JUNIOR ACADEMY BEAT WILDCATS AND WEATHER

The Rhinos Junior Academy battled against atrocious conditions and a big Wakefield side to run out 30-10 winners at Stanningley this weekend.

The Rhinos Junior Academy battled against atrocious conditions and a big Wakefield side to run out 30-10 winners at Stanningley this weekend. It a tight opening period it was actually the visitors who looked the stronger side but it was Leeds who struck first after 22 minutes. A high kick from Kyle Briggs caused panic with the Wakefield players and Luke Gale jumped highest to claim the ball and go over by the posts. The conversion was a simple task for Briggs and the Rhinos were 6-0 up. Wakefield continued to press the Leeds line but superb defence and handling errors in the difficult conditions were proving costly for the visitors and the Rhinos grabbed another chance two minutes from the break. After getting a repeat set from a penalty the Rhinos were camped on the Wakefield line. From the play the ball a pass from Ben Kaye hit the ground, the visitors defence hesitated and Gareth Moore picked up to go in by the posts. Briggs converted again to the Rhinos into a 12-0 half time lead. The visitors again made the stronger start to the second half and got themselves right back in the game with only 4 minutes on the watch. Aaron Dobek creating the space and a superbly timed run from Jamie Burnett saw him go over from 20 metres out. Dobek converted and with the Rhinos lead cut to 12-6 it was game on. The Rhinos were under pressure as Wakefield poured forward looking for the score to tie the game up and it was only super defence that prevented another try. From a scrum on their own 10 Leeds struck again with the try of the afternoon. Ben Bishop-Jones took the ball from the scrum and a quick play the ball saw Ben Kaye find Wayne Reittie. A couple of hand offs saw the winger break through some poor Wakefield defending and he set off up the touchline. Reittie showed a great turn of pace to keep Scott Turner at bay and dived over the line. Briggs converted and Leeds were 18-6 up after 53 minutes. Leeds now had a strangle hold on the game and struck again six minutes later. On the last tackle Luke Gale put the high cross-field kick in. The Wakefield defenders looked at each other and Ben Jones-Bishop took the ball superbly in the difficult conditions to touch down over the line. Briggs again added the conversion and Leeds were 24-6 up. Wakefield hit straight back, to show they were not going to give the game up without a fight but it was a score shrouded by controversy. A high cross-field kick from Dobek was well taken by the leaping Reittie, but he was tackled in the air and then had the ball stolen. Scott Turner was the man on the spot to touchdown and after referee Brooke consulted with his Touch Judges the try was awarded much to the jeers of the home fans. Dobek’s conversion attempt drifted across the face of the posts to leave Leeds 24-10 in front. There was still hope for Wakefield but try as they might, they never really got into any decent field position again in the game and there were killed off in the 73rd minutes. Declining an easy 2 points after a penalty in front of the posts, coach John Bastian gave the instruction to run and Leeds scored on the first tackle when Benn Fawcett drove the ball in and caught the Wakefield defenders sleeping to crash over the line. Briggs just kept his 100% record with the boot as the conversion went in off the post to give the Rhinos a 30-10 victory. Full credit to the teams for the effort they put in in the conditions. For the Rhinos Benn Fawcett had a big game, his tackle on Kyle Wood was one for the end of season highlights. Liam Brown again impressed with his direct running and defence. Luke Gale bought composure to the team and Simon Brown put his hand up for a starting jumper after coming on from the bench. The SouthStander.com man of the match went to Robin Wilkes (pictured). It was a day when someone had to do the hard work and his effort on attack and defence was superb. The Junior Academy are back in action on June 3rd when Harlequins are the visitors to Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Kick off is 1pm.