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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 46 Huddersfield Giants 8

11th July 2008

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds maintained the pressure on St Helens at the top of the engage Super League with a hard earned 46-8 win over Huddersfield in the wet at Headingley Carnegie. The Rhinos led 18-2 at half time but they pulled clear after the break. St Helens defeated Castleford 68-12 earlier in the night to keep both sides tied at the top of the table. Saints have top spot with a 43 points advantage after round 21 but with the Rhinos travelling to third place Catalans next week it was vital they got back to winning ways tonight. Leeds welcomed back Clinton Toopi for his first game since the Carnegie World Club Challenge in February whilst captain Kevin Sinfield was available after fears seven days earlier that he would have a prolonged period on the sidelines with a knee injury. Heavy rain had fell throughout the day at Headingley Carnegie but remarkably there was little standing water on the pitch however both sides were presented with a greasy, wet surface which meant that ball retention was going to be a key factor.

Huddersfield got an early break when French official Thierry Alibert penalised Jamie Peacock for offside 15 metres from his own line. Giants skipper Chris Thorman stepped up and gave his side a 2-0 lead after three minutes. The Rhinos took the lead after 11 minutes with a try that mixed flair and luck in equal measure. Brent Webb burst down field and looked to throw a wide pass to the supporting runners. The Huddersfield defender could only parry the ball into the air and Rob Burrow then had the presence of mind to hack the ball on rather than try and collect it under pressure, and Scott Donald dived on the loose ball for his 19th try in Super League this season. Sinfield converted to make it 6-2. Leeds looked to be getting back into their old groove with Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Toopi causing the Giants defence problems down both flanks. Jones-Buchanan created the next score with a great offload five metres out which Danny McGuire latched onto and dived across for the score. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 12-2 after 21 minutes. There was an element of good fortune in the next score for the Rhinos. Webb appeared to knock on trying to take a cross field kick which Toopi then touched down. However, after consultation with his touch judge the referee awarded Leeds head and feed at the scrum. Three tackles later Jones-Buchanan crashed over for a richly deserved try to extend his side's lead. Sinfield added the conversion for good measure to make it 18-2 after 25 minutes. The remainder of the first half was a stop-start affair with neither team able to carve open any chances in the wet conditions.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos made the perfect start to the second half with a try inside the first four minutes. A towering bomb caught out young Giants full back Leroy Cudjoe and McGuire was on hand to touch down for his second try of the night next to the post. Sinfield added the simple conversion to make it 24-2. Ryan Hall kept up the momentum with a great 60 metre break soon after the re-start. He looked like he had been tackle on three occasions only to spin out of the tackle. He was eventually pulled down 25 metres out but three tackles later he was out waiting on the wing when Gareth Ellis spun around in the tackle and threw a wide pass to Hall to score in the corner. Sinfield was unable to add the conversion but the Rhinos now led 28-2 after 47 minutes. Webb then made it three tries in ten minutes when he raced through to pounce on McGuire's perfectly weighted kick on the wet surface. Sinfield added the conversion to extend the lead to 34-2. The Rhinos brought up the 40-point mark just before the hour when Keith Senior pushed off an attempted tackle and then charged his way over from ten metres out. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 40-2. The Giants hit back straight from the kick off when Kylie Leuluai knocked on. The visitors moved the ball quickly wide from the scrum and Martin Aspinwall cut back in to find his way over. Thorman added the conversion to make it 40-8. With points difference only seperately the Rhinos and St Helens it was important that Leeds continued to keep their foot on the gas. They hit back after 65 minutes with a flowing move from left to right, it looked like Toopi would cap his return with a try but unselfishly passed to Hall to score his second try in the corner. Sinfield added a great touchline conversion to make it 46-8 to the home side. Despite a number of chances in the closing stages, the Rhinos could not gain another score but they will travel to the South of France in confident mood of this commanding win. 

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