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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 38 Celtic Crusaders 16

8th April 2008

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos produced a solid performance to book their place in the Fifth round of the Cup with a 38-16 win including seven different try scorers. Brian McClennan handed three of the Rhinos brightest young stars a debut at Headingley Carnegie as the home side looked to book their place in the Fifth Round against the ambitious Celtic Crusaders. Ben Jones-Bishop came in for Brent Webb at full back whilst Kallum Watkins was named at centre in place of the injured Gareth Ellis. The final debutant was forward Danny Allan, who was amongst the replacements. The Crusaders, who are one of 19 teams to have applied for a license for Super League next season, obviously sensed that a quick start may unsettle the young Rhinos and they came firing out at the home side.

Jace Van Dijk was at the heart of their best attacks but Leeds were able to repel the threat. Leeds then opened the scoring after seven minutes thanks to an incisive break by Danny McGuire. He burst through in midfield before finding Jones-Bishop in support, who was tackled just short of the line. However, Kevin Sinfield's cross field kick fell into the arms of Watkins, who powered towards the line before offloading to Lee Smith to score in the corner. Sinfield was unable to add the touchline conversion so it remained 4-0. The home side seemed to settle into their rhythm after that and then produced a blistering passage of play with quick hands and even quicker play the balls sending the Crusaders scampering backwards. Eventually, the pressure told and Scott Donald touched down in the corner. Sinfield was again off target but Leeds now led 8-0 after 11 minutes. It took the Rhinos another nine minutes to get their third try but when it came it was beautifully crafted. Jones-Bishop came into the line well from full back before producing a sublime reverse pass to Keith Senior, who powered up field. Senior drew the last man before sending Rob Burrow over for his side's third try of the night between the posts. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 14-0. All credit must go to the Crusaders, despite playing top flight opposition they did not go into their shell after those early set backs and put the pressure back on the home side for the next ten minutes. They eventually got their reward when winger Anthony Blackwood finished off a cross field move to score in the corner. Mark Lennon was unable to add the conversion. What appeared like mere consolation turned into a real fight back with three minutes remaining in the half when Blackwood finished off another flowing move after Watkins was penalised for offside five metres from his line when Smith knocked on. Lennon added a great conversion to make it 14-10 at the break.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos were obviously stunned into action in the second half and they extended their lead just three minutes after the re-start. Danny Allan earned a penalty five metres from the Crusaders line before great strength and vision by McGuire set Matt Diskin away for his side's fourth try. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 20-10. Once again the Crusaders did not lie down and kept pressuring the home side. However, a thundering break by Luke Burgess took his side up to half way then a trademark break by Burrow kept the move going. He flicked a pass back inside that went to ground but McGuire hacked ahead before diving one handed to get the ball down before the dead ball line. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 26-10 after 56 minutes. Leeds continued the scoring after 65 minutes when Kallum Watkins latched onto a pass from Danny Williams to score a try to cap a solid debut from the young centre. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 32-10 to the home side. It was then the turn of Keith Senior to become the Rhinos seventh different try scorer on the night as he spun out of a tackle to score in the corner. Burrow added a brilliant touchline conversion to make it 38-10 with seven minutes remaining. However, there was still time for the Crusaders to get a much deserved consolation try. Initially, they were held up but the ball was fed along the line and Mark Dalle Cort touched down. Lennon added the conversion to make the final score 38-16.

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