On this Day – 21st May
On this day in 1999 Leeds played Halifax in the league for the first time that season. Leeds were coming into the game in top form, they had already captured the Challenge Cup and in the games prior to this they had racked up wins against Wakefield, Salford and Warrington. On this occasion they were able to keep up this winning run in a stylish fashion by recording their biggest win of the season.
Iestyn Harris, Brad Godden, Francis Cummins, Daryl Powell, Ryan Sheridan, Terry Newton, Anthony Farrell and Paul Sterling all scored a try each and Leroy Rivett and Adrian Morley condemned Halifax even further with two tries apiece. Harris added the rest of the points with 11 goals to secure a resounding 70-22 win.
On this day in 2004 Leeds took on Hull and continued their impressive start to Tetley’s Super League IX with a 23-12 win at Hull FC in a wonderful contest.
The game between two of Super League’s form sides was always likely to produce a thriller, and the 16,528 inside The KC Stadium were not disappointed. While the first half remained scoreless, it was a superb spectacle, with both sides clearly wishing to play open, attractive Rugby League.
Shaun Briscoe cut down Keith Senior early on, while the Leeds centre stopped his opposite number short with a fine tackle to keep Hull out. Briscoe was agonisingly unable to collect a clever reverse kick from Paul Cooke on 12 minutes, while Mark Calderwood was close when he hacked on Andrew Dunemann’s grubber.
Both sides had chances to score in a breathless 24th minute, Calderwood initially being first to another Dunemann kick but seeing his pass, as he fell, to Chris Feather go to ground. Colin Best collected and raced upfield, but Dunemann and Marcus Bai chased back to cut him down. Senior and Bai combined to free Danny McGuire before the half hour, but Richard Mathers could not collect the final ball. The young full back redeemed himself with a try-saving tackle on Richard Horne and himself was held a yard short soon afterwards.
Matt Adamson was held up before the break, while Briscoe saw his offload go to ground a minute before the interval as the sides departed on level terms. Hull, though, needed just three minutes after the break to grab the first try. Calderwood had already knocked the ball out of Gareth Raynor’s grasp with a miraculous tackle as the winger raced under the posts following a Leeds error before the pressure paid. Horne took Paul King’s pass 20 yards out and stepped between Matt Adamson and Chris Feather before racing to posts, Paul Cooke converting.
But the home side’s defence suddenly fell apart as the Rhinos ran in three tries in a devastating six-minute spell. The first saw Mathers, who had seen another chance of begging following a Senior half-break, supported the centre to race in after Rob Burrow’s inside pass had put him free, Kevin Sinfield levelling matters. Sinfield then raced through a gap from Dunemann’s inside ball to put Burrow over and send the Rhinos in front. And a third try came to McGuire, who dived over unopposed under the posts from dummy half for his 15th try of the season after Cooke had brought down Mathers with a fine cover tackle.
At 18-6, McGuire looked to edge Leeds further ahead with a drop goal attempt that sailed wide, and the importance of that attempt was shown when Cooke brushed off Burrow to score on 59 minutes. His conversion cut the gap to six points, while Raynor had to hack dead a McGuire grubber after the Leeds star had dummied his way through the defence. Sinfield did send over a one-pointer on 64 minutes create a valuable cushion, and the win was sealed with four minutes remaining when Bai raced onto Sinfield’s grubber and put Burrow in for his second.
In 2012, Leeds took on St Helens at Headingley in Super League but it proved a disappointing night for the Champions losing out 31-18 despite leading at the start of the second half.
In 2017, Leeds took on Castleford Tigers at the Magic Weekend at St James Park in Newcastle.
Greg Eden scored a second-half hat-trick to set Super League leaders Castleford up for a hard-fought win over Leeds in the Magic Weekend finale.
Luke Gale opened the scoring for Tigers, collecting the ball after his high kick was spilled, and after Kallum Watkins hit back with a try, Liam Sutcliffe made it 6-6 with a penalty.
Eden’s treble and Tom Holmes’ score put Castleford 28-6 up after 64 minutes.
Joel Moon and Sutcliff then went over for Leeds, but it was not enough.
In 1947, Headingley attracted it’s record crowd for the visit of Bradford Northern. Incredibly, 40,175 were packed into Headingley for a repeat of the Challenge Cup Final that Bradford had won just over two weeks earlier.
Despite the disappointment of defeat, Leeds still had hopes of gaining a place in the First Four to battle for that illusive first Championship title and the record crowd, producing gate receipts of £3,297, flocked in to see the two sides go head to head once more.
The game, which was drawn at 2 points each, was equally as disappointing as the Wembley Final.
In 1995, Leeds suffered one of their toughest days as they were humiliated by Wigan at Old Trafford 69-12. Wigan led 36-6 at half time in Doug Laughton’s final game in charge of the club as it transpired. The game was a repeat of the Challenge Cup Final from a few weeks earlier and hopes of an upset had been high after an impressive win against Saints in the semi final but the Loiners came up against the Wigan team in their pomp and had no answer. Gary Connolly and Kris Radlinski both crossed for hat tricks for the Cherry and Whites.
On this day in 1990, Rhinos star Richie Myler was born. Richie joined the Rhinos in 2018 from Catalans Dragons and has previously played at Warrington Wolves, Salford and Widnes.
pack had now lost its sting.
During this highly successful