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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Senior & Sinfield return for Champions

18th February 2009

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos stars Kevin Sinfield and Keith Senior are set to return to action for the Champions for their visit to Hull KR on Friday.

Both players missed last Friday’s win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats however they have been cleared to return to action and have been named in coach Brian McClennan’s 19 man squad to make the trip over to Craven Park.

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Samoan World Cup star Ali Lauitiiti is ruled out by an injury picked up in the win over Wakefield and scrum half Rob Burrow is also still missing however both are expected to be fit for the Carnegie World Club Challenge on Sunday 1st March against NRL Champions Manly Sea Eagles.

Commenting on the squad McClennan said, "We are delighted to have Keith and Kev back available this week. Hull KR will be full of confidence after their draw at Bradford last week and it we will going there knowing we are in for a tough battle.

"Ali and Rob are coming along well with their injuries but Friday’s game has come just too early for them. We are confident both will be available for selection next week."

The squad in full is:

2. Scott Donald
3. Lee Smith
4. Keith Senior
5. Ryan Hall
6. Danny McGuire
8. Kylie Leuluai
9. Danny Buderus
10. Jamie Peacock
11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan
13. Kevin Sinfield
14. Matt Diskin
16. Ryan Bailey
17. Ian Kirke
18. Carl Ablett
19. Luke Burgess
20. Ashley Gibson
22. Danny Allan
23. Kallum Watkins
26. Paul McShane

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Hull KR 10 Leeds Rhinos 19

20th February 2009

By Leeds Rhinos

The Champions have produced a fantastic defensive effort to fightback and defeat Hull KR 19-10 in a physical battle at Craven Park.

The Rhinos trailed 10-4 at the start of the second half and had absorbed a huge amount of pressure from the home side however they came up with answer everytime Rovers came knocking. They then hit back with tries from Ryan Hall and Kallum Watkins. Two goals and a drop goal from Kevin Sinfield sealed the win but the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to Ryan Bailey as he set up the winning try.

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The Rhinos were without Danny Buderus for their trip to a rain swept Hull KR after Brian McClennan decided not to risk the hooker ahead of the Carnegie World Club Challenge.

Buderus, who made his debut last week against Wakefield, had been struggling to get over a knock picked up in that game and was not risked. Instead, the Rhinos included a big pack of forwards to take on the Robins, who had secured a morale boosting draw at Odsal five days earlier.

The Rhinos made a great start with a try after just four minutes. They had mounted pressure on the home line having gained a penalty and then a repeat set when a through kick rebounded back into Leeds possession. Eventually the pressure told and a well weighted pass by Danny McGuire released Carl Ablett to score. Sinfield was off target with the conversion attempt leaving the score at 4-0.

However, it was not long before the Robins had hit back and it came seven minutes later. Paul Cooke used the greasy conditions perfectly to dab a kick through off the wet pitch and Shaun Briscoe reacted quickest to score between the posts. Michael Dobson added the conversion to give his side the lead for the first time.

Scott Donald was denied a try after 14 minutes when video referee Ian Smith adjudged he had knocked on as he attempted to ground Sinfield cross field bomb. 

Dobson added a penalty soon after and from then on it was all Hull KR, as they threw everything at the Rhinos. Many of their chances came from errors. However, as poor as some of the mistakes were there was some brilliant defence to keep the home side out. Lee Smith produced an incredible cover tackle to stop a certain try from Liam Colbon whilst the entire team could take credit from their goal line defence as the Robins tried to batter a way through. Eventually, they had to elect to kick for goal from a penalty three metres from the line and Dobson made it 10-4 with three minutes remaining in the half.  

The second half started off where the first had ended but still. Rovers could not find a way through the blue wall of Leeds defenders. They were left to rue those missed chances when a fantastic offload by Kallum Watkins released Scott Donald to set up a position for Sinfield to kick cross field leading to his side’s second try. Senior took the high ball and offloaded to Paul McShane, who passed back inside to Ryan Hall to score. Sinfield added the conversion to level the game at 10-10 after 50 minutes.

The Rhinos had a second try disallowed by video ref Smith after 60 minutes. This time it was Keith Senior who was denied as replays showed that Dobson had got under the ball as the centre powered over the line.

With thirteen minutes to go the Rhinos were reduced to 12 men when Paul McShane was sent to the sin bin following a string of penalties against the visitors. It looked as if Rovers would take advantage straight away when, from the ensuing penalty, Hall failed to deal with Dobson’s grubber and Jake Webster dived on the loose ball. However, video ref Smith spotted a knock on by the New Zealand international just before he grounded the ball and Leeds survived.

They then promptly went straight back down the other end and took the lead for the first time since the 11th minute. Senior made the break and was supported by Donald and McGuire. The latter was tackled by former Rhino Peter Fox but knowing that his team mates were still regrouping he held on to McGuire to stop a quick play the ball and was duly sent to join McShane  in the bin on 68 minutes. Sinfield kicked the penalty to give his side the lead. 

The Rhinos continued their fightback with eight minutes remaining when Ryan Bailey capped a fine performance by breaking through and passing to Watkins to score in the corner. Unfortunately, the try was overshadowed by a serious injury to Bailey who went down instantly after Briscoe came across trying to tackle him before he offloaded to Watkins. The prop received nearly ten minutes treatment on the field from the Leeds medical staff before being stretchered off. As he left the field, Sinfield added the touchline conversion to give his side an eight point lead.

The captain then sealed the win with his drop goal in the last minute and meant that the Rhinos will go into the Carnegie World Club Challenge as the engage Super League leaders.

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