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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos v Harlequins RL, Friday 25th February, kick off 8pm

19th February 2011

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos return home to Headingley Carnegie next Friday for the first home game of the season against Harlequins RL, kick off 8pm as two of the unbeaten sides in Super League put their records on the line.

New Rhinos Head Coach will be in the spotlight in the build up to the game as he takes on his former club. His assistant at the Stoop, Rob Powell has taken over the reigns becoming the youngest coach in Super League.

WP – In Article MPU

Ben Jones-Bishop will be hoping to continue his good recent form in the Rhinos side against the side he spent last season with on loan whilst Luke Ambler will be hoping to have the same impact that the winger had in the capital as he makes an early return to Headingley Carnegie as part of his loan spell in London.

There was a high turn over of players in the close season but they got off to a perfect start with a hard fought win over Catalan at the Millennium Magic weekend. There have been two new recruits from Australia with Nick Kouparitsas joining from Sydney Roosters and Chris Bailey from Manly. The latter is the younger brother of former Wigan and current Salford centre Phil Bailey whose experience will be crucial this season.

Quins have once again looked to give young English talent the chance to shine either from their impressive development system in the South of England or on loan from other Super League clubs. As well as Ambler, Mike Burnett is on loan from Hull whilst Karl Pryce and Joe Mellor are on indefinite loan from Wigan. Another player looking for a chance but is certainly not an unproven youngster is Mark Calderwood. His spell at Hull was wrecked by injury but the winger is now looking to prove he can still cut it at the highest level with Quins.

One player to look out for is Olsi Krasniqi – the Albanian-born prop who made a promising start to his Super League career in 2010 and underlined his potential playing for England academy.

Rob Powell believes Harlequins' new-found defensive steel could see them surprise their engage Super League rivals this season.

The Londoners remain unbeaten after squeezing past the Crusaders 20-18 at a muddy Stoop, keeping them in touch with the early season pacesetters.

Powell hopes this is just the start for his side. He said: "That was pretty stressful but it was great to get the win. We had a couple of lapses but overall our defence was excellent and that is very much what we are out to achieve this season.

"The great thing for me is as a coach you want the players to care and put themselves on the line for the cause and they are already doing that.

"There is no doubt in my mind that over the past few seasons we would have lost a game like that.

"That is no disrespect to what has gone before me – it is just a reality.

"We needed that level of control to get us to the end and we got it from the likes of Luke Gale and Chad Randall.

"Winning games like this builds confidence and we will take that forward."

You can purchase tickets now by calling 0871 423 1315 or online 24 hours a day at www.therhinos.co.uk/buytickets

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Leeds Rhinos 26 Harlequins RL 36

25th February 2011

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos unbeaten start to the season came to an end with a 36-26 defeat to Harlequins RL.

Leeds Rhinos returned to Headingley Carnegie for the first time this season looking to keep up their unbeaten start to the campaign against a Quins side who are also two from two.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos looked to take up where they had left off at Hull seven days earlier in the opening stages as they tore into Quins. A knock on by former Rhino Danny Ward on half way gave the Rhinos the ball and after another knock on and being trapped in goal, eventually the pressure had to tell. Kevin Sinfield, who had committed himself to the Rhinos for the rest of his career in the build up to the game, was at the heart of things for the Rhinos and his darting run opened up the visitors before Chris Clarkson supported well to get over for the opening try. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 6-0 after five minutes.

Leeds did not let up after that and came right back again at the Quins line. Again they turned the screw by forcing errors from the visitors but Sinfield misjudged a cross field kick to let Rob Powell's side off the hook. At this stage the Rhinos were in complete control however they were masters in their own downfall for an equalising score.

Ben Jones-Bishop seemed under little pressure as he collected a through kick however as the Quins defenders rushed towards him, he forced a pass to Lee Smith, who in turn knocked on. Luke Gale was quickest to react as he hacked ahead and then touched down for the try. He converted his own score to make it 6-6 after 16 minutes.

The visitors then had their best spell of the game as they enjoyed a prolonged period of possession. Ryan Hall did well to deal with a tricky cross field kick but was trapped in goal. Sinfield attempted a trick, short drop out towards Senior however Tony Clubb read the play and the England international got to the ball first and went through untouched to score. Gale added the touchline conversion to make it 12-6 after 22 minutes.

It got worse for the Rhinos after 31  minutes when Quins got over for a third try. Having gained another repeat sets, Quins kept the ball tight before hooker Andy Ellis forced his way over from close range. Gale converted to make it 18-6.

The Rhinos needed a lift and it came in the form of Ryan Hall. The winger is renowned for his try scoring abilities but now he showed his guts and determination after Quins spilled the ball coming away from their own line. Hall picked up and shrugged off two would be tacklers before dragging himself ten metres further forward towards the line. Whilst he did not get the try, he had lifted his team and the crowd and Quins were on the back foot. Two tackles later, Sinfield stepped in midfield and glided through a gap to score. He added the conversion to make it 18-12 and that was how it remained until the break.

Quins started the second half off in confident mood and continued to put pressure on the Leeds line. The Rhinos were grateful to Weller Hauraki on his home debut when he intercepted a pass ten metres from his own line and broke 30 metres up field to relieve the pressure.

Slowly the Rhinos began to find their confidence again and a good break from Kallum Watkins got the home side going forward before he produced a one handed offload to Smith. The winger kicked ahead but was taken out as he chased ahead and Leeds gained a penalty. The ball was moved along the backline and Hall crossed in the corner.  Sinfield's conversion attempt hit the post and rebounded away to leave the score at 16-18 after 49 minutes.

The Rhinos were twice grateful to good individual goal line defence to keep Quins out. Firstly Danny Buderus bumped Jamie O'Callaghan into touch in the corner and then Hall held up Melling on the opposite wing three minutes later. However, Quins did not go away and they got a deserved score when their skipper Rob Purdham cut back inside to score between the posts. Gale added the conversion to make it 24-16.

Once again Quins managed to score back to back tries when Chris Bailey crossed after 64 minutes when he shrugged off two would be tacklers near the line to touch down. Gale was again on target to make ti 30-16 with time running out for the home side.

Leeds rallied towards the end and got a try back through Lee Smith with five minutes to go and then Jamie Jones-Buchanan crossed after good work by Sinfield. The skipper quickly took the conversion but time eventually ran out for the home side and Quins were good value for their 36-26 victory. 

Remember if you could not make it to the game you can now order your official matchday magazine and have it sent to your home. Just click here now to order yours.

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