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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 36 Harlequins 18

4th June 2006

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos have booked their place in the Powergen Challenge Cup semi final with a 36-18 victory over Harlequins at Headingley Carnegie.

The Rhinos were looking to book their place in the semi final for the twelve time in 14 years in a game that was a repeat of the 1999 Challenge Cup Final. The Rhinos recalled Ali Lauitiiti and Mark O'Neill with Ryan Bailey missing out. Both teams started poorly with neither side unable to keep hold of the ball and complete a set of six. Harlequins had the best opportunity after 7 minutes when McLinden broke through and it took a great cover tackle from Smith to stop him scoring. However, he offloaded but the final pass from Luisi fell into the arms of Scott Donald who was able to see off the danger. The Rhinos had to withstand three back to back sets on their online after 15 minutes when they were twice penalised harshly by referee Karl Kirkpatrick. Firstly Danny McGuire was adjudged to have reefed the ball out in a tackle then Scott Donald was penalised for back chat when he was in possession on the first tackle. Leeds then had a perfect opportunity to open the scoring when Rob Burrow passed to Danny Williams with the line at his mercy. Unfortunately the young winger dropped the pass and the chance went begging.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos then had a try disallowed by video ref Steve Presley after Jamie Jones-Buchanan had the ball forced out of his grasp by Joe Mbu. Scott Donald touched down the loose ball but to no avail. There was no denying the Rhinos though on their next visit. After good play by McGuire, who had reverted to full back after Lee Smith went to the blood bin, and Rob Burrow opened space in the Quins defence before Willie Poching barged his way over for his sixth try of the season after 33 minutes. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 6-0. The home side doubled their lead two minutes later and once again it was Burrow who was at the heart of it for the Rhinos. His scampering run caused havoc in the Quins defence before he passed to Williams, who this time was not going to make a mistake and took the pass before touching down. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 12-0, which it remained until half time.

Quins got off to a perfect start to the second half with a try inside three minutes. Leeds seemed to be left flat footed at the start of the half and Dorn waltzed through the defence to score a soft try. Rob Purdham missed the conversion though to keep it at 12-4. Things got worse for the Rhinos then when they allowed Quins in for another try after 50 minutes. Bradley Qalilawa kicked through and Dorn flicked the ball back inside passed Williams. Michael Worrincy was on hand to pick up the loose ball and held off two would be tacklers to touch down. Purdham added the conversion this time to make it 12-10 to Leeds. The Rhinos were struggling to get out of their half however the arrival of Shane Millard sparked Leeds into life and he led the team down field with real purpose. His drives took the Rhinos to within scoring distance and a flowing move with great awareness from Ali Lauitiiti and Chev Walker released Scott Donald who touched down for his ninth try of the season. Sinfield just missed the conversion but the Rhinos had crucially stretched their lead to 16-10. A minute later that lead was made even bigger. A great offload from Senior on his own 40 set the move going then a one handed pass from Lauitiiti released Donald who put a brilliant pass across field to Danny McGuire to cross for his 20th try of the year. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 22-10.

Leeds had their tails up now and they were keen to press home their advantage. Lauitiiti in particular was a constant threat and he released McGuire who produced a mazy run down field before passing to Senior who put Williams in for his second try in the corner. Sinfield added a great conversion to make it 28-10 after 64 minutes. A magnificient ten minute spell was capped on 68 minutes when Shane Millard produced an incredible offload to Donald to score his second try of the game. Sinfield could not add the conversion but the Rhinos now led 32-10. Harlequins continued to ask questions of the Leeds defence and got a try back through Pat Weisner after he was on hand to snatch up a loose ball from a towering bomb. In a game that flowed back and forth Quins soon got another try through Tyrone Smith. However it was the Rhinos who had the last word with Danny Williams showing incredible determination to keep going with a defender hanging off him to complete the first hat trick of his career and book the Rhinos place in the semi final. Burrow added the conversion to make the final score 36-18.

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