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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 36 Hull FC 22

27th September 2002

By Leeds Rhinos

Great Britain star Keith Senior scored only the second hat-trick of his career to inspire Leeds to an impressive Super League play-off victory over an outclassed Hull.

The blockbusting Senior underlined his reputation as the top centre in Super League by taking over as leading tryscorer on 25 as the Rhinos secured an elimination semi-final with Wigan or Castleford next Friday.

WP – Home MPU

Senior's first try was a spectacular 90-metre effort that owed much to the brilliance of loose forward Kevin Sinfield and set the tone for a rousing display that gives the Rhinos a realistic chance of muscling in on the big three ahead of next month's Old Trafford Grand Final.

Hull had gambled on the fitness of their own loose forward, skipper Jason Smith, who had been out for a month with a dislocated elbow, but he lasted only until the interval, by which time they were trailing 18-4.

They dominated the opening exchanges, forcing three goal-line drop-outs in the first 11 minutes, but had only two penalty goals from ex-Leeds centre Graham Mackay to show for their efforts.

Lively centre Toa Kohe-Love looked to have freed his winger, Gareth Raynor, only for the latter to catch the touchline with a stray boot and scrum-half Tony Smith was within inches of touching down a Paul Cooke grubber kick.

Leeds managed to keep their line intact and, inspired by the storming runs of forwards Barrie McDermott, Matt Adamson and Danny Ward, began to unpick a Hull defence that conceded 90 points in their last two visits to Headingley.

Senior laid a belated claim to the try of the season after finishing off a brilliant run from his own 10-metre line by Sinfield, who then got his captain, full-back Francis Cummins, through a gap for a second try.

Stand-off Ben Walker added a third touchdown before the break after collecting a fortuitous rebound but he had a rare off day with the boot, landing just two of his five shots at goal before being sin-binned for laying on in the tackle.

Even without Smith, Hull began the second half as they had the first and used their numerical advantage to create an overlap for Raynor but Senior pulled off a brilliant try-saving tackle at the corner.

Kohe-Love also lost the ball going for the line as Hull continued to fritter away their chances and they were given another lesson in finishing when the blockbusting Senior took Andy Hay's pass to power over for his second try.

Speedy right winger Mark Calderwood raced onto Sinfield's kick to the line for a fifth try and, although former Leeds hooker Lee Jackson pulled one back for Hull on 56 minutes, the home side, and particularly Senior, were simply irrepressible.

The shiny-headed centre dazzled Hull with another unstoppable charge to complete his hat-trick and Calderwood grabbed his second before Hull at last found their scoring touch.

Jackson then scored a bizarre try by hoodwinking the officials. Hull was awarded a penalty in their own half and two balls arrived on the pitch. While one was used for the touchfinding penalty, Jackson hid the other behind his back. As he raced downfield to the point where Hull would have restarted play he brought the second ball in front of him, tapped it with his foot without halting and raced through the bewildered ranks of the Leeds defence unopposed to claim a try.

The referee consulted his bemused line judge and then awarded the try much to the disgust of Leeds coach Daryl Powell who had seen Jackson's piece of trickery.

Scott Logan also went over in injury time, with Mackay kicking his fifth goal from as many attempts.

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