On this Day – 22nd June
Danny McGuire started his first game for the Rhinos at Widnes in 2002.
On this day in 1996 Leeds Rhinos played Castleford Tigers at Headingley Carnegie for the first time in Super League. Marvin Golden, Carl Hall, Gary Mercer and Barrie McDermott were all try scorers in the 25-18 victory and Graham Holroyd converted all four tries as well as scoring a drop goal. The win was only the Rhinos 4th of the season, having come into the game on the back of a defeat to Warrington Wolves a week earlier. Barrie McDermott’s try was his first of the season and Graham Holroyd who finished the season as top points scorer notched up his 131st point of the campaign.
On this day in 2001 Rhinos travelled to Wilderspool to take on Warrington for the second time that season. Rob Burrow was the star man of the match, having made his full debut earlier in the season against the same opposition, Rob this time scored a try and 4 goals to see the side draw level at 24 points each. Other try scorers that day were Tonie Carroll who scored his 13th of the season, Mark Calderwood and Robbie Mears, who both scored their fifth try of the season.
In 2002, the Rhinos travelled to Widnes in 2002 and suffered a 34-28 loss to the Vikings with Neil Kelly’s side completing a Super League double over Leeds after surviving a rousing fightback.
Widnes, who won 14-10 at Headingley, looked to have sealed the win at half-time when they raced into a 30-6 interval lead.
But the Rhinos hit back with four tries in the second half to cut the gap to 34-28, and skipper Francis Cummins had a late try disallowed by the video referee after being pushed into touch by Jason Demetriou.
Cummins was also at the centre of controversy in the 54th minute when his forward pass to Ben Walker went unseen by referee Ian Smith despite Widnes protests.
The try was allowed to stand but fortunately for Widnes it did not affect the final outcome.
In 2014, Leeds were also at Widnes. A clinical second-half display from Leeds Rhinos saw them come from behind to beat Widnes Vikings.
Experienced half-back Danny McGuire scored once in each half and captain Kevin Sinfield added 14 points to help Rhinos climb into second place.
The Vikings had come from 10 points down to lead 16-10 at half-time thanks to three quick tries from Chris Dean, Rhys Hanbury and Patrick Ah Van.
But five second-half Rhinos tries gave them an ultimately comfortable win.
On this day in 1966 former Rhinos star Gary Mercer was born in New Zealand. Gary joined Leeds in 1992 and made his debut against St Helens that year. He spent six and half season with the club and made 164 appearances and scored 43 tries. He appeared in the Challenge Cup finals in 1994 and 1995 and captained Leeds in 1997. He also scored a try on this day against Castleford Tigers in 1996. Gary returned to the Rhinos for a brief cameo appearance at the end of the 2001 season making six appearances before retiring.
On this day in 1971 former St Helens, Wigan and Leeds star Gary Connolly was born in St Helens. Gary joined Leeds at the end of 2002 from Wigan and made his debut in the opening game of the 2003 season against Whitehaven. Gary played 30 times for the Rhinos and scored 7 tries before leaving last season to return to Wigan and finished his time in Super League last season at Widnes. Gary’s finest hour in Blue & Amber came in the 2003 Challenge Cup Final at Cardiff when he produced a masterful display at full back against the Bulls and was cruelly denied a richly deserved winners medal. The Lance Todd trophy was scant consolation on the day but was the very least this legend of the game deserved.