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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos v Bradford Bulls, Thursday 1st April, kick off 8pm

27th March 2010

By Leeds Rhinos

Next up is the biggest game of the year at Headingley Carnegie as Bradford Bulls arrive on Easter Thursday for an eagerly anticipated clash.

Bradford coach Steve McNamara was delighted to see his side grind out a 19-12 victory over Harlequins with next Thursday’s derby clash at sworn enemies Leeds on the horizon.

WP – In Article MPU

The Bulls were far from at their best but they still had too much firepower for the rock-bottom Londoners, who slumped to their seventh defeat in eight matches.

Quins led through Chris Melling’s early try but Bradford were largely dominant throughout in a contest low on quality as Michael Platt and Brett Kearney went over before half-time and Steve Menzies added a third in the second half.

McNamara said: "There was a lot of endeavour and effort from both sides but the heavy pitch made conditions more difficult than they looked.

"It wasn’t an A-star performance from either team but it was nice to get two points and that was the key.

"We’d love to be playing right at our best, but it’s important to keep building.

"Summer cannot come quick enough for our side and hopefully on Thursday night at Headingley we get a good night of weather.

"Then both sides can play a game a little bit faster than we played tonight. For the good of the game, and the entertainment of the fans, I think we probably need to speed things up a bit."

Whilst the Bulls were beating Quins, the Rhinos were losing out to Engage Super League leaders Wigan at the DW Stadium. The Rhinos were without nine first choice regulars however for the clash with Bradford Head Coach Brian McClennan is hoping to be able to call upon skipper Kevin Sinfield as well as Brett Delaney and Kylie Leuluai who both missed the trip to Wigan through illness.

The Rhinos lost the Easter clash last season at the Grattan Stadium, Odsal when Bradford won 10-6 in controversial circumstances however the Champions gained revenge at Headingley Carnegie later in the season when the home side produced an incredible finish to seal a 33-20 win over Bradford.
 
Leeds led for most of the game only to see Bradford fightback with tries from Paul Deacon and Steve Menzies to lead 20-18 with less than 20 minutes to go. However, tries from Rob Burrow and Scott Donald along with three goals from Kevin Sinfield and a drop goal from Lee Smith sealed a remarkable win.

As part of the matchday experience, fans are urge to get down early to watch the Trafalgar Cup clash when the Royal Marines take on the Parachute Regiment, kick off 4pm. This is part of a full evening of activities for all the family including a sky dive into the stadium before kick off. For more details visit our special subsite at www.therhinos.co.uk/trafalgar

Fans are urged to pre-purchase their ticket to avoid disappointment and help ease congestion on the night. You can purchase your ticket 24 hours a day at www.therhinos.co.uk/buytickets or by calling 0871 423 1315 during normal office hours. Don’t miss out on one of the most finely balanced derby clashes in years, it is going to be a game to remember.

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Leeds Rhinos 20 Bradford Bulls 20

1st April 2010

By Leeds Rhinos

Lee Smith scored twice on his return to Headingley Carnegie as the Rhinos fought back to snatch a 20-20 draw against the Bulls.

Leeds had trailed 20-6 midway through the second half with Danny Buderus in the sin bin but they stormed back with tries from Brett Delaney and Kevin Sinfield however with just four minutes remaining Smith timed his run to perfection to touch down McGuire’s kick to level the game. Sinfield missed the conversion attempt but it meant a share of the spoils for the Champions.

WP – Home MPU

Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls found themselves in unusual positions on the league table for a derby fixture in eighth and ninth but the passion was not diluted.

Leeds welcomed back the predicted trio of Kevin Sinfield, Kylie Leuluai and Brett Delaney but Lee Smith was also included on the wing after his shock return from Rugby Union 24 hours earlier.

However, the home side suffered a set back after just four minutes when Chris Nero opened the scoring. Leeds had been penalised late in the tackle count and that gave the Bulls a set on the Leeds line. Matt Orford dictated play for the Bulls and he attracted Sinfield to him before passing to Nero who got around Delaney to score. Orford added the conversion to make it 6-0.

The Rhinos had a good spell of pressure after that, helped by consecutive penalties on the Bulls line, however they could not find a way through and eventually a knock on cost them possession.

The Bulls promptly went down field and scored their second try after that. It was their turn to get back to back penalties and they made it pay. The ball was moved quickly along the line and Dave Halley cut back in from the touchline to beat Ryan Hall and Keith Senior and then touched down. Orford slipped with his touchline conversion but the Bulls now led 10-0 after 12 minutes.

Ten minutes later Orford had more luck when Brent Webb was penalised for not standing up correctly to play the ball as he came away from his own line. Referee Phil Bentham gave Orford a simple chance in front of the posts which he duly took.

Two minutes later it got worse for the Champions. The Bulls were attacking again as the ball came free in a tackle, the referee waved for play to go on and Bradford did not hang around to debate the issue. Orford threw a wide pass out to Steve Menzies who cut between Senior and Hall for an all too easy score. Orford was off target with the conversion but the Bulls now led 16-0.

Leeds needed a lift and they got it seven minutes remaining in the first half. Finally the passes started to stick and eventually that created an overlap outwide and wide pass from Sinfield released Lee Smith to mark his return to the club with a try. Sinfield showed his worth once again to the side when he kicked the touchline conversion to make it 16-6.

The try lifted the Rhinos and their defence was much improved after that as they managed to hold their line on the next attack on their own line.

Leeds started the second half strongly but once again a knock on cost them any chance of a crack at the Bulls line. The home side then had a let off when Brent Webb lost control of a grubber kick on his own line but video referee James Child adjudged he managed to regather it before Dave Halley touched it down and awarded a goal line drop out.

However, the Bulls did extend their advantage with just under 30 minutes to play. A knock on by Senior and then Jamie Jones-Buchanan as they attempted interceptions saw the Bulls camped on the Leeds line and eventually they found a way through as Nero got around Danny McGuire to score in the corner. Orford was off target again but the Bulls now led 20-6.

Leeds were dealt a further blow after 58 minutes when Danny Buderus was sent to the sin bin for deliberately slowing down play as the Bulls latched onto a spilt ball and raced clear up field.

However, his team mates dug deep and held their intact to keep the score at 20-6. Then just before Buderus returned the Rhinos hit back. They had enjoyed a long spell of pressure on the Bradford line and eventually it paid off as Sinfield released Brett Delaney to score. The skipper missed the conversion attempt but the Rhinos were within ten points with 15 minutes to play.

Sinfield was desperate to get his side back in the game and was guilty of throwing a speculative pass to Ryan Hall that was intercepted to end one attack however he made amends soon afterwards when he dummied and spun in the tackle to score. He added the conversion to make it 16-20 and set up a dramatic finale.

It built to McGuire’s kick to Smith which the winger did brilliantly to score and bring the crowd of 17,000 plus fans to their feet. Sinfield was off target and whilst the unlikely candidates of Andy Lynch and Jamie Jones-Buchanan failed with late drop goal attempts, a draw was probably a fair result.

Don’t forget you can follow all the action live whilst listening to live match commentary at www.therhinos.co.uk/live

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