On this Day – 31st May
On this day in 1998 the Rhinos were on the road to take on St Helens and recorded their fifth consecutive victory. St Helens were coming into the game on the back of a defeat against Halifax Blue Sox and had already been beaten by Wigan and Bradford in the League so far.
Try scorers for the Rhinos in this match were Francis Cummins, who went onto be that season’s top try scorer, Brad Godden and Daryl Powell. Andy Hay was also in top form, crossing the Saints try line twice and Iestyn Harris and Graham Holroyd added the rest, Harris with four goals and Holroyd with a drop goal, giving the team a 31-18 win.
On this day in 2000 Leeds played Castleford Tigers. The Rhinos had so far had a mixed start to their season, they had lost their opening five games, but had made it to the Challenge Cup Final for the second year in a row – only to be beaten by Bradford.
After this defeat their league form had improved with the side recording two wins over Salford and London Broncos but they had then followed this up with defeats to Hull and Bradford. In the fixture prior to this game the team had grabbed win against Wigan and in this clash managed to gain a narrow victory over their Yorkshire rivals.
Paul Sterling, Keith Senior, Graham MacKay and Ryan Sheridan all scored tries each, but Iestyn Harris was only able to add two goals which left the final score line very close at 20-18.
On this day in 2002 Leeds took on Hull at home in Super League and secured a 38-16 victory.
The Rhinos had won their last four games in style against some of the top teams in Super League, and a clash with Hull – who went into the game level on 18 points – gave the team genuine Grand Final hopes. The team went behind to a second minute Sean Ryan try before Matt Adamson, Ben Walker, Keith Senior and Tonie Carroll touched down, with Walker adding two conversions and Hull’s Graham Mackay kicking three for the visitors as Leeds took a 20-10 interval lead.
Hull hit back after the break through Craig Poucher and dominated for the first 14 minutes until Ryan Sheridan restored Leeds’ lead, and Mark Calderwood and Andy Hay sealed the win.
In 2008, Leeds welcomed Wigan to Headingley in the Challenge Cup Quarter Final.
The Rhinos went through to the semi final after a nail biting 23-16 win over Wigan. It took a try from Scott Donald with three minutes remaining to settle the nerves and then Kevin Sinfield sealed the Rhinos place in the draw with a drop goal in the last minute.
In 2013, the Rhinos made the journey across to the KCOM Stadium to face Hull FC. The pitch had a memorable look over at Hull following a squash tournament in the weeks leading up to the match leaving a large patch of dead grass at one end of the pitch.
Leeds Rhinos lost out to Hull FC at the KC Stadium having trailed 18-0 at half time and only had a Brett Delaney second half try to show for their efforts.
In 1947 on this day, Leeds made the short trip to play Hunslet on the final day of the season and the visitors came away with a much needed 30-0 win thanks to two tries each from TL Williams, the Welsh player who joined the club earlier that season from Newport RUFC, Tommy Cornelius and Alf Watson. The other tries came from Bob Batten, a utility back signed from Fitzwilliam and Gareth Price, the centre from Llanelli.
In 1941 during the Second World War, Leeds travelled to Odsal for an exhibition game as the Cup holders to take on Champions Bradford Northern but only had a try from Eric Batten, who was guesting for Leeds from Hunslet, to show for their efforts as the home side won 41-3.