RHINOS STORM PASSED BRAVE HORNETS
Despite a spirited display from Rochdale the Rhinos produced a professional showing to score 12 tries and book their place in the Quarter final with a 66-0 victory.
The Rhinos came out in determined form at Headingley Carnegie as they looked to put right some of the wrongs from the previous week. Leeds welcomed back their captain after a five week lay off and they got off to the best possible start with a try after two minutes. Leeds kept the ball alive brilliantly on the last tackle before a pin point kick through from the inside of his boot from Lee Smith fell perfectly for Danny Williams to touch down. Rob Burrow missed the conversion but Leeds led 4-0. Rochdale though showed real spirit and came back at the Rhinos with three good sets on attack but they were unable to cause any real danger. The Rhinos extended the lead after 10 minutes and it was Williams again who benefitted from some good approach work. Willie Poching made the initial in road before passing basketball style to Lee Smith, who flicked a pass back inside to Williams to touch down. Burrow added a great touchline conversion to make it 10-0. Once again Rochdale responded in great form and really asked questions of the Rhinos, especially with a fearsome, no nonsense defence. They managed to frustrate the Rhinos until the homeside got a repeat set ten metres from the Hornets line. Lee Smith was a constant threat and he went close before gaining a quick play the ball. Millard threw a dummy and waltzed over the line to score under the posts. Burrow added the conversion to make it 16-0. Leeds were in again in the next set. Nothing appeared to be on but Sinfield saw a gap and kicked to the corner with the Rochdale defence asleep. Donald raced through before picking up and barging passed the last defender to score in the corner. Burrow could not convert from the touchline but the Rhinos led 20-0 after 34 minutes. In the last minute Leeds extended their lead with Carl Ablett creating the score before finishing off the move himself. The substitute burst 15 metres upfield before offloading to Burrow. Then three tackles later he popped up in the centres to power his way over. Burrow’s conversion rebounded off the crossbar before going over to make it 26-0 at half time. The Rhinos carried on where they had left off at the start of the second half with two quick fire tries from Scott Donald to complete his hat trick. His first score came off a brilliant off load from Sinfield to Burrow before he flicked the pass to Donald. Burrow missed the conversion but the Rhinos extended the lead after 47 minutes when Donald again was on hand to latch onto a kick from Sinfield to score. Burrow could convert this time to make it 36-0. Leeds were in the ascendency now and they crossed again two minutes later. Millard sent McGuire away with a clever off load. The Leeds half back sprinted through before passing to the supporting Smith. The full back smartly held up the ball for the run around from McGuire who finished off the move. Sinfield added the conversion this time to make it 42-0 after 52 minutes. Chev Walker then got his name on the score sheet six minutes later when he supported a great break by Ian Kirke and crossed through after taking the pass off the second rower. Sinfield again converted to make it 48-0. Rochdale to their credit continued to battle hard, never allowing their heads to drop however the Rhinos finally went through the 50 point barrier when Nick Scruton crashed over for his first try of the season. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 54-0 before going off, satisfied with his return to the side. With two minutes remaining Chris Feather became the Rhinos eighth different try scorer on the night as he was quickest to latch onto a bouncing ball in the in goal. Burrow added the conversion to make it 60-0. Then with the last play of the game Ali Lauitiiti produced a fantastic offload to Carl Ablett who showed incredible pace to sprint 60 metres down field and score between the posts. Burrow added the conversion to make the final score 66-0 to the Rhinos. Leeds: Smith, Donald, Walker, Senior, Williams, McGuire, Burrow, O’Neill, Millard, Scruton, Kirke, Poching, Sinfield. Subs: Lauitiiti, Ablett, Feather, Bailey. Rochdale: Giles, McCully, Varkulis, Anderson, Patterson, Butterworth, Firth, Hill, McConnell, Strum, Gorski, Doran, Goulden. Subs: Cantillon, Farrell, Robinson, Norman. Ref: Peter Taberner Attendance: 4,717