On this Day – 2nd August
On this day in 1964 former Rhinos winger Paul Sterling was born in Wolverhampton. Paul joined the Rhinos in December 1996 from city neighbours Hunslet Hawks. He made 101 appearances in the blue and amber scoring 55 tries however his most famous hour came in the 1997 World Club Championship game against Adelaide Rams at Headingley. Sterling scored one of the finest tries seen at Headingley, beating nearly every player on the pitch to score a length of the field try. “Sterlo” was part of the 1999 Challenge Cup winning squad although he did not play at Wembley, with his place going to Leroy Rivett, who went on to score four tries.
Paul gained an Emerging England cap in July 1998 despite being 34-years-old which he followed up with a try on his debut for the full England team against France in October. However, in 2000 Paul converted to Wales for the World Cup and played in four of their five games, scoring against Lebanon. Paul also appeared for England in the World Nines in 1995. He also played once for Leeds Tykes, and played previously for Hunslet and Hull FC after converting from rugby union with Bradford and Bingley. He made 57 appearances for Hull after signing for them in August 1993, scoring 27 tries. He moved onto Hunslet in April 1996 and scored 13 tries in 12 appearances before signing for Leeds.
On the 2nd August 1998, the Rhinos suffered a rare defeat in Graham Murray’s first season at the club as they lost 22-16 to Castleford at Wheldon Road. The Rhinos only lost four games on their way to the inaugural Grand Final at Old Trafford. The Rhinos tries came from Francis Cummins and Richie Blackmore and four goals from Iestyn Harris. The Tigers tries came from Michael Smith, Danny Orr, John Wells and Jason Flowers whilst Francis Maloney scored three goals against his former club in front of 8,406 people.
In 2002, the Rhinos suffered an embarrassing defeat at Valley Parade against Bradford Bulls, going down 46-18. The Rhinos had won at Valley Parade earlier in the season in the Challenge Cup but were not match for the Bulls on this occasion. The game turned on the sending off of Barrie McDermott, who was dismissed in the 31st minute for striking. The Rhinos try scorers were Pratt, Calderwood and Senior with Ben Walker kicking three goals. Bradford’s scorers were Paul, two from Vainikolo, Vaikona, Gilmour, Fielden, Withers and Lowes with Deacon kicking six goals and Withers a further one in front of 13,621.
The Rhinos were finally victorious on 2nd August in 2003 when they defeated Hull in their first visit to the KC Stadium. Rhinos produced one of their best performances of the season to win 26-12 with tries from McGuire, Cummins and Poching and seven goals in a man of the match performance from Kevin Sinfield. The home try was scored by Graeme Horne and Cooke kicked four goals.
On this day in 2001, Performance Director Steve Anderson left the club to become Head Coach at Warrington. Anderson took academy coach David Plange over to Wilderspool with him but his tenure was short lived. Ten months later he left the Wolves with the team bottom of Super League having achieved one win from their opening eight games. Anderson originally joined the Rhinos from Melbourne Storm where had assisted Chris Anderson, no relation, as the Storm won the NRL Premiership and was also assisted to the all conquering Kangaroos. After leaving RL, Anderson worked with the Scottish Rugby Union and the Irish Rugby Union.
In 2008 the Rhinos faced Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium but lost out 22-12.
The Rhinos went ahead through Kylie Leuluai before Matt King crossed for Warrington just before half-time.
Jon Clarke went over for the Wolves after the break before Chris Hicks’s brace stretched the Wolves’ advantage.
Lee Mitchell’s stunning 70-yard dash sealed the win, rendering Leuluai’s late try as a mere consolation.
In 2019, the Rhinos produced one of their best performances of a disappointing season as they went on the rampage against Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium to win 44-0.
The Rhinos blew away the Giants in an 18-minute spell from the middle of the first half as Adam Cuthbertson, Tom Briscoe, Brad Dwyer and Konrad Hurrell ran in tries to lead 22-0 at the break.
After the interval, Ash Handley put in a fine run to cross for Leeds’ fifth.
Hurrell and Handley both added a second try each either side of Liam Sutcliffe to keep the Giants scoreless.
In 1924 England played New Zealand at Carlaw Park, the first ever Test match at the spiritual homes of the Kiwis. They marked the occasion with their first win against England since the 1908 Test in Cheltenham and it was their first victory on home soil.
Leeds captain Joe Thompson kicked a goal and scored a try but could not prevent a 16-8 loss for the Lions.