On this Day – 21st September
ON THIS DAY in 2001 Leeds took on St Helens in the Grand Final qualifier, which was to be Anthony Farrell’s final game for the club.
Leeds had finished the regular season in fifth place, one spot behind Saints, so Leeds needed a win to get through to the next round of the qualifiers.
Leeds had played St Helens on four occasions already that season, with Saints coming out the better of the two teams with three wins, including one in the semi final of the Challenge Cup. The Rhinos however had beaten St Helens in the last encounter just two weeks previously.
Leeds started the game well, when Rob Burrow – who had scored twice in the last game against St Helens – scored a try after 6 minutes, but Steve Hall and Paul Sculthorpe soon took the home team in front with a try each. Francis Cummins and Matt Diskin scored tries before half time for the Rhinos, but Sculthorpe also scored his second and Keiron Cunningham added one before half time to see Saints go in at half time in front.
From the restart Cunningham began as he had ended the first half with a try after just two minutes. Tensions were high in this must win game for both clubs and a few minutes later after a fight broke out on the pitch Gary Mercer and Vila Matautia were both sin binned and then Saints extended their lead when former Rhino Kevin Iro scored a try. T
he Rhinos did not give up though and Mark Calderwood scored on 57 minutes, but with 10 minutes to go Steve Hall scored his second try of the day and when Keith Senior scored with a minute to go it was nothing more than a consolation as Leeds were knocked out of the competition, losing 38-30.
ON THIS DAY in 2012 Leeds Rhinos beat Catalans Dragons 27-20 to move within one win of the Super League Grand Final.
Clint Greenshields put the hosts ahead before Stevie Ward and Shaun Lunt went over for Leeds in quick succession. Carl Ablett and Danny McGuire also crossed for tries and Kevin Sinfield kicked five goals in the thrilling contest.
Speaking about the result Brian McDermott said “I’m so proud to be in charge of a courageous group of young men prepared to do anything to get the job done.
“It’s a fantastic result. Commiserations go to Catalan, who have been sensational all year. This is a significant win, coming over here to their backyard.”