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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Hull FC 38 Leeds Rhinos 6

8th March 2002

By Leeds Rhinos

Hull’s Australian playmaker Jason Smith produced a wonderful array of attacking skills to run early-season form team Leeds ragged in a surprisingly one-sided game at the Boulevard.

The Rhinos, so impressive in wins over Bradford and London Broncos, were handed a lesson in creativity by slick-moving Hull, who ran in six tries and were not flattered by a 32-point winning margin.

WP – Home MPU

The home side also had tries from Smith and Toa Kohe-Love disallowed as they provided ample evidence that last season's third-placed finish was no fluke.

 The Rhinos, who badly missed injured half-back pair Ben Walker and Ryan Sheridan, had no answer to the clever ball distribution and shrewd kicking game of Smith.

 Leeds hooker Matthew Diskin, one of the Rhinos' best players, tried to stop the former Parramatta loose forward with a late tackle on 58 minutes and was sent off by referee Ian Smith for use of the elbow but the outcome was already decided by then.

Smith, switched to scrum-half in a re-shuffle caused by the absence of full-back Steve Prescott, caused havoc with his towering "bombs" and silky ball-handling skills.

 Stand-off Paul Cooke was the chief beneficiary of his handiwork, touching down after nine minutes following a delayed pass and switch of play and claiming a second try on 37 minutes following a knock-on by Leeds winger Mark Calderwood.

It was another blunder, this time from the Rhinos' four-try hero of last week's rout of London Broncos Andy Hay, which let in impressive forward Sean Ryan for Hull's other first-half try, his first for the club.

 Things went from bad to worse for Leeds when the unfortunate Calderwood dropped another kick from Smith over his own line just three minutes into the second half and Ryan followed up in copycat fashion to claim his second try.

Crowther's fourth successful conversion made it 24-0 and, although the Rhinos, who had a first-half try by Keith Senior disallowed, hit back with a try from winger Marcus St Hilaire, created by a break out of his own half from Kevin Sinfield, the visitors finished in disarray.

 They were reduced to 12 men for the last quarter following the dismissal of Diskin and Crowther put the second of two penalties to stretch Hull's lead to 28-6.

And the Airlie Birds, oozing an air of confidence, piled on the agony for their shell-shock visitors with more exceptional tries from long range.

 Crowther was put through a gap by ex-Leeds centre Graham Mackay and raced out of his own half to send the supporting Richard Horne over and right winger Gareth Raynor finished off a sparkling four-man handling move for his side's sixth try, to which Crowther added his seventh goal.

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