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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 34 Hull KR 18

17th August 2007

By Leeds Rhinos

It took a late try from Danny McGuire to finally kill off Hull KR at Headingley Carnegie in a highly competitive game that the Rhinos won 34-18.

The Rhinos came into the game looking to maintain their spot at the top of Super League alongside St Helens but they faced a determined Hull KR outfit.

WP – Home MPU

The home side were without the services of full back Jordan Tansey who was ruled out by a back injury picked up late in the week. That meant a return for Lee Smith at the back after his hat trick the previous week in the Senior Academy.
Both teams started in determined fashion, the visitors cheered on by a sizeable contingent from East Hull.

However, it was the Rhinos who had the early chances. Firstly, Danny McGuire broke through but Lee Smith was just unable to take the pass in then a clever kick by Matt Diskin earned a repeat set. That nearly led to a score but Jamie Jones-Buchanan was denied on the last tackle when referee Richard Silverwood said he lost control of the ball in the attempt of grounding it.

However it was not long before the Rhinos did cross. Poor discipline from the visitors gave Leeds good field position and from there Kevin Sinfield and Jones-Buchanan combined to put Scott Donald in space. He still had plenty to do but he cut in from his wing and some how hauled himself to the line as two would be tacklers tried to cut him down. Sinfield added a great conversion to make it 6-0 after 15 minutes.

In the first set from the re-start Hull KR were reduced to 12 men when Chris Chester was sin binned. Robins captain James Webster had been warned in the build up to the try that his side were walking a tightrope with persistent penalties trying to frustrate the game and Chester paid the price.

The Rhinos were like possessed animals with their numerical advantage as they visibly up the gears, each drive trying to surpass the effort from their team mate. Eventually the pressure had to tell and it did. A mistake at the back from Rovers led to a drop out which looked fairly harmless when Lee Smith controlled it with his boot 45 metres out.

However, he passed to Thackray and the in form prop arced round towards the touchline before producing a sublime one handed, reverse off load to Ryan Hall. The young winger then showed great maturity to back himself and crash over in the corner. Sinfield's touchline conversion just went wide but the Rhinos now led 10-0 after 24 minutes.

Five minutes later the Rhinos were in again, this time it was Sinfield who turned provider, popping up a pass to the on rushing Diskin at close range and he roared through the defensive line to score. Sinfield's conversion making it 16-0.

The Rhinos continued to mount wave after wave of pressure on Hull KR and all credit must go to Justin Morgan's team for holding the Rhinos at bay until half time.

They got their reward less than two minutes into the second half when Rhys Lovegrove forced his way over from close range. Paul Cooke added the conversion to make it 16-6.

The game then took an even further twist when Hull KR went in for their second try after 49 minutes. A kick to the corner by James Webster was time to perfection and Andreas Bauer was on hand to touch down. Cooke then added the touchline conversion to bring the visitors remarkably back to within four points of the Rhinos.

There was even more bad news for Leeds when Ryan Hall was helped off the field with what looked like an ankle injury leading Clinton Toopi to switch to the wing outside Carl Ablett at centre.

The Rhinos were under pressure and needed to come up with some answers to stem the Rovers tide. Firstly, Kylie Leuluai produced a monster hit on Makali Aizue to lift the crowd and then camped inside their own 20 metre area, the Rhinos spread the ball from side to side looking for a gap. It came eventually when Carl Ablett set off 25 metres from his own line, brushing aside the attempted tackle of Jon Goddard before galloping upfield. He drew the full back Hardman before passing back inside to Toopi to score under the posts. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 22-12 after 59 minutes.

Leeds had regained their ascendancy and managed to increase their lead after 64 minutes when Ryan Bailey produced an offload from nothing near the posts, McGuire spotted a massive overlap out wide and spun a pass to Scott Donald who sprinted through for the try. Sinfield added the touchline conversion to make it 28-12 to the home side.

The Rhinos were given a quick reminder that the game was not yet won when Ryan Tandy crossed for a try after 71 minutes. Ali Lauitiiti hade come agonisingly close to intercepting as he rushed out of the line but it gave Tandy the simplest of opportunities to score next to the posts. Cooke added the conversion to make it 28-18.

The nerves were only finally settled with the last play of the game, when Jamie Thackray and Jamie Jones-Buchanan combined to send Danny McGuire over underneath the posts. Sinfield added the conversion to make the final score 34-18.

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