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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 44 Hull Kingston Rovers 4

22nd February 2002

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos became the first club into the last eight of the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Challenge Cup with a 44-4 win over Hull KR, although the Robins gave their top flight opponents a stiff test at Headingley.

The Rhinos repeated their defensive performance of Round Four – when they kept Bradford to only four points conceded – and gave a solid attacking show.

WP – Home MPU

Australian stand off Ben Walker was the star of the show, creating five of the Rhinos' eight tries, with six coming from their three-quarters.

Centres Chev Walker and Keith Senior grabbed two tries apiece, while wingers Marcus St Hilaire and Mark Calderwood – back in the side due to Adrian Vowles absence – scored one apiece, with Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow's late scores giving the scoreline a comprehensive look.

The Robins weathered the early storm – quite literally as they played into the wind, rain and, at times, hail during the first half – but they went behind in the 15th minute when the Walker combination – Ben to Chev – saw the England international score out wide.

Ben Walker added the conversion and, with Matt Adamson already having a try ruled out for a forward pass, the Rhinos looked on top.

But the Northern Ford Premiership contenders hit back and pressure on the Leeds line led to Matt Schultz giving full back Bob Everitt the chance to score, but he knocked on in the process of touching down, and the error soon proved vital.

Leeds swept downfield through Ben Walker and, after Sinfield was held down, the Rhinos swept the ball to the right, where Francis Cummins, Chev Walker and Adamson combined to send St Hilaire in, although the revitalised winger had to collect a pass from his bootlaces.

 Walker added a touchline conversion to make the score 12-0, but Rovers' efforts were finally rewarded on the half hour, when Whetu Taewa sent Everitt in at the corner following a good blind side move.

On the stroke of half time, Leeds restored their advantage with a try which pushed them 16-4 ahead at the break.

Adamson was held short by a fine Paul Fletcher tackle, but Ben Walker, Sinfield, Andy Hay and Senior combined well to give Calderwood a simple touchdown out wide, the conversion being missed.

 The Robins gave a good account of themselves despite the heavy pitch and bad weather, but Leeds' Super League superiority came to the fore in the second period.

 Alasdair McClarron halted a 60-yard Calderwood break shortly after the restart, but Chev Walker's second try on 49 minutes – inevitably from a Ben Walker pass – effectively ended any hope of a comeback at 22-6 with the conversion.

On the hour, Leeds put the result beyond doubt with a fifth try, Sinfield showing great handling skills to send Senior in untouched.

 McClarron then had a try ruled out following Craig Murdock's bomb, which referee Richard Silverwood adjudged was knocked on in a melee of players, while St Hilaire also missed out at the other end following a kick.

Rovers had some good spells of pressure in the Leeds half but were unable to supply a killer touch against the Rhinos' strong defence, and their vocal following in the 11,000-plus crowd were appreciative of their non-stop efforts.

But three tries in the last ten minutes sealed the win for Leeds.

Firstly, Rob Burrow – who had a lively 50-minute spell at hooker – darted away before drawing Everitt and sending Sinfield under the posts before Ryan Sheridan sent Senior in for his second.

 The final try of the night was reserved for Tetley's Super League Young Player of the Year Burrow, who scooted under the posts from a Ben Walker pass – with the stand off ending the game with six conversions from eight attempts.

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