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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos v Melbourne Storm, Friday 22nd February, kick off 8pm

15th February 2013

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos and Melbourne Storm are set to meet in front of a sell out crowd at Headingley Carnegie next Friday for the World Club Challenge with less than 500 tickets on sale seven days before the big kick off.

The greatest Rugby League teams in the world will do battle once again at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Friday February 22 when current world champions and Super League holders Leeds Rhinos face NRL Grand Final winners Melbourne Storm in the 2013 World Club Challenge.

WP – In Article MPU

The clash is set to be a record breaking game with Leeds aiming to become the first team ever to win four world titles whilst Melbourne will be hoping to become the first NRL club to win three global challenge matches, equally the record held jointly by Leeds, Wigan and Bradford.

The Storm will also equal Brisbane's record of four World Club Challenge appearances whilst Leeds will set a new benchmark, becoming the first team to ever appear in six World Club Challenge games, surpassing Wigan on five.

Melbourne Storm will take a full strength squad to the UK for the World Club Challenge match, with the game a key part of Storm's final preparations leading into the 2013 NRL Premiership season.

The Rhinos beat Manly at a sell out Headingley Carnegie in 2012 and demand for tickets has been even higher in 2013.

Leeds and Melbourne have already met twice in the World Club Challenge, in 2008 and 2010 but both of those games were at Elland Road.

There were less than 500 tickets for the Western Terrace still available at close of business on Friday and fans are urged to buy now to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be purchased over the phone on 0871 423 1315 during normal office hours or online 24 hours a day at www.therhinos.co.uk/buytickets.

The RFL are also selling tickets which can be purchased by calling 0844 856 1113 or online at www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.

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Leeds Rhinos 14 Melbourne Storm 18

22nd February 2013

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos and Melbourne Storm produced an enthralling Probiz World Club Challenge at Headingley Carnegie with the home side narrowly missing out on retaining their world title.

Joe Vickery returned to the Rhinos starting line up after recovering from an ankle injury but Kallum Watkins started at full back in place of the injured Zak Hardaker. Carl Ablett once again moved to centre for the Champions whilst Stevie Ward earned a call up to the starting line up in the second row. 

WP – Home MPU

Former Wigan star Brett Finch was the surprise omission from the Melbourne bench.

As expected, Leeds and Melbourne produced an engaging battle from the kick off with the world title on the line. The visitors clearly wanted to stake an early advantage to quieten down the Rhinos fans and they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the opening quarter.

Leeds produced some strong defence with Jamie Peacock at his usual best in the biggest of games but a break from Billy Slater after ten minutes was an early reminder of just how dangerous the Storm can be.

Cameron Smith edged his side in front after 12 minutes with a penalty from in front of the posts after the Rhinos had withstood back to back sets on their own line.

Melbourne then increased their lead after 21 minutes when former Wigan man Ryan Hoffman broke through 25 metres out from the Rhinos line and gave Slater the simple task of scoring untouched. Smith was on target again to give his side a deserved 8-0 lead at that stage.

However, Leeds grew into the game as the half drew on and a cheap shot off the ball of Sinfield seemed to spark the home side into life. Carl Ablett was proving a constant thorn in the side of the Storm down the right whilst Joel Moon produced a flash of brilliance to put Ryan Hall away only for a fantastic cover tackle by Slater in the corner to deny the England man.

But the man dubbed the World’s Best Winger would not be denied the next time he visited the Melbourne line. Quick hands down the line created the smallest of gaps for Hall but that was all he needed as he powered his way over and touched down one handed in the corner. Sinfield added the touchline conversion.

Leeds should have extended their lead with two more chances. Kallum Watkins burst through and had options either side but his pass bounced off the chest of Rob Burrow and went forward, then Stevie Ward cut a decisive line but his pass to McGuire went behind the half back. There was still plenty to do in both cases to score the try but there were certainly clear cut chances.

As it was the Rhinos had to settle for a last minute penalty from Sinfield, his 38th consecutive successful kick for the Rhinos to equal Barry Eaton’s world record in domestic rugby, to level the score on the stroke of half time and set up an intriguing second forty minutes.

Once again, Melbourne started the half sharper and looked to have struck a decisive blow with two tries inside eight minutes. The first came after Mitch Achurch was penalised for a high tackle and from the tap, Leeds will have been disappointed to miss a couple of one on one tackles on Storm prop Jesse Bromwich as he powered his way through and eventually stretched out to score. Smith converted to stretch his side’s lead even further.

The Storm then struck again soon after, this time it was a tremendous team try as they moved the ball outwide, kept ball alive and eventually giant second row Tohu Harris touched down despite some desperate defence from the home side. Smith missed his first kick of the night from near the touchline but his side were ten points in front.

Storm sensed another score could seal the game and they poured forward again however an intelligent piece of defence saw Stevie Ward chase back and tap back an attempted offload into the path of Watkins, who raced 40 metres up field.

Leeds now had their tails back up again and soon crossed for their second try. Hall took a crossfield kick and showed great strength to keep his arms clear and offload to Moon. The centre headed down the touchline but passed back inside to keep it alive and Jamie Jones-Buchanan went over for the try. Sinfield added the conversion and the Rhinos were back in it at 18-14 with 25 minutes to play.

The Rhinos battled hard but could find no way through the Storm’s defence. Leeds were given a let off when England international Gareth Widdop was denied a try for a double movement late on but the Rhinos narrowly fell short of retaining their title.

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