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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 44 Bradford Bulls 2

20th March 2008

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos recorded their biggest ever winning margin over Bradford Bulls in the summer era to run out 44-2 winners at Headingley Carnegie. Leeds held the opposition tryless for two consecutive games for the first time in the summer era with Brent Webb scoring a hat trick . Leeds Rhinos were back at Headingley Carnegie just six days after beating Quins 48-0. However, they faced a determined Bulls outfit who had beaten Warrington in their last outing. Both teams were missing six first team players through injury however Brian McClennan was able to recall hooker Matt Diskin after he had served a one match suspension. The rain thankfully held off before kick off however there was a strong wind running from East to West which Leeds had at their back in the first half.

Leeds made a strong start and looked to have made a break through when Gareth Ellis burst through in midfield however he appeared to be harshly done to by referee Steve Ganson when he was penalised for crossing. Paul Deacon elected to go for goal straight away and did well to convert his chance kicking into the wind to make it 2-0 after three minutes. The Rhinos suffered another blow from the kick off when Kylie Leuluai was knocked out attempting to tackle former Rhino Chris Feather. There was a lengthy delay while the Leeds prop received treatment on the pitch before being stretchered off. The Rhinos found themselves under the cosh after that with Bradford applying pressure in the Leeds half. However, a fantastic break by Jamie Jones-Buchanan took the home side clear and eventually set up the position for the opening try of the game. A clever flick move between Diskin and Peacock, gave the hooker time and space to put in a perfectly weighted grubber kick to Jones-Buchanan, who collected the ball to score. Sinfield's conversion hit the post and bounced away to leave it 4-2 after 15 minutes. The Rhinos extended their lead after 23 minutes when Rob Burrow and Sinfield combined well before the Leeds skipper produced a great offload to Brent Webb to score. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 10-2. Bradford were undaunted and came back at Leeds putting the Rhinos under intense pressure on their own line. A dangerous looking bomb was defused by Webb to stop one attack and quick thinking by Jordan Tansey and Jones-Buchanan saw the latter burst upfield from the 20 metre tap. Running like a centre, he burst through four would be tackles before giving the ball to Lee Smith to finish the job off 25 metres from the line. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 16-2 after 30 minutes. The Bulls first half of misery continued with two minutes remaining in the half when a mix up between Iestyn Harris and Paul Deacon gifted possession to Gareth Ellis ten metres from the Bulls line. He fed Rob Burrow, who scampered over for his 101st try for the club. It got worse for the Bulls in the final minute when Ellis burst through some weak defence 25 metres from his own line before racing clear and feeding Webb for his second try of the game. Sinfield missed the conversion but Leeds led 26-2 at the interval. There was not let up after the break for the Bulls as the Leeds extended their lead five minutes later. Once again it came from a Bradford attack. Deacon's kick fell straight into the arms of Luke Burgess, who charged up field before drawing the last man and sending Scott Donald away from his ninth try of the season from 60 metres out. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 32-2. Former Leeds hooker Terry Newton was placed on report shortly afterwards after a nasty late charge on Matt Diskin after he had passed the ball. Bradford continued to press the Leeds line but Rhinos produced some incredible defence to keep them out, twice holding players up over the line. It seemed as if eventually the pressure would tell however Lee Smith popped up to intercept a Solomona offload and race clear.

WP – Home MPU

Ben Jeffries did a fine job in chasing back to stop Smith however two tackles later Burrow latched onto an offload by Lauitiiti and ducked under three attempted tackles to score between the posts. He then converted his own try to make it 38-2 to after 63 minutes. Video ref Ashley Klein was finally called upon after 68 minutes to judge on Webb's hat trick try, however replays showed he was well on side when Burrow put in a reverse kick. Burrow added the conversion to make it 44-2 to the Rhinos. Bradford threw everything at Leeds in the closer stages and the Rhinos managed to maintain their line for another 80 minutes to complete a remarkable night on attack and defence.

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