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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 58 London Broncos 14

22nd February 2004

By Leeds Rhinos

Debutant Marcus Bai scored a hat-trick as Leeds opened their Tetley’s Super League campaign with a 10-try thrashing of London Broncos.

Rob Burrow, Keith Senior and Chev Walker also claimed two tries apiece as Tony Smith made a winning start to his reign as Leeds coach.

WP – Home MPU

Mark Calderwood also got on the scoresheet and Kevin Sinfield landed nine goals as the rampant Rhinos bettered their 48-6 thrashing of the same opponents on the opening day two years ago.

The Broncos' three-month warm-weather training camp in Dubai hardly prepared them for the snow flurry which greeted them in West Yorkshire – and they were second best in all departments.

They did manage the first points of the afternoon when Paul Sykes landed a seventh-minute penalty, but the Broncos full-back was at fault as Burrow claimed his first try three minutes later.

Burrow was quick to pounce as Sykes fumbled a Matt Diskin kick on the tryline and another defensive error allowed the England A international his second score moments later following a break by Dave Furner.

The Broncos briefly managed to stem the tide when Dennis Moran intercepted a Sinfield pass and sprinted 80 metres to touch down.

But it was a rare moment of quality for the Broncos, whose defence was breached all too easily by a Rhinos side not yet in top gear.

Senior was the next to go through when he powered over from close range and a slick handling move sent Bai over for his first try after 31 minutes.

The Broncos were reduced to 12 men when Sykes was sin-binned for a professional foul before the break, but Andrew Brocklehurst did manage to break Leeds' rhythm with a try moments after coming off the bench.

It mattered little as the Rhinos raised the tempo after the break, scoring almost as soon as play had restarted when Walker cut inside from the right to touch down.

Senior broke from the kick-off to add his second on 43 minutes and after Radney Bowker had flopped over for a third Broncos' try, Walker flicked the ball out for Calderwood to score.

Bai raced down the left for his second after 53 minutes and even though Sinfield missed his first conversion of the afternoon, at 46-14 Leeds were almost out of sight.

Walker brought up the half century when he raced clear 12 minutes from time and Bai completed a superb debut performance when he secured his treble four minutes later.

Senior outjumped all to reach a high kick from Sinfield, and his touch left Bai with a simple task to pick up and score.
 

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