On this Day – 29th May
On this day in 2010, Leeds Rhinos faced Wigan Warriors in the Challenge Cup at Headingley that will live long in the memory.
Lee Smith scored a last minute try to book the Rhinos place in the semi final in a titanic battle in the rain.
Pat Richards had given Wigan the lead with two penalties in the opening 30 minutes.
With six minutes remaining in the half, Richards increased the lead to 6-0 when McGuire was penalised for interference. However, almost straight from the re-start Leeds got the chance to cut that deficit when Andy Coley knocked on and then threw the ball away to concede a penalty. Sinfield kicked the chance to make it 6-2.
Coley then gifted Leeds another two points when he did a needless late challenge with a minute to go in the half. Sinfield kicked the chance to make it 6-4.
Wigan were reduced to 12 men after 47 minutes following a late hit on McGuire after he kicked down field by Liam Farrell. As Farrell was leaving the field, Sinfield lined up the penalty from 20 metres out and duly kicked it to level the scores.
Richards and Sinfield continued to trade penalties before Smith took a pass off Sinfield and bumped off three would be tacklers to score. Sinfield missed the conversion but the Rhinos had won 12-10 and were back in the semi final of the Cup.
In 2017, Leeds suffered a 28-20 loss at Widnes. Late tries from Ryan Ince and Corey Thompson saw Widnes Vikings secure the win on Bank Holiday Monday at the Select Security Stadium.
On this day in 1985, former Leeds Rhinos hooker Paul Aiton was born. A bargain capture from Wakefield, the pugnacious hooker, born in Mount Hagan, played over 100 NRL games for Penrith and then Cronulla before coming to West Yorkshire. Never giving less than his all, not least in self-sacrificing defence, he made 20 appearances in his debut campaign including off the bench in the 2014 Challenge Cup final. In total he made 47 appearances for the Rhinos, scoring three tries.
His first of three Leeds tries was the winner against Huddersfield at the start of the following campaign but he missed the matches that secured the treble after suffering a broken arm that needed pinning. Hugely popular member of the squad and revered in his native PNG, he retired from international rugby after the recent World Cup having achieved his ambition of playing in home Test matches in that tournament, the quarter final against England in Melbourne the last of 16 caps.