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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 37 Leigh Centurions 12

22nd September 2016

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos produced a clinical display to see off Leigh Centurions 37-12 and ensured they finished top of the Super 8 Qualifiers in the final game of the 2016 season.

Leeds Rhinos returned to Headingley Carnegie for the final game of the season looking to bounce back from defeat at Huddersfield the previous week.

WP – Home MPU

They faced a red-hot Leigh outfit who had booked their return to Super League with six wins from six in the Qualifiers and were keen to add the scalp of the Rhinos to that of Huddersfield, Hull KR and Salford.

Leeds were without a host of first team players through injury as Brian McDermott gave Under 19s Player of the Year Josh Jordan-Roberts a debut on the bench. The opening ten minutes were a cagey affair and the Rhinos were set another challenge when Jamie Jones-Buchanan was sent to the sin bin by referee Gareth Hewer. The part time official had not awarded a penalty but after a Leigh player had received treatment for a knee injury, the Leeds forward was shown the yellow card.

The Rhinos had to stand resolute in defence with twelve men and they did just that before taking the lead just as Jones-Buchanan returned to the field. He went close before the ball was moved towards the North Stand and Brett Ferres dummied to pass before going through the gap. Kallum Watkins, who was kicking with Liam Sutcliffe coming into the game with an injury, was unable to add the conversion but his side led 4-0.

The lead was increased soon after when Jimmy Keinhorst celebrated being newly crowned as the Supporters Player of the year by crossing for two quick tries. The first was a show of tremendous strength to hold off two would be tacklers whilst the second was a great team effort as Leeds injected speed into their attack and Keinhorst was the extra man outwide to go over. Watkins missed both conversion attempts from the South Stand touchline but Leeds were good value for their 12-0 lead after 30 minutes.

They increased their advantage with a sensational interception try from James Segeyaro. The chance came after an incredible piece of defence that denie Having plucked the ball out of the air 15 metres from his own line, he raced clear before turning to wave goodbye to the chasing Lee Smith and dive over the line. Watkins did add the conversion this time and the Rhinos led 18-0.

The Centurions then hit back just before half time when video referee Robert Hicks agreed with the on field official, Gareth Hewer, and awarded a try to Sam Hopkins as the big man stretch an arm down to touch down in the middle of the tackle. Martin Ridyard had the simple job of adding the conversion from in front to make the half time score 18-6.

The game would have been right back in the melting pot if Leigh could score first at the start of the second half but it was the home side who crossed after eleven minutes. Leigh had been penalised on a number of occasions for high tackles and there was another shot on Ashton Golding as he darted for the line but the youngster kept his composure and managed to stretch out his arm to score. Watkins added the conversion to extend the lead to 24-6.

The result was then put to bed with a brilliant piece of attacking play started by Ryan Hall before Golding stepped through a gap and fed Segeyaro. The hooker looked set for another long range effort but was tracked down 10 metres short. However, Joel Moon was on hand to make the most of the pressure and he went through a gap to score. Watkins added the conversion to make it 30-6.

The Centurions continued to plug away looking for a second score and they finally got it when Matty Dawson finished well in the corner. Ridyard added the conversion to cut the gap to 30-12 with 21 minutes to play.

However, Leeds immediately replied when Moon stabbed a kick to the in goal and Tom Briscoe was on hand to pick up and score his seventh try of the Qualifiers campaign. Watkins added the conversion to give his side a 36-12 lead.

The game was wrapped up in the final second when Joel Moon slotted over a drop goal on the hooter.

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