ON THIS DAY
The 9th February in years gone by has marked the Rhinos debuts of such stars as Anthony Farrell, Willie Poching, Ben Walker, Wayne McDonlad, Chris Feather, Gary Connolly, Andrew Dunemann and Chris McKenna.
On this day in 1997 Leeds played Whitehaven in the fourth round of the cup. It was the Rhinos first competitive game of the year and there were a number of new players in the ranks, after a massive clear out had taken place during the close season, leaving just sixteen players from a squad of 39 that had made up the team’s first Super League squad the year before. Making their debut that day was Wayne Collins, Anthony Farrell, Jamie Mathiou, Paul Sterling, Dean Lawford, Martin Massella and Damian Gibson. Sterling marked his arrival with the two tries and Anthony Farrell also scored on his debut. Phil Hassan, Adrian Morley, Adam Hughes, Barrie McDermott, Gary Mercer and Marcus St Hilaire also scored a try each and Graham Holroyd added 5 goals and Dean Lawford got his first points for the club with the sixth goal to see the Rhinos through to the next round of the Cup with a 48-8 win, On this day in 2002 Leeds played their first competitive game of the year when they took on Bradford in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup. In the week prior to this fixture the Bulls had added the World Club Challenge trophy to their Tetley’s Super League one, which they had won the year before, but were brought crashing back to earth in a classic derby match. After going 8-0 behind to a Ben Walker try and two goals, Daniel Gartner replied, but a Ryan Sheridan drop goal and second Walker penalty edged Leeds 11-4 ahead before Man of the Match Sheridan’s try sealed the win and ended Bradford’s unbeaten record at Valley Parade. The game also marked the debut of a number of Leeds stars; Willie Poching, Ben Walker, Wayne McDonald and Adrian Vowles. The win set up a fifth round draw against Hull KR. On this day in 2003 the Rhinos once again took on Whithaven in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup. Chris Feather, Gary Connolly, Andrew Dunemann and Chris McKenna all made their first competitive appearance in blue and amber and helped see their new side through to the next round of the Cup with a 46-6 win. Furner grabbed 15 of the points for the Rhinos with a try and 5 goals. Rob Burrow scored a brace and Wayne McDonald, Chris McKenna, Kevin Sinfield, Francis Cummins, Gary Connolly and Mark Calderwood all scored a try apiece.