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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leigh Centurions v Leeds Rhinos, Friday 17th February, kick off 8pm

26th January 2017

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos face Betfred Super League new boys Leigh Centurions in round two of the new season for the first ever league meeting between the sides at the Leigh Sports Village.

The Rhinos travelled there in 2012 in the Challenge Cup to earn a 24-6 win to progress to the semi final. The last league clash in Leigh was in 2005 when the Rhinos travelled to Hilton Park twice in the Centurions ill fated only Super League campaign so far. Leeds ran out 60-4 winners in the first meeting in front of 5,000 fans before a massive 74-0 win later in the same season. 

WP – In Article MPU

Of course the two teams met in last year's Super 8s Qualifiers at Headingley Carnegie with the Rhinos winning 37-12 to claim the Bev Risman Trophy, which will be contested once again this season with an aggregate score over the two games in the league. 

The trophy was kindly being donated by Sky Sports and Bev and his wife Ann were special guests at the match last season to present the trophy to Jamie Jones-Buchanan, as the winning captain on the night.

Bev Risman was a distinguished dual code international who won nine England RU caps and toured Australia and New Zealand in 1959 with the British Lions. 

The son of Salford and Workington Town great Gus Risman, an inaugural member of the Rugby League Hall of Fame, Bev was educated at Cockermouth GS, Manchester University and Loughborough Colleges and had a wealth of natural ability as a sportsman. As a rugby player he could play with distinction in any back position.

He signed professional forms with Leigh in March 1961 and went on to make 140 appearances for the club, scoring 31 tries and kicking 241 goals and captaining the side. He was also a schoolmaster at Leigh GS.

Early in 1966 he was transferred to Leeds and went on to enjoy a golden end to his playing career, making 164 appearances and scoring 20 tries and kicking 611 goals for the club before retiring at the end of the 1969-70 season.  He became a schoolmaster at Leeds GS.

Whilst at Leeds he followed in the footsteps of his father and won five Great Britain caps, representing his country in the 1968 World Cup.  He also played a pivotal role in Leeds' dramatic victory in the famous 1968 'Watersplash' Challenge Cup Final against Wakefield Trinity. 

Bev's younger brother John also had a long professional career and his son John won three Oxford Blues in Varsity Rugby in the 1980s.

Later a lecturer at Reading University, a sports and fitness consultant to the Lawn Tennis Association and a highly regarded regional Rugby League coach, Bev played a key role in the establishment of Rugby League in London following the formation of Fulham in 1980. He also coached Fulham between July 1987 and October 1988.

Tickets and travel will be on sale soon at www.therhinos.co.uk/buytickets

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Leigh Centurions 14 Leeds Rhinos 17

17th February 2017

By Leeds Rhinos

A Liam Sutcliffe drop goal and a second half penalty proved the difference between the sides at the Leigh Sports Village as the Rhinos opened their account for 2017.

The Rhinos fell behind early on when Leigh moved the ball quickly along the back line and created space for Matty Dawson to score in the corner.  Ben Reynolds conversion attempt hit the post and rebounded away however he soon made amends when he managed to free his arms in a tackle and offloaded to full back Mitch Brown to score and make it 8-0 to the home side after as many minutes.
 
The Rhinos needed to find a response and it was Adam Cuthbertson who made an immediate impact as he came off the bench. With just his second touch he took the ball near the line and powered his way over. Liam Sutcliffe added the conversion to cut the gap to 8-6 after 13 minutes.
 
Leeds then immediately struck again in the next set. Matt Parcell tore into the home defence before passing to Carl Ablett, who fed Ryan Hall down the touchline to score. Sutcliffe narrowly missed the conversion from wide but his side now led.
 
The game was a real tussle between two very committed sides and the Rhinos had to produce some outstanding defence to keep Leigh out. Having done that, they crossed for a third try through Jimmy Keinhorst. The centre, who had come in for Joel Moon after he was ruled out with concussion, showed great strength to get the ball down under pressure. 
 
The lead could have been increased soon after when Ryan Hall was released down the touchline, he opted to look for Rob Burrow with the inside pass but the scrum half could not take the ball in and the chance went begging.
 
Sutcliffe did extend the lead with the final kick of the first half with a drop goal from near halfway was the hooter sounded to make it 15-8 at the break.
 
The second half was a tense affair as both teams went in search of their first win of the new season. Leigh enjoyed the lions share of possession but Leeds held firm and eventually were rewarded when Leigh were penalised for interference at the tackle. Sutcliffe increased the lead with a penalty to make it 17-8. 

WP – Home MPU

The home side were then reduced to 12 men when Jamie Action was sin binned for needlessly trying to slow down the Rhinos taking a 20m tap and it looked like the visitors might go on and secure the win. 

However, roared on by their home crowd, Leigh finished strongly. They were twice correctly denied tries by video referee Ben Thaler but they set up a grandstand finish when Ben Crooks cut back in field to score his side's third try. Reynolds converted to cut the gap to 17-14. 

Leigh then looked certain to score again when Atelea Vea broke through but an incredible tackle by Keinhorst denied him and the Rhinos held on.

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