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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 28 Wakefield Wildcats 44

28th March 2005

By Leeds Rhinos

Wakefield Wildcats stunned Leeds Rhinos at Headingley by running in eight tries in a 44-28 romp to inflict the champions’ first defeat of the season.

Wakefield began brightly, although they were caught cold when Rob Burrow grounded from close range after seven minutes following good work by Kevin Sinfield, who converted to make it 6-0.

WP – Home MPU

The try was Burrow’s 50th in Leeds colours, but the Wildcats remained undeterred and after Steve Snitch crossed the line within seconds of replacing Olivier Elima, they were right back in the game.

Jamie Rooney added the extras to tie the scores level at 6-6 before David March burst through midfield before finding David Wrench, who delivered a delightful offload to Jason Demetriou.

He crashed over from 10 metres out and remarkably, just minutes later, Wakefield edged further ahead when the impressive Demetriou found Colum Halpenny, who grounded in the right-hand corner.  Tony Smith brought on McGuire in the hope of spurring his troops into life.

However, it was to no avail and March crossed the line from acting half shortly before the hooter and Rooney added the extras to hand his side a shock 22-6 advantage.  Wakefield continued to defend like demons and they deservedly extended their lead five minutes after the restart when March grabbed his second try of the game from close range, Rooney again adding the extras to make it 28-6.

Leeds then threw themselves a lifeline when excellent work by Keith Senior coming in off the left flank saw him find former Wakefield star Gareth Ellis, who notched a try that Sinfield converted to give Leeds a glimmer of hope.  However, it proved short-lived as Ben Jeffries flighted a superb kick into the left-hand corner and Tadulala was able to collect and ground in the corner without any Leeds players near him.

Rooney failed to convert but Wakefield led 32-12. Shortly after the hour mark Jeffries found Darrell Griffin, who crashed over the whitewash before Rooney added the extras.  Liam Botham and then Senior both crossed the line to give Leeds hope, but the Wildcats held on for a famous victory, which was sealed in style when Demetriou took advantage of an error by Willie Poching to race clear in front of the ecstatic travelling hordes.

Rooney again converted to give the visitors a handsome scoreline to render Burrow’s second try little more than consolation.
 

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