On this Day – 29th April

Leeds tackle Hull KR's Mose Masoe.

ON THIS DAY in 1962 former Leeds player and coach Dean Bell was born in Auckland, New Zealand. Bell began his English career with Carlisle and starred for Leeds in the 1983-84 campaign, before leaving for Wigan, where he won every honour in the domestic game.

After a spell as skipper of newly found Auckland Warriors, Bell returned to Leeds as assistant-coach to Doug Laughton. After Laughton’s shock departure Bell was thrown in at the deep end and became head coach of the Rhinos, leading him to announce his retirement as player. During the 1996 campaign however, Bell was forced to dust off his boots for one more game against Paris St Germain as his Leeds side struggled in the league. He scored a try in that match which helped secure the Rhinos survival in Super League.

The following season a change of club ownership saw Bell steer a strengthened team to a respectable fifth place in Super League II. Bell stepped down at the end of 1997 to takeover as Leeds head of youth development, steering the Academy to 2 successive Championships.

Bell’s 23 appearances over his two spells at Leeds brought him 5 tries, including one on his debut against Hull KR. Dean spent eight years as a player with Wigan and went on to be their captain. His credits with Wigan include seven Challenge Cup Winners medals, six Championships, two Premierships and four winners’ medals in the Regal and Lancashire Cups. In 1992 he won the man of Steel award and in 1993 the Lance Todd award. Bell won 25 caps for New Zealand and skippered them in the 1988 World Cup Final against Australia. He has also played for Easts in Australia and Auckland Warriors. After working at the club in Youth Development Dean went back to Wigan where he continued his work with developing young players.

ON THIS DAY in 2002 the Rhinos were in Super League action against Widnes, who pulled off a shock 14-10 victory over the Rhinos at home. Widnes toughed out the win, leading 10-0 at half time following Barry Eaton’s two early penalties and David Mills’ converted 37th minute try after they had used the strong wind at their backs to their advantage. Widnes kept Leeds pinned in their half with a solid kicking game although it was a failure to wrap the ball up in the tackle that allowed Cantillon and Eaton to combine to send Mills over from 10 metres out.

Leeds came out strongly in the second half with powerful runs by Matt Adamson and Danny Ward and then Marcus St Hilaire pulled a try after a period of nearly 10 minutes of constant pressure. Ben Walker put a towering bomb into the corner which evaded Keith Senior to bounce into the waiting arms of St Hilaire. St Hilaire and Calderwood were excellent on the “much talked” bomb and for once this was not Leeds’ undoing. When former Leeds centre Adam Hughes made the Vikings’ lead 14-4 all seemed lost for the home side however that was before Andy Hay’s 75th minute score, converted by Ben Walker closed the gap to four points. But the home side could not conjure up any magic.

ON THIS DAY in 2005, Leeds welcomed Huddersfield Giants to Headingley. The Rhinos produced a controlled, accomplished performance at Headingley as they defeated Huddersfield 44-14 in front of 15,517.

Hero of the hour was Rob Burrow who capped a fine performance with his first ever hat trick for the club with some devastating support play.

In 2011, Leeds travelled to Castleford. It proved to be a momentous day for Danny McGuire and Jamie Peacock as both returned from lengthy injury lay offs to help the visitors to victory.

ON THIS DAY in 2012, Leeds made the tricky trip to Salford in the Challenge Cup. Leeds Rhinos booked their place in the Carnegie Challenge Cup Quarter Final with a hard earned 16-10 win at Salford in a game played in tough weather conditions with Shaun Lunt proving the key man.

ON THIS DAY in 2016, the Rhinos endured a tough night at the John Smith’s Stadium against Huddersfield Giants. The two sides were due to meet the following week in the Challenge Cup and it was Huddersfield who gave themselves a confidence boost with victory.

ON THIS DAY in 2018, the Rhinos snatched a narrow two point win at Hull KR thanks to a penalty from Kallum Watkins.

Leeds Rhinos came back from 18-12 down at half time to win 20-18 at the KCOM Craven Park with Ryan Hall adding to first half tries from Joel Moon and Jamie Jones-Buchanan and a faultless kicking display from skipper Kallum Watkins.