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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Hull Kingston Rovers 22 Leeds Rhinos 36

18th April 2008

By Leeds Rhinos

Coming into this game the Rhinos were without six of their first team players through injury, forcing Brian McClennan to field a reshuffled side that saw Matt Diskin start at loose forward whilst Ben Kaye made his second start of the season at hooker. The Rhinos began their defence of their Super League title with victory over Hull KR back in February and the hosts looked determined to take their revenge with a spirited first half performance

The opening exchanges saw the two teams evenly matched with both sets of players making good attacking moves but neither were able to break through and the game remained scoreless for the first fifteen. Ben Fisher came close to opening the scoring for Hull KR but was held up on the line, however moments later persistent play from the Robins eventually paid off when David Mills collected a pass from Paul Cooke and was able to sneak through two Leeds defenders who left a gap for the prop to go in under the posts. Cooke landed the conversion to leave Leeds trailing 6-0. Minutes later Hull KR looked like they were in again when Stanley Gene made strong run down the centre of the field, under pressure he offloaded to James Webster but luckily for the Rhinos his return pass went to ground. Leeds hit back on twenty minutes when Matt Diskin sent Brent Webb through. The full back evaded centre Ben Cockayne to mark his return to the side with his 8th try of the season and Sinfield brought the game level with the conversion. The Rhinos however were not allowed to gain momentum as Hull KR showed their determination with some powerful hits to stifle the Rhinos. Three repeat sets on the Leeds line eventually told and Hull were awarded two penalties which Paul Cooke duly slotted over to give the hosts a four point lead and it looked like Leeds were going into half time behind. There was a final twist however to the first half when with a minute left Rob Burrow grabbed a crucial try for the Rhinos to ensure they had the advantage at the break. The scrum half made a trademark dummy move before weaving his way over next to the posts. Sinfield kicked the conversion to give the Rhinos a narrow 12-10 lead at the interval.

WP – Home MPU

In the second half Leeds were able to build on this lead after two penalties allowed the Rhinos to get close to the posts to open up an opportunity for Kylie Leuluai who powered his way through for his first try of the season. Sinfield was once again successful with the conversion to put the Rhinos 18-10 in front Burrow added his second try of the game minutes later, collecting a stray ball before a sprinting to the tryline unopposed. Sinfield landed the conversion to bring the score to 24-10. The hosts continued to pressue Leeds though and on 53 minutes former Leeds Academy player Scott Murrell powered his way over despite some frantic defence from the Rhinos and Cooke narrowed the deficit with the conversion. From here Leeds had to sustain immense pressure and eventually Hull KR were in again. Murrell chiped a kick to the corner, which Rhinos winger Scott Donald was unable to deal with, leaving Peter Fox open to score against his former club. Cooke converted to put Hull KR just two points behind after 61 minutes. Leeds were in need of a moment of inspiration to prevent the Hull KR flow and that moment came in the shape of their Great Britain international Keith Senior who scored a vital try for the visitors. The centre weaved his way through Hull KR's defence to grab the try on 65 minutes and Sinfield added the conversion to bring the scores to 30-22. In the 77th minute the Rhinos sealed the victory when Matt Diskin burrowed his way through from dummy half to score under the posts. Sinfield added the simple conversion to bring the score to 36-22. 

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