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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 18 Hull FC 4

16th February 2007

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos ground out an impressive win over the previous season’s Grand Finalist Hull with tries from Lee Smith, Kevin Sinfield and Ryan Bailey.

Heavy rain fell throughout the day at Headingley Carnegie with the ground staff having to deal with over three-quarters of an inch of rain during the day on a pitch that was already heavy.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos made the most of their early pressure to force a repeat set on the Airlie Birds. Danny McGuire put in a pin point kick to the corner and Sing had little option to dive on the loose ball.

The drop out was short and Leeds turned the screw. Having moved the ball from right to left they brought it back the other way. Diskin broke the line and did well to recover from a high shot before passing to Rob Burrow. He fed Clinton Toopi who gave Smith the simplest of scoring chances and he dived in at the corner. Sinfield added a brilliant touchline conversion in the conditions to make it 6-0 after 18 minutes.

The Rhinos produced some great defence in the middle of the pitch to contain Hull for the majority of the half. The only time the visitors had a real period of pressure in the Leeds half was when Toopi was penalised for back chat and Hull forced two repeat sets in the space of three minutes after Brent Webb was pinned in his in goal from good kicks by Richard Horne and then Thomas Lee. However, more heroic defending meant the Rhinos maintained their 6-0 lead at the interval.

Six minutes into the half Sinfield had the chance to extend the lead with a penalty from 36 metres out after Graeme Horne was penalised for throwing a punch. The Leeds skipper pushed his shot wide but Shaun Briscoe put a foot over the deadball line catching the ball. From the drop out Leeds moved the ball wide quickly, Burrow found McGuire who released Ali Lauitiiti. The brilliant Kiwi offloaded like it was a summers day to Webb who sent Sinfield. He converted his own try to make it 12-0 after 48 minutes.

Hull hit back ten minutes later after Leeds had knocked on through Smith trying to get away from his line. Hull worked the ball through the forwards before Lee put a cross field kick through that looked as if it would run harmlessly dead but stopped dead in a puddle. Matt Sing was fastest to react but the replay seemed to suggest his foot touched the whitewash as he splashed down to ground the ball. Video ref Ben Thaler disagreed and the try was given. Tickle missed the conversion so the Rhinos now led 12-4.

The Rhinos should have had their third try of the night after 65 minutes but the conditions again went against them. McGuire made a great break on half way before chipping over the top of Briscoe. Burrow raced through and dribbled ahead and was ready to dive on the bouncing ball only to see it stop dead in a puddle and Washbrook kicked it clear.
However, the Rhinos did not have to wait long for their next score. Having moved back down field, Ryan Bailey forced his way over the line and amazingly with three tacklers in attendance got the ball down. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 18-4 after 70 minutes.

The Rhinos showed real steel in defence to maintain that score and record a hard earned win in front of the biggest ever crowd in the summer era for a game between these two sides.

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