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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 46 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 10

16th March 2010

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos surged to within 80 minutes of a second outing at Murrayfield after blitzing injury-hit Wakefield in Saturday’s Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Challenge Cup quarter-final at Headingley.

The Rhinos ran in four tries in 20 minutes to break the stout resistance of the Wildcats and book a fourth successive semi-final appearance and their ninth in the last 10 years.

WP – Home MPU

Australian stand-off Ben Walker led the second-half rout with two tries and also kicked seven goals to finish with 22 points and take the man-of-the-match award but the outcome was tough on their West Yorkshire neighbours.

Wakefield had their sights on a first semi-final appearance since 1979 when they raced into a 4-0 lead after only five minutes, courtesy of a try from centre Kris Tassell.

The Wildcats, shrugging off the absence of five regulars through injury and suspension, scrapped and battled and, with classy scrum-half Nathan Wood tormenting the Rhinos defence with some clever handling, they looked for long periods capable of gaining their first Cup win over their exalted neighbours for 60 years.

The Rhinos, beaten finalists in Edinburgh two years ago, edged into a 10-6 lead by half-time thanks to tries from Great Britain internationals Keith Senior and Andy Hay, both after smart work from scrum-half Ryan Sheridan.

The return of Walker and Sheridan at half-back gave Leeds more shape and purpose but they were forced to endure some awkward moments in a finely-balanced first half and it needed a desperate last-ditch tackle by Sheridan to deny their visitors an equalising try by Wood.

Wakefield, forced to give debuts to teenagers Matthew Wray and Steve Snitch after finding themselves with just 16 fit senior players, crucially lost half-back Brad Davis with an ankle injury early in the second half but they were already on their way out by then.

However, it took a slice of misfortune to break their spirit, with Ben Walker picking and scoring after his own kick had struck an upright to wrongfoot full-back Martyn Holland. Holland was a valiant last line of defence but he found himself increasingly isolated as Wakefield, starved of second-half possession, wilted in the Headingley sunshine.

Leeds skipper Francis Cummins raced onto Sheridan's kick to touch down, centre Chev Walker claimed a soft try after a defensive howler by Waisale Sovatabua and Ben Walker finished off a fine break by Senior to take his side to 34-6.

Wood grabbed a deserved consolation try for Wakefield to briefly stem the onslaught but they were a spent force and Leeds ran in further tries through substitute Willie Poching, a former Wildcats captain, and prop Barrie McDermott.

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