On this Day – 26th March
ON THIS DAY in 1927 club legend Les Adams made his debut for Leeds against Featherstone. The scrum half was born a stones throw away from Headingley on Meanwood Road and was obviously a star in the making from his schooldays, which totally endeared him to the Headingley faithful who were delighted that one of their own had made the grade. He made 109 appearances in total before being forced out of his beloved club to join Huddersfield. However, he continued to live in Leeds and was back at Headingley for the last time on Christmas Day 1942, and in the Blue and Amber that meant so much to him, in a wartime guest appearance.
Showing all the skill that made him so popular at Headingley a decade earlier, he thrilled the crowd in a half back partnership with Oliver Morris and between them they orchestrated the Loiners to a 36-5 victory over Oldham.
Juicy became a landlord in Leeds and volunteered for war duty with the RAF as a rear gunner. He was killed in action in 1944 over Japan, aged 33.
ON THIS DAY in 1994 Leeds took on St Helens in a Challenge Cup classic. Leeds had already defeated Rochdale, Warrington and Bradford Northern to earn their place in the semi final which h took place at Central Park. Their form in the Cup had been excellent but they had only recorded victory over Saints once in nine meetings. The team was led by Ellery Hanley who thrived in the big game atmosphere and a return to his old ground.
Despite being nearly 33 years old he proved that he still had much still to offer the game and his inspirational performance, which saw him score two late tries helped seal the 20-8 win and the Loiners place in the final. Leeds had taken the initial lead in the game with a Graham Holroyd penalty. Eyres then extended the lead with a try which Holroyd converted. St Helens though came back into the game and soon levelled the scores.
Gary Mercer and Alan Tait, who had both passed late fitness tests were excellent throughout the game and it was Tait who was able to set up Hanley for his first memorable try of the game eleven minutes from time. Saints put everything into the fight back, but the Yorkshire men were able to handle everything that they threw at them. Hanley’s second try sealed the fantastic win that put them in the final to face Wigan.
ON THIS DAY in 2000 Leeds defeated Hull FC 28-22 in the semi final of the Challenge Cup. Leeds had recorded wins against Featherstone, St Helens and Dewsbury in earlier rounds and in this game Iestyn Harris led his side back to the Challenge Cup Final as they overcame Hull 28-22 in the Silk Cut Challenge Cup semi-final at Huddersfield.
In a game that became infamous at the final hooter by the actions of the Hull FC fans however the match itself was a classic encounter that has been largely forgotten by the history books.
The tie was not decided until six minutes from time when Anthony Farrell proved too strong near the line to stop for the tired Hull defenders.
ON THIS DAY the Rhinos produced a performance full of pride and passion but ultimately lost out 24-4 to Wigan at DW Stadium.
A depleted Leeds Rhinos side travelled to the DW Stadium looking to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat. However, they never looked like a side feeling sorry for themselves and they were unlucky to go in trailing at half time before Ryan Hall struck back soon after the break.