ON THIS DAY
On the 29th March in years gone by Leeds have played in 2 memorable matches the first coming in 1947 when Bert Cook scored a wonder goal against Wigan & the second in 1986 with a classic cup game against Hull KR.
On this day in 1947 Leeds played Wigan at Central Park in the third round of the Challenge Cup. Coming into the game Leeds had not conceded a single point in the competition, seeing off Barrow and Hunslet. Wigan were then the dominating team in the sport but Leeds were not daunted and put the pressure on the side from the start, despite terrible pitch conditions after heavy rain. The two teams both defended well and it looked as though the score was going to be deadlocked before Bert Cook scored one of the most memorable goals in Leeds history, with the New Zealand full-back kicking straight between the posts from 50 metres out. This goal spurred on Leeds who went in at half time 2-0 up. Wigan were unable to break the Leeds defence and it seemed like the 2 points from Cook’s goal would be enough before Gareth Price scored the only try of the game which sealed the visitors 5-0 victory. On this day in 1986 Leeds played Hull KR in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup at Elland Road. Hull KR were the reigning champions and they took the lead in what turned out to be a classic Cup tie. John Dorahy kicked a penalty goal for Rovers after nine minutes but David Creasser soon levelled the score with a penalty himself. Dave Heron and Neil Hague then set up the first Leeds try, before Terry Webb extended the Loiners lead with a drop goal. Tonie Currie was next to score, despite being tripped by Rovers scrum half Paul Harkin, who was duly sent off. Chris Lyons then added a drop goal but Hull KR brought themselves back into the game with a controversial try from David Laws, who had actually lost the ball as he attempted to touch down. Leeds then lost their lead after excellent play from Rovers, with Laws scoring a second try and Mike Smith adding two. Creasser then added a penalty and converted Tonie Currie’s try to close the gap. Substitute Paul Medley, who was then 19 years old, then came on to score a try to equal the game, but this time Creasser was unable to convert, leaving the final score at 24-24, with neither team able to find a winning point. On this day in 2002 the Rhinos won a fiery encounter with Halifax Blue Sox 42-20 which moved them to second place in the table. The Rhinos were never behind in a scintillating encounter which saw eight tries scored and three players sin-binned. Ben Walker’s third-minute penalty opened the scoring and Andy Hay scored the first try of the game, which Walker converted. Tonie Carroll then scored his first try of the season, before Beckett scored a try for Halifax, which Tickle converted and with a further penalty the Blue Sox were back to within six points. Leeds later scored when Senior romped past two men down the left, cut inside Daryl Cardiss and drew the cover before passing for Pratt to grab his first try of the campaign. The first half ended in controversial fashion. Firstly, Cummins was sin-binned for dissent after being adjudged by the touch judge to have been out of play when palming a Halifax penalty back in, despite video replays later proving that he had jumped from the field of play and had not touched the floor. The Blue Sox ran the penalty, and Dunemann shot through a gap before sending Jim Gannon crashing in – but referee Robert Connolly eventually disallowed the try for a forward pass. The second half began in the same manner that the first had ended, Walker’s penalty creating a 22-10 advantage after Halifax received their final warning. But it was Leeds who had the next player sent for a cooling down period, Wayne McDonald being yellow-carded after grabbing Jim Gannon’s leg, but Dave Woods was unable to capitalise on the two-man advantage when he knocked on as Halifax ran the penalty. Blue Sox second rower Jamie Bloem then joined them in the sin bin following an off-the-ball obstruction on Darren Fleary to which enabled Walker to tag on another two points. Tickle then span through Senior and Hay to get Halifax back in the game at 24-16 following the Leeds second rower being penalised for dissent, and an accidental offside against the same player enabled that gap to be cut to six points. The tension rose even further when Walker was ruled to have stripped Chris Birchall of the ball to enable another Tickle penalty to bring the Blue Sox to within a try of Leeds with 18 minutes on the clock. But the Rhinos bounced back and Carroll touched down for his second and then the Kiwi international centre completed his hat-trick with a try in the corner. The win was sealed when Gannon was penalised for stealing the ball and substitute Rob Burrow showed his quick thinking to take a quick tap and dive in from three yards out, another majestic Walker conversion merely adding shine to a hard-fought win.