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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 36 Harlequins 24

5th May 2006

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos recorded a hard fought 36-24 win over Harlequins at Headingley Carnegie despite a late fight back by the visitors.

The Rhinos were looking to bounce back from defeat at Warrington last Monday as they returned home to face a resurgent Harlequins side. Quins obviously sensed that the Rhinos confidence would be low after that mauling at the hands of the Wolves and they came out fired up at the Rhinos looking to put pressure on them. Leeds were their own worst enemy in the first ten minutes as they made error after error trying to get out of their half. It took two great pieces of defending from Mathers and then Smith to deny the Londoners early tries before a mistake by McLinden finally gave the Rhinos some possession inside the Quins half. However, that came to nothing as Senior knocked on on the second tackle.

WP – Home MPU

Leeds were finding their confidence more as the game went on and Chev Walker and Richard Mathers combined to create a great opening to get Quins on the backfoot. To stop a try a hand came out to deflect McGuire's pass to Smith however it was only delaying the evitable and from the scrum, Danny McGuire latched onto Burrow's flick pass to score under the posts. Burrow added the conversion to make it 6-0 after 12 minutes. Neither side was able to get a fluid game going with too much dropped ball for either coaches liking. Quins were able to find time and space in the tackle and asking questions of the Leeds defence with every set. However, the Rhinos doubled their lead after 24 minutes after a great break along the line by Burrow who slipped a pass to Poching to power his way over from close range and score under the posts. Burrow added the conversion to make it 12-0. If that try had relaxed the Rhinos they were about to get a rude awakening as straight from the kick off. Richard Mathers and Nick Scruton failed to clamp the ball in the tackle and it was offloaded to Mark McLinden who hit the ball at pace and breezed through the Leeds defence to race 80 metres untouched and score under the posts. Henry Paul added the conversion to make it 12-6 after 28 minutes.

The Rhinos could not get their offload game going whilst Quins were looking to get the ball away at every opportunity. However, the Rhinos did produce two beauties when they eventually came. Mark O'Neill did a brilliant reverse pass to Danny McGuire near the line, he was just held short but flicked the ball one handed to Matt Diskin who scored under the posts. Burrow added the conversion to make it 18-6 after 35 minutes. Henry Paul then put his kick off out on the full and from the penalty Diskin was in for his second. The score was created by Willie Poching and ducked and weaved his way through the Quins defence 10 metres out before offloading to Diskin to force his way over. Burrow had his most difficult conversion of the night but slotted it over to make it 24-6 at half time. Leeds came out fired up at the start of the second half and could have scord in the first minute. Richard Mathers glided across the face of the defence before darting through the line. However, as he stretched one handed for the line referee Laughton adjudged he had knocked on although initial inspection suggested that a video ref would have had a close look at the grounding.

The Rhinos were a different team from that which had ended the first half with Mathers at the heart of everything good Leeds were doing. He cut into the line to create the extra man and fed the ball wide to Scott Donald who had the time to sprint in at the the corner for his fifth try of the season. Burrow added the touchline conversion to make it 30-6 after 47 minutes. The Rhinos then had another try disallowed after good work by McGuire and Smith to release Senior but Laughton again interjected ruling a forward pass in the build up. Having ridden their luck Quins were then given another break when Tyrone Smith crossed after 51 minutes despite their being more than a hint of offside in the build up from a towering bomb near the touchline. Paul added the conversion to make it 30-12. However, Leeds hit back after 63 minutes following a sensational 60 metre break by McGuire. He tried to sidestep McLinden but lost his footing. The Rhinos kept their cool, Burrow took the ball from dummy half then passed back inside to the rampaging Jamie Peacock, who bust through the line to score. Burrow added the conversion to make it 36-12. Harlequins are a much improved side to the one that capitulated at the Stoop earlier this season and much of that has been due to the return of their inspirational captain Mark McLinden. He took advantage of more offloading by the visitors near the Leeds line and squeezed over for a try after 68 minutes. Paul converted to make it 36-18. Gareth Ellis appeared to be harshly penalised for a high tackle four minutes later and from the ensuing penalty Luke Dorn broke through ten metres out for a simple try. Paul added the conversion to make it a nervous last five minutes for the Rhinos at 36-24.

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