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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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London Broncos 18 Leeds Rhinos 30

1st August 2013

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos needed two second half tries from Paul McShane to see off a spirited London side at the Stoop but suffered injury blows to Alex Foster and Brett Delaney.

It was an emotional occasion for the club as the first game after the death of former Head Coach Graham Murray and both teams and supporters observed a minutes silence before kick off. 

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos had to only wait until the fifth minute to open the scoring when Rob Burrow’s cross field kick was collected by Ryan Hall and he offloaded in traffic to Jamie Peacock. The prop only had full back Luke Dorn to beat and promptly powered over the top of him to score. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 6-0.

The Broncos were coming into the game on the back of a humiliating defeat at the hands of Wigan the previous weekend but they were a much improved outfit and were prepared to ask questions of the Leeds defence with plenty of offloads.

However, it was Leeds who doubled their lead after 14 minutes when video referee Steve Ganson confirmed that Ben Jones-Bishop had finished off a fine flowing move that involved Zak Hardaker and Kallum Watkins before the winger showed great strength to hold off the defender and touch down. Sinfield added the conversion to double his side’s lead.

The Broncos responded almost immediately however when Leeds lost the ball in the restart set. London sensed their chance and Luke Dorn, on his last appearance for the Broncos at the Stoop, spotted a gap near the line to dart over and score. Jamie Soward added the conversion to cut the visitors lead in half.

Leeds enjoyed the majority of possession but were unable to break down a determined Broncos defence. The Broncos were able to clear their lines with some booming kicks from Dorn and Soward meaning the Rhinos had to attack from deep in the stifling conditions. They eventually got their third try when quick hands gave Jones-Bishop space on the wing, he broke down field before cut back inside and passing to Alex Foster to score his first senior try for the club with his first touch since coming on for Brett Delaney. Sinfield was on target again to make it 18-6 after 29 minutes.

London should have scored a second try when Soward broke clear and only had full back Hardaker to beat. The Leeds man did well to stay on his feet and make life difficult for the Broncos, forcing Soward to pass out wide to Ryan Shaw, who dropped the pass and the chance went begging.  

The home side did hit back just after the break when Dan Sarginson cut back inside following a wide pass from Soward and brushed off the attempted tackle by Hardaker to touch down. Soward added the conversion to make it 18-12 and put the game back in the balance.

Leeds were dealt two more injury blows when Brett Delaney was quickly followed off the field by Foster. The youngster bravely attempted to tackle Dorn after kicking ahead but was spun in the tackle straight into the goal post and left the pitch with a rib injury.

He was replaced by Paul McShane and the hooker immediately made an impact on the game. Four minutes after coming on he spotted a gap from dummy half, after the home side had worked hard to keep Ablett out, and darted over from close range. Sinfield added the conversion so his side led 24-12 after 55 minutes.

Four minutes later McShane was on hand to take pass five metres out and he jinked through the defence before stretching out to score. Sinfield was again on target and the visitors appeared to have a commanding lead.

However, credit must go to London who never gave in and they got themselves a foothold once again with 14 minutes to go when Ben Fisher capitalised on a spell of pressure on the Leeds line and he got over from five metres out. Soward maintained his perfect night with the boot to make it 30-18.

Leeds were denied a try for Ryan Hall by video referee Ganson after he adjudged an obstruction that allowed the gap for Hall to race through and score. The winger was also unlucky to not touch down outwide after chasing a through kick and it would have been deserved after a hard working performance from the winger.

London pressed hard in the closing stages but some desperate defence from Leeds kept them out and the Rhinos held on for a well deserved victory.

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