30-6.

Three minutes later Hull got their second try with a length of the field break. A high Sinfield kick was fielded by Richard Horne who spotted a gap and put his side on the counter attack. Jodie Broughton, who is on loan at the KC Stadium from the Rhinos, looked certain to score as he tried to side step Lee Smith but lost his footing. However, the chance was eventually taken when Tickle held off the attempted tackle of Luke Burgess to score. Tickle converted his own try to make it 30-12 at the interval.

Leeds made a great start to the second half with a try after just four minutes. Lee Smith was the architect with a strong run and pass to Ashley Gibson, who showed great strength to hold off the defender with one arm whilst reaching out to touch down before the corner post for this first try since August last season. Once again Sinfield added the conversion from the touchline to extend his side’s lead.

However, if the Rhinos thought they were going to have it all their own way they were given a rude awakening when Hull hit back with two tries inside six minutes. Firstly, video ref Ben Thaler awarded Gareth Raynor a try after he dived through the air to touch down a through kick just before the dead ball line. Then Kirk Yeaman wrestled his way out of a tackle by Ashley Gibson to crash over after Hull had had three sets on the Rhinos line. Tickle converted both to make it 36-24 after 58 minutes.

The Rhinos had to withstand a mountain of pressure of that as Hull poured forward looking for another score. Gibson and Hall both knocked on attempting intercepts to give Hull more sets in Leeds territory but eventually it was the home side who came up with error with a knock on 15 metres from the Leeds line.

Danny Buderus showed great composure to take his team forward at every opportunity and settled any nerves and on their next visit to the Hull half Burrow popped over a drop goal to give his side breathing space with 14 minutes remaining.

Burrow decision seem to be vindicated with ten minutes remaining when Mike Burnett crashed over for the home side. Mike Ratu had been penalised for Leeds for holding on 20 metres from his own line and persistency from Hull eventually took them over. Tickle added the conversion to make it 37-30

However, Hull allowed the kick off to run out of play and the Rhinos sensed their chance to close out the game. After forcing a repeat set with a clever kick from Burrow, the visitors struck. Ali Lauitiiti created the chance with another great drive before one handed offload to the on rushing Lee Smith, who went over for the try. Sinfield kept up his 100% record with the boot to give his side a 43-30 win over Hull FC.

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