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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Wakefield Trinity 10 Leeds Rhinos 17

26th December 2017

By Leanne Flynn

By Jack Conlon

The Rhinos got pre-season off to winning ways with a well-fought victory over Wakefield in the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge.

WP – Home MPU

Brian McDermott named six of his Grand Final winning squad, with new faces Richie Myler and Brad Dwyer also getting starts. There was also a debut on the bench for youngster Owen Trout, who was a late call-up for Nathaniel Peteru, after he pulled out with a hamstring strain.

Both teams looked strong in the early exchanges, moving the ball freely and looking to create chances. Brad Dwyer was particularly impressive for Leeds, constantly probing around the ruck and really troubling the Wakefield defence.

After some good pressure on the Trinity line, though, it was the Rhinos who broke the deadlock on 15 minutes. We looked to shift it wide, with Tom Briscoe going close but just being closed down 10m from the try line. The ball then moved it’s way inside to find Jordan Lilley, who took it to the defensive line before finding Brad Singleton on his inside to crash through two men to score. Myler was on kicking duties and had no problems extending the lead to six points.

While the home side came close on a couple of occasions, Leeds looked to have the more clear-cut chances. Carl Ablett’s was the most notable, as he crossed the line only to be held up.

It was the kind of game where a try could come from nowhere, and so it proved as Trinity hit back seven minutes before halftime. Kyle Wood’s 40/20 put them in perfect field position, before a quick switch to the right saw Ben Jones-Bishop squeeze over in the corner. James Batchelor’s conversion attempt went just wide, giving Leeds a 6-4 lead at the break.

The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, but Leeds certainly looked more promising. Liam Sutcliffe matched Wood’s 40/20 efforts with one of his own, giving us some good field position. Jack Ormondroyd and Brad Dwyer both found their way over the line, but were denied by Wakefield’s desperate defence holding them up.
After going close moments earlier, Ormondroyd managed to find the whitewash on 55 minutes, scoring the first of two quick-fire tries for the visitors. He made a break from 30m out, before showing a good turn of pace to beat the Wakefield fullback to the line.

Four minutes later and we enxtended our lead, with Mikolaj Oledzki going over. Wakefield had threatened a try of their own down the other end, but some good scramble defence denied them, before we hit them on the counter attack. Keinhorst made a half-break, before finding Oledzki supporting on his inside. Sutcliffe converted both tries to give Leeds a 12-point cushion.

With 10 minutes to go, Trinity set up for a tense finish, with Joe Arundel strolling over from a Ryan Hampshire pass. Batchelor’s conversion closed the gap to just six points, with the home side seemingly stepping it up a gear late on.

Joe Arundel came within inches of the Leeds try-line, with some desperation defence from Ashton Golding just doing enough to prevent him from scoring.

Any chance of a Wakefield comeback was quashed three minutes from time, however, as Jordan Lilley knocked over a drop-goal from right in front to put the game beyond any doubt and seal the win for the Rhinos.

Line-ups:
Wakefield: 21 Max Jowitt, 5 Ben Jones-Bishop, 4 Reece Lyne, 18 Joe Arundel, 3 Bill Tupou, 9 Kyle Wood, 25 Ryan Hampshire, 10 Anthony England, 13 Tyler Randell, 22 Jordan Baldwinson, 19 James Batchelor, 12 Danny Kirmond (c), 16 Tinirau Arona. Subs: 15 Pauli Pauli, 20 Keegan Hirst, 23 Chris Annakin, 24 Mason Caton-Brown, 26 Luke Hooley, 27 Jordan Crowther, 29 Lewis Wray, 30 Christian Ackroyd.
Leeds: 1 Ashton Golding, 2 Tom Briscoe, 3 Jimmy Keinhorst, 4 Liam Sutcliffe, 5 Ash Handley, 6 Jordan Lilley, 7 Richie Myler, 8 Anthony Mullally, 9 Brad Dwyer, 10 Brad Singleton (c), 11 Josh Walters, 12 Carl Ablett, 13 Jack Ormondroyd. Subs: 14 Jack Walker, 15 Cameron Smith, 16 Mikolaj Oledzki, 17 Owen Trout, 18 Josh Jordan-Roberts, 19 Harry Newman.
Try Scorers:
Wakefield: Jones-Bishop (33), Arundel (70’). Goals: Batchelor (70’).
Leeds: Singleton (15’), Ormondroyd (53’), Oledzki (59’). Goals: Myler (15’), Sutcliffe (59’). Drop-goals: Lilley (77’)
Referee: Tom Grant
Attendance:

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