RHINOS MAKE A SPLASH AGAINST HULL

The Rhinos ground out an impressive win over Grand Finalist Hull with tries from Lee Smith, Kevin Sinfield and Ryan Bailey.

The Rhinos ground out an impressive win over Grand Finalist Hull with tries from Lee Smith, Kevin Sinfield and Ryan Bailey. Heavy rain fell throughout the day at Headingley Carnegie with the ground staff having to deal with over three-quarters of an inch of rain during the day on a pitch that was already heavy from last weeks inclement weather. It was clear that whoever could master the conditions would have a good control on the game and the Rhinos did well in the opening exchanges to complete their sets and pen Hull in their own half, looking for a mistake that would had over possession deep in enemy territory. However, it was the visitors who had the best spell of pressure after Ryan Bailey knocked on trying to come away from his own line. Danny Tickle went closest before he was pushed back then Danny McGuire bravely dived to collect a grubber at the foot of the post. The Rhinos made the most of their let off and went down field to force a repeat set on the Airlie Birds. McGuire put in a pin point kick to the corner and Sing had little option to dive on the loose ball. The drop out was short and Leeds turned the screw. Having moved the ball from right to left they brought it back the other way. Diskin broke the line and did well to recover from a high shot before passing to Burrow. He fed Clinton Toopi who gave Lee Smith the simplest of scoring chances and he dived in at the corner. Sinfield added a brilliant touchline conversion in the conditions to make it 6-0 after 18 minutes. The Rhinos produced some great defence in the middle of the pitch to contain Hull for the majority of the half. The only time the visitors had a real period of pressure in the Leeds half was when Toopi was penalised for back chat and Hull forced two repeat sets in the space of three minutes after Brent Webb was pinned in his in goal from good kicks by Richard Horne and then Thomas Lee. However, more heroic defending meant the Rhinos maintained their 6-0 lead at the interval. Six minutes into the half Kevin Sinfield has the chance to extend the lead with a penalty from 36 metres out after Graeme Horne was penalised for throwing a punch. The Leeds skipper pushed his shot wide but Shaun Briscoe put a foot over the deadball line catching the ball. From the drop out Leeds moved the ball wide quickly, Burrow found McGuire who released Lauitiiti, the brilliant Kiwi offloaded like it was a summers day to Webb who sent Sinfield in for his first try since the corresponding round of fixtures last season. He converted his own try to make it 12-0 after 48 minutes. Hull hit back ten minutes later after Leeds had knocked on through Lee Smith trying to get away from his line. Hull worked the ball through the forwards before Lee put a cross field kick through that looked as if it would run harmlessly dead but stopped dead in a puddle. Matt Sing was fastest to react but the replay seemed to suggest his foot touched the whitewash as he splashed down to ground the ball. Video ref Ben Thaler disagreed and the try was given. Tickle missed the conversion so the Rhinos now led 12-4. The Rhinos should have had their third try of the night after 65 minutes but the conditions again construed against them. McGuire made a great break on half way before chipping over the top of Briscoe. Burrow raced through and dribbled ahead and was ready to dive on the bouncing ball only to see it stop dead in a puddle and Washbrook kicked it dead. However the Rhinos did not have to wait long for their next score. Having moved back down field, Ryan Bailey forced his way over the line and amazingly with three tacklers in attendance got the ball down. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 18-4 after 70 minutes. The Rhinos showed real steel in defence to maintain that score and record a hard earned win over last season’s Grand Finalists in front of the biggest ever crowd in the summer era for a game between these two sides. Leeds: Webb, Donald, Toopi, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Bailey, Diskin, Leuluai, Jones-Buchanan, Ellis, Sinfield Subs: Peacock, Tansey, Thackray, Lauitiiti Hull: Briscoe, Sing, Whiting, Yeaman, Raynor, Horne, Lee, Dowes, Swain, Carvell, Tickle, McMenemy, Washbrook Subs: Godwin, G Horne, Maiava, Wheeldon Referee: Steve Ganson Attendance: 18,659 Don’t worry if you didn’t get your copy of the award winning Blue & Amber matchday programme at the game, you can now buy your copy online, click here to order yours now. Click here now to purchase your copy of the DVD of the game for just £10 and see how the Rhinos recorded their second win of the season in a fantastic show of team spirit.