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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 8 Leeds Rhinos 44

15th February 2008

By Leeds Rhinos

The Champions ran in seven first half tries to set up a 44-8 win for the Rhinos at Belle Vue. The Rhinos were denied the services of Kylie Leuluai before kick off when the giant prop was ruled out after suffering a bout of flu. That meant that Nick Scruton, who was due to play in the Reserve Academy curtain raiser, was drafted in to the starting line up for the Champions. Leeds were looking to make it three from three at the start of the season but faced a Wakefield side who were high on confidence after beating Bradford in their opening game. Wakefield included Jamie Rooney for the first time but the talented half back was only deemed fit enough for a spot on the bench.

The Rhinos came out in determined form and took the game to the hosts. Early pressure resulted in three repeat sets on the Wakefield line. It looked as if they would get the chance to break clear when Sam Obst attempted an intercept 10 metres from his line but he could only knock it into the path of Danny McGuire and fed Keith Senior for the simplest of tries. Kevin Sinfield's conversion attempt was unsuccessful so the Rhinos only led 4-0 after eight minutes. Wakefield did get some possession after that but coach John Kear will have been disappointed with how easily they handed it over and the Rhinos went straight back on to the attack. Firstly Matt Diskin took advantage of a clever grubber kick by Danny McGuire to score between the posts, which Sinfield convert, before the Leeds skipper himself scored the next try. A rampaging run by Keith Senior got the Rhinos going before a cross field kick was spilled by Luke George under pressure and Sinfield collected and touched down in the same movement. He then added the conversion for good measure to make it 16-0 after 23 minutes. There was no danger of the Rhinos taking their foot off the gas and they quickly increased their lead with two more tries. Jamie Peacock, who was impressive throughout, produced a sublime offload to Brent Webb who raced clear. The Leeds full back drew the last man and put Scott Donald in for his second try of the season. Sinfield missed the conversion but he made no mistake after 26 minutes with his next effort. McGuire fired in a high, towering bomb to the corner that deceived Blaymire and Reilly. The proverbial bus that went through the huge gap between the two defenders was Ali Lauitiiti who scored with his second touch after coming on. Four minutes later Danny McGuire crossed again but the home fans were livid with official Phil Bentham for a perceived forward pass. The Rhinos did not stop to argue and Burrow glided through before passing to McGuire to finish off the move. Sinfield again converted. The first half rout continued when Webb burst on to an offload by Senior. He raced 40 metres up field before unselfishly passing to Donald to score. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 38-0 after 36 minutes.

WP – Home MPU

Perhaps unsurprisingly the game went off the boil slightly after the break with the result a foregone conclusion. Leeds did manage to get over the line again inside the first ten minutes but Carl Ablett was pulled back for a knock on in the build up. As it was, it was the home side who scored next and it came from Luke George after he latched on to a clever through kick by Brad Drew after 64 minutes. The Wildcats then claimed their second try when Ryan Atkins burst through in midfield and raced 50 metres to score. Brough was unable to convert either try so it remained 38-8. With three minutes remaining the Rhinos finally sparked into life in the second half when Matt Diskin got the simplest of tries going from dummy half. Sinfield added the conversion to make the final score 44-8 at Brian McClennan's side.

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