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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos v Crusaders RL, Sunday 20th June, kick off 3pm

12th June 2010

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos return to Headingley Carnegie next Sunday when they face Brian Noble’s Crusaders RL side.

The game will see former Rugby Union star Gareth Thomas make his first appearance as a Crusaders player against the Rhinos, having signed for the Wrexham club after the opening game of the season when the Rhinos won a hard fought game in the snow 34-6.

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The Crusaders have shown steady improvement during the season picking up a number of notable scalps along the way having recorded five wins already this campaign which is two more than they managed in the entire 2009 season.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 0871 423 1315 during normal office hours or you can purchase 24 hours a day at www.therhinos.co.uk/buytickets

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Leeds Rhinos 26 Crusaders RL 32

20th June 2010

By Leeds Rhinos

Crusaders RL defeated the Rhinos with a try four minutes from time to secure a historic win for the Welsh club.

Leeds Rhinos returned to a sun drenched Headingley Carnegie looking to build on the recent run of good form and keep up the pressure on Hull FC in fourth spot.

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The Crusaders arrived on the back of a big win over Bradford Bulls at home but they were without former Wales Rugby Union international Gareth Thomas and former Rhino Jamie Thackray.

The Rhinos, already without Rob Burrow, Matt Diskin, Ali Lauitiiti and Luke Burgess, were dealt a blow 24 hours before kick off when Brent Webb picked up an injury in final training that ruled him out of the game.

Both teams came up with mistakes on their opening possessions. Uncharacteristically, Kevin Sinfield put the kick off out on the full however four tackles into the next set, the Crusaders couged up possession and the chance had gone.

Leeds did not need a second invitation to get going and opened the scoring after three minutes. Great work by Danny McGuire and Carl Ablett in midfield opened up the gap before McGuire threw a high, hanging pass to Ryan Hall and the England winger finished brilliantly in the corner. Sinfield added the conversion from the touchline to make it 6-0.

The Rhinos had to produce four pieces of outstanding defence to keep the scoreline at 6-0 after 13 minutes. It seemed that Vince Mellars would score a certain try in the corner but for a brilliant cover tackle by Sinfield and Lee Smith. In the next tackle it was the turn of Danny Buderus and Greg Eastwood to hold up Nick Youngquest over the line and then Jamie Peacock produced a diving save that would not have looked out of place in South Africa to catch a grubber kick that was aimed towards the posts. Finally, Brett Delaney and Scott Donald had to act quickly to hold up Mellars over the line.

The home side finally managed to get some possession in the opposition's half after 20 minutes and Donald was unlucky not to get over for a try. Quick hands created an overlap but the offload bounced before getting to the Australian winger and that gave the defence time to regroup and get across. Donald threw a pass back inside and to Delaney but it was snatched out of the air by a retreating Crusader.

Seven minutes later, the Crusaders equalised with a long range effort. Just inside the Rhinos half, scrum half Rhys Hanbury went through a gap between Ian Kirke and Brett Delaney before passing back inside to Vince Mellars to score the visitors first try. Clinton Schifcofske added the simple conversion to level the score.  

They then took the lead after 33 minutes after Jamie Peacock had been penalised in midfield for stealing the ball in a two man tackle. The Crusaders kicked to the corner and then a quick pass from dummy half to Adam Peek saw the forward power his way over the line from a metre out. Schifcofske added the conversion to make it 12-6.  

The home fans were showing their frustration with debut official Robert Hicks after a number of 50/50 calls seemed to go against the home side however the Rhinos were given a penalty in front of the posts as the half time hooter sounded when a Crusaders defender dived on a loose ball from an offside position and Sinfield opted to kick at goal to make the half time score 8-12 to the visitors.

The Rhinos started the second half brightly and dominated the early possession but found themselves further behind when Weller Hauraki made an extra man on a run around to score untouched near the Rhinos line. Schifcofske added the conversion to give the visitors a ten point lead.

However, the Champions then turned the game on its head with two tries in a four minutes period. The first came from Lee Smith. The full back cut a great line to take Sinfield's pass and then managed to keep his ball carrying arm off the ground as he was tackled by his opposite number and spun on the ground to reach out and score.

The Rhinos then took the lead for the first time in the game after 52 minutes. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who was later to leave the game with what looked like an arm injury, produced a rampaging 40 metre break. He was tackled ten metres short but the Crusaders were back peddling. Sinfield and McGuire combined brilliantly to create an overlap before the latter got the ball away to Donald to score in the corner. Sinfield converted both to make it 20-18.

However, if the Rhinos thought they had seen of the Welsh side's challenge they were given a rude awakening three minutes later. Schifcofske levelled the score with a penalty after after Clarkson was penalised for interference at the tackle. Then from the re-start Luke Dyer broke down the Main Stand wing. He was tackled 30 metres short by the Crusaders maintained the momentum and Hauraki cut between Ryan Bailey and Danny Buderus before rounding Lee Smith to score between the posts. Schifcofske added the conversion to make it 26-20.

The Rhinos hit back with six minutes remaining though when Sinfield and Donald combined to set Delaney away to score and set up a grandstand finish. Sinfield added the conversion to level the score.

However, with time running out it was the visitors who recorded a historic win at Headingley Carnegie when Vince Mellars stretched out to score in the corner after 76 minutes. Crucially Schifcofske added the touchline conversion to mean the Crusaders could not be beat and despite some late pressure from the Rhinos, the Crusaders held on for the win.

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