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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Warrington Wolves 24 Leeds Rhinos 26

30th September 2011

By Leeds Rhinos

A Kevin Sinfield penalty two minutes from time has put Leeds Rhinos back in the Grand Final at Old Trafford.

Leeds Rhinos travelled to Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium knowing they are eighty minutes away from a return to Old Trafford.

WP – Home MPU

Leeds welcomed back Carl Ablett after the centre missed the last two games through injury. That meant that Ali Lauitiiti missed out on the chance to make his 200th appearance for the club as he was named as 18th man.

The first half was a pulsating affair from start to finish as both teams pushed themselves to their very limits in what ultimately would be one teams final game of the season.

The Rhinos made a perfect start when they crossed for the games opening try after just four minutes. The chance came after Jamie Peacock was awarded a penalty when Garreth Carvell stripped the ball in a two man tackle. Leeds kicked down field and three tackles later, Ablett was on hand to collect a perfectly judged end over end grubber kick from Danny McGuire. Sinfield added the conversion from out wide to make it 6-0.

Leeds had the best of the early pressure and could have gone in for a second try when Danny Buderus broke from close range but just as he neared the line the ball was taken from his grasp and Warrington were able to clear.
Both teams were guilty of making errors under pressure but that only added to the tension in the game as the game flowed from end to end.

The visitors were grateful to Brent Webb on more than one occasion for stopping dangerous attacks from Warrington but eventually the pressure told and Joel Monaghan went in for a try after 15 minutes. Bridge added the conversion to level the score.

The physical confrontation was matched by the crackling atmosphere and both sets of fans had plenty to cheer. On attack, the Rhinos made good yards with ball in hand and their kicking game from Sinfield and McGuire asked plenty of questions of the Wolves. On defence, Zak Hardaker and Carl Ablett were forced to make try scoring tackles whilst Ian Kirke produced the hit of the match when he smashed Dave Solomona.

As the half drew to a close, there was a sense that the next try could be pivotal and it went to the home side. Leeds were penalised for a ball steal that looked harsh given other things that had been allowed to go in the game, but the home side took full advantage. Tony Smith had swapped his wingers over after Brett Hodgson was forced off the pitch and Chris Riley popped up on the opposite side of the field to cut in and step passed the attempted tackle of Ablett. Bridge was on target again to make it 12-6 at the break.

Once again, Leeds made a dream start to the half when they scored inside the opening couple of minutes. Warrington were on the attack when a loose pass was latched on to by Ryan Hall who went nearly fifty metres, handing off Briers, before going in to score. Sinfield added the conversion to level the score.

The Rhinos had a chance to retake the lead soon afterwards after their third penalty of the game took them deep into Warrington territory. Hall managed to get on the outside of Joel Monaghan but was pulled back for a forward last pass from McGuire.

The home side had the next opportunity to score and they made the most of it. A mix up between Webb and Jones-Bishop in defence resulted in the latter giving away a penalty from offside as he picked up a spilled ball and a quick tap saw Matt King released down the wing. Three Leeds defenders raced across to stop the former Melbourne star but he wriggled out of the tackle and crashed over. Bridge added the touchline conversion to make it 18-12 with thirty minutes to go.

The Rhinos fired back with two quick fire tries to turn the game on its head. The first came from a great break by Rob Burrow. He burst through in midfield before passing to Danny McGuire. McGuire was hauled down by Ryan Atkins but had the presence of mind to throw a pass outwide to the on rushing Ryan Hall for him to score his second.

Then second was scored by Burrow after Brent Webb stepped passed Chris Bridge before bursting clear and then passing to Burrow to score. Sinfield converted both to make it 24-18.

However, there was plenty of time remaining and Warrington levelled the game with ten minutes to go when Matt King bumped off three tacklers to score in the corner. Bridge added the touchline conversion to level the score.

Both teams had tries disallowed by video referee Ian Smith with Matt King for Warrington falling short and Ryan Hall denied a hat trick by the faintest of knocks on by Rob Burrow.

With two minutes remaining Sinfield attempted a match winning drop goal but it was blocked only for Steve Ganson to award a penalty for offside. Sinfield stepped up to kick the goal that booked the Rhinos return to Old Trafford.

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