ON THIS DAY

On this day in 2002 the Rhinos progressed to the quarter final of the Challenge Cup with a win over Hull KR & in 2004 Marcus Bai made his Rhinos debut, scoring a hat trick

On this day in 2002 the Rhinos took on Hull KR in the second fifth of the Challenge Cup. Leeds had already beaten Bradford Bulls in their first game in the cup to set up this home tie. Australian stand off Ben Walker was the star of the show, creating five of he Rhinos’ eight tries. The Robins weathered the early storm – quite literally as they played into the wind, rain and, at times, hail during the first half – but they went behind in the 15th minute when the Walker combination – Ben to Chev – saw the England international score out wide. Ben Walker added the conversion. But the Northern Ford Premiership side back, and pressure on the Leeds line led to Matt Schultz giving full back Bob Everitt the chance to score, but he knocked on in the process of touching down, and the error soon proved vital. Leeds swept downfield through Ben Walker and, after Sinfield was held down, the Rhinos swept the ball to the right, where Francis Cummins, Chev Walker and Adamson combined to send St Hilaire in, although the revitalised winger had to collect a pass from his bootlaces. Walker added a touchline conversion to make the score 12-0, but Rovers’ efforts were finally rewarded on the half hour, when Whetu Taewa sent Everitt in at the corner following a good blind side move. Leeds restored their advantage on the stroke of half time with a Calderwood try which pushed them 16-4 ahead at the break. Alasdair McClarron halted a 60-yard Calderwood break shortly after the restart, but Chev Walker’s second try on 49 minutes – inevitably from a Ben Walker pass – effectively ended any hope of a comeback at 22-6 with the conversion. On the hour, Leeds put the result beyond doubt with a fifth try, Sinfield showing great handling skills to send Senior in untouched. Three tries then followed in the last ten minutes that sealed the win for Leeds. Firstly, Rob Burrow darted away before drawing Everitt and sending Sinfield under the posts before Ryan Sheridan sent Senior in for his second. The final try of the night was reserved for Tetley’s Super League Young Player of the Year Burrow, who scooted under the posts from a Ben Walker pass – with the stand off ending the game with six conversions from eight attempts. On this day in 2004 Marcus Bai marked his arrival at the club with a hat-trick on his debut as Leeds opened their Tetley’s Super League campaign with a 10-try thrashing of London Broncos. The Broncos’ three-month warm-weather training camp in Dubai hardly prepared them for the snow flurry which greeted them in West Yorkshire – and they were second best in all departments. Rob Burrow, Keith Senior and Chev Walker also claimed two tries apiece as Tony Smith made a winning start to his reign as Leeds coach. Mark Calderwood also got on the scoresheet and Kevin Sinfield landed nine goals as the rampant Rhinos bettered their 48-6 thrashing of the same opponents on the opening day two years ago.