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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Salford Red Devils 24 Leeds Rhinos 50

9th July 2017

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos ran in nine tries in a comprehensive win over Salford Red Devils at the AJ Bell Stadium to move clear in second spot in the Betfred Super League.

The game was set up to be a great test between two sides leading the chase to catch Castleford Tigers at the summit of the Betfred Super League and the stage was set for a  great afternoon of rugby with the sun shining on the perfect conditions at the AJ Bell Stadium.

WP – Home MPU

The home side took the lead after seven minutes. They had gone close in the previous set when a sensational tackle by Ryan Hall denied the home side a certain try however when Tom Briscoe spilled a cross field kick, Josh Wood was on hand to pick up and go over. Michael Dobson added the conversion to give his side a 6-0 lead.

However, they did not hold the lead for long as the Rhinos produced an onslaught of points. Ryan Hall got the first with a fine finish from twenty metres before Tom Briscoe, who had been denied in the corner by a Junior Sau tackle just before, scored his side’s second with a wide pass from McGuire creating space for Watkins to put the winger away.

Watkins, who had converted the first try from the touchline, then converted his own try as he dummied to Briscoe on this occasion and stretched out to score and make it 16-6 after 16 minutes.

The Rhinos had also gone close through Carl Ablett and Jack Walker but did cross for a fourth try when Matt Parcell spotted a gap from dummy half and darted over to score. Watkins added the conversion but it was to be his last piece of action as he was soon forced off following a tackle by Sau. The Salford centre was shown the yellow card and Watkins played no further part in the game as a precaution.

Despite having to reshuffle the back line, there was no let up from Leeds and they made their numerical advantage count. A superbly lofted kick by McGuire to the corner was caught by Hall, who dropped the offload down into the path of Joel Moon to score against his former club.

Leeds were creating gaps with each attack now and Parcell raced through to set up the next try, passing to Jamie Jones-Buchanan 15 metres out and the forward galloped onto the ball before stepping the full back to score. Lilley added the conversion to give his side a 32-6 lead after 36 minutes.

There was still time left for the Rhinos to add a seventh first half try and it was a second try for Briscoe as he timed his run perfectly to collect McGuire’s grubber kick and score. Lilley was unable to add the conversion but his side led 36-6 at half time.

Just as in the first half, Salford scored the first try of the half after the break. The Red Devils leading scorer Ben Murdoch-Masila proved too big to stop for Jack Walker as he stormed onto an offload from close range. Michael Dobson added the conversion and the home side had their best spell of the game after that.

The Rhinos had to ride out the wave of pressure but eventually they did get over for a third try. Lilley had stretched the Rhinos lead with a penalty but on their next attack Salford scored.  It came from a knock on by Walker under pressure on his line and Dobson was the man to find a way over after Leeds had defended their line well. He converted his own try and the home side had hope at 38-18 with 15 minutes to go.

However, the Rhinos sealed an impressive win as Anthony Mullally produced a rampaging run to go over beside the posts. Lilley added the conversion to give his side a 44-18 lead.

Salford did get another late score with a second try Murdoch-Masila but the Rhinos were good value for their victory.

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