Rhinos finish runners up in Carnegie 9s
An animated crowd of nearly 3,500 at the Carnegie Floodlit Nines saw Hull FC walk off with the trophy after beating Leeds 16-11 in the final, although there was some consolation for the Rhinos with success in the sprint challenge.
Crowd favourites Jamaica – for whom giant Ernie ‘Shrek the Wreck’ Herbine endeared himself to the fans with his powerful charges – went out in the Pool stages.
The ‘reggae boys’ succumbed 12-10 to Leeds Met Carnegie and 12-8 to Cumbria, with former Leeds Academy players Michael Brown , Danny Thomas and Wayne Rettie among the international side’s try scorers.
Leeds Met drew 8-8 with the Cumbrian Select, who went through on point’s difference but they were soundly beaten by Hull 46-4 in the quarter finals.
Northern Rail 9s winners Blackpool Panthers won through Pool B, defeating the Army and then the Navy.
Wakefield, whose shirt names all bore the surname Walker in tribute to team mate Leon who tragically passed away in a Reserve Grade game earlier in the season, produced a sterling defensive display to keep Hull K.R. to 0-0 at half time in their quarter final.
Three times the Wildcats forced errors from Rovers as they seemed certain scorers, the best despairing, try-saver coming from Gareth Potts.
Potts was the hero again in the second half, twice more making spectacular one-on-one saves, but he was powerless to prevent his side going down 8-0.
Holders Huddersfield Giants – aided by a spectacular improvised try from Josh Griffin – defeated Championship One outfit Blackpool 24-16.
Hosts Leeds Rhinos fielded new boys Jay Pitts and Michael Coady, along with returning Jodie Broughton from his loan spell at Hull, against an inexperienced Warrington line up.
Ashley Gibson posted the first try on half time, Kallum Watkins doubling the Rhinos lead after nine minutes.
Broughton scored from a cleverly placed kick, Rhys Evans replying immediately with a try and conversion for the Wolves to make it 12-6, which was how it ended.
In the all-Humberside semi final, Hull qualified for the decider for the second year running with a 22-10 success over their rivals from the East of the city.
In the second semi, Leeds took an early lead when Paul McShane sent in Broughton, McShane converting but the Giants levelled on their next attack through Alex Brown, Tom Hemmingway goaling.
McShane was again the provider, this time for Watkins but his shot at the extras hit the post and the Rhinos led 10-6 at the break.
In an impressive second half showing by Leeds, Broughton claimed his second try, showing blistering pace on the outside, Danny Allan adding the two points and Broughton posted his hat trick from a long kick down field, McShane converting.
On the hooter, Dane Manning powered his way to the posts and Gibson goaled to put Rhinos through to the final, 28-6.
Hull, fielding a squad with the most number of recognised first-teamers, fell behind to Watkins’ third try of the tournament courtesy of a superb long ball from Gibson, McShane missing the goal.
James Greene sped over in the corner to level for Hull and the sides went in 4-4 at the interval.
Danny Houghton crashed over from acting half back, Chris Thorman adding the conversion to put the visitors ahead with six minutes left but Ben Jones-Bishop stepped to the posts, McShane’s goal again bringing parity.
McShane dropped a goal from 30 metres out to edge Leeds ahead with two minutes remaining but from the re-start Reece Lyne got clear on the overlap to go round by the posts, Thorman adding the extras.
Watkins had a late chance to hit back for Leeds but the kick he was chasing just rolled dead and Hull triumphed 16-11.
In the sprint to find the ‘fastest man in rugby league’, Rhinos’ rising Academy star, former Headingley Hawk Jamel Chisholm – who stood in for Scott Donald – was the surprise winner of the crown.
He ran the 90 metres in 11.1 seconds to just beat bookies’ favourite Warrington flyer Kevin Penny and York’s Tom Lyon in a photo finish.