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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 44 Hull KR 8

18th September 2009

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos have booked a home Grand Final qualifier after beating Hull KR 44-8 at Headingley Carnegie.

The Rhinos welcomed back Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Keith Senior, who all missed the win over Salford the previous week which secured the League Leaders Shield.

WP – Home MPU

In contrast, Hull KR were without four players who had been named in their 19 man squad just 48 hours before and were forced to include young Beverley-born second row Scott Taylor amongst their replacements.

The home side made a bright start and scored the first try after just six minutes. The Rhinos had twice kicked to Peter Fox’s wing and the third time brought the score. Donald jumped high to take McGuire’s crossed field kick and when Fox rushed in to tackle him, he offloaded simply to Lee Smith, who had looped round from the centre position to score in the corner. Sinfield, wearing a head guard for protection, missed the touchline conversion but the Rhinos led 4-0.

Four minutes later, Headingley Carnegie was silenced as former Rhino Chev Walker suffered a horrific injury when his leg snapped from under him in a tackle with Keith Senior and replays showed that he had suffered a compound fracture. He received a standing ovation from both sets of fans as he was stretchered from the field.

The Rhinos dominated possession but they then fell foul of St Helens official Steve Ganson who penalised Brent Webb to reacting to Stanley Gene appearing to choke him and make contact with his eyes in the tackle. Ganson and his touch judge did not appear to see that altercation, although Gene was spoken to.

Soon afterwards, Hull KR got their first try of the game but the Rhinos will have been disappointed by their own defence. Make-shift full back Daniel Fitzhenry evaded several attempted tackles before he was eventually pulled down just short of the line but then lifted his arm to touch the ball down. Video referee Richard Silverwood did not deem it a double movement and Dobson added the conversion to give his side the lead after 21 minutes.

Rovers were clearly out to rattle the Rhinos and twice Leeds players were pushed into the advertisting hoardings after the ball had gone dead, which was sad to see given the injury that had occured to their own player earlier in the game.

The Rhinos were forced to drop out after 27 minutes but Sinfield’s kick went out on the full as he tried to gain possession back for his team and Dobson had the simplest of chances to extend his side’s lead with a penalty in front of the posts.

Leeds needed to show composure and play whatever opposition they faced. They did just that and replacement Ali Lauitiiti had a massive impact in taking the Rhinos forward. He then unlocked the Rovers defence after 32 minutes after spinning in the tackle, he offloaded one handed to Webb to score. Sinfield added the conversion for good measure to give his side the lead once again.

The Rhinos had a let off just as the half was coming to an end when England winger Peter Fox broke out from near his own line but just as he appeared to be on his way to a memorable score he ran behind Michael Vella and gave away a penalty.

With the last play of the game, Leeds had a chance to extend their lead. A clever kick from Sinfield forced Rovers to drop out with one second remaining and Lee Smith tried an audacious drop goal from 40 metres out but it dropped just short.

Having failed to make the most of their possession at the start of the first half, the Rhinos were clearly not going to make the same mistake after the break. They crossed for their third try of the game after 49 minutes when Hall plucked McGuire’s cross field kick out of the air before passing over his head to Senior who in turn flicked the ball over to Lauitiiti who stretched out one handed to score. Sinfield was off target with the conversion but the Rhinos now led 14-8.

That lead was extended four minutes later when Lauitiiti this time finished off a flowing move after a great drive by Jamie Peacock in midfield and the Samoan international took the final pass to claim his second score of the night. Sinfield was on target this time to make it 20-8.

The Rhinos appeared to take a decisive lead after 62 minutes when Peacock got the try his efforts deserved by running on to Diskin’s short pass and taking three would be tacklers over the line with him, The decision went to the video referee and Richard Silverwood awarded the try with the benefit of doubt to Peacock, for his ninth of the season. Sinfield added the simple conversion to make it 26-8.

Leeds were in command now and unsurprisingly Ryan Hall was next on the scoresheet. It was created by a great break by Brent Webb before he passed inside to the on rushing Hall. The Rovers defender made the mistake of showing Hall the outside and he gladly took it, moving up a gear to effortlessly go round the defence and score. Sinfield added the conversion before taking a well earned rest on the bench.

Lee Smith then scored the easiest try of the night when Hull KR failed to deal with a bouncing ball and the centre was alive to the opportunity and raced through onto the loose ball to score. He converted his own try to increase the lead even further.

However, Leeds were not done yet and they scored a sensational try in the last minute. Hull KR had forced Leeds to drop out but McGuire spotted that the beaten Rovers were slow to react and chipped the ball ten metres forward before collecting it himself and going 40 metres up field. Burrow then took up the charge before passing to Senior, who galloped over from 25 metres out as the hooter sounded. Smith added the conversion to seal an incredible 44-8 win for the Rhinos.

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