On this Day – 15th May

On this day in 1971 Leeds took on Leigh in the Challenge Cup final and in 1998 the Rhinos were at home to play Wigan.

ON THIS DAY in 1971 Leeds took on Leigh in the Challenge Cup final. To get to this Wembley final the Loiners had defeated Oldham, St Helens, Bramley and Castleford and up until the semi final had not conceded a single point.

A week before this game Leeds had just been defeated by St Helens in the Championship Play Off semi final and in this game Leeds fans were unable to find any comfort, suffering further disappointment. Leeds were without Alan Smith and Ray Batten which proved costly, with Leeds unable to find any control in the game which Leigh were able to take advantage of.

The Loiners were awarded a penalty try in the game and John Holmes kicked two goals but this was all they could manage and the team lost 24-7.

ON THIS DAY in 1998 the Rhinos were at home to play Wigan. So far that season the team had not lost a single game, bouncing back from disappointment in the Cup after being knocked out in the opening round against Castleford Tigers. In the game prior to this fixture the team had just grabbed a narrow 14-13 victory over London Broncos and Wigan too were in good form, having not suffered a defeat in the league so far that season. For the Rhinos Brad Godden and Andy Hay were both try scorers and Iestyn Harris and Tony Kemp added the goals, Harris kicking three and Kemp landing 2 and a drop goal which secured the Rhinos a 16-8 victory.

ON THIS DAY in 2009, the Rhinos made the short trip to Castleford for a classic derby clash against the Tigers.

Leeds Rhinos needed a last second penalty from captain Kevin Sinfield to snatch a 24-22 win over Castleford Tigers.

The Rhinos had led 16-0 midway through the first half and then 22-16 during the second half but in horrendous conditions, the Tigers refused to lie down and levelled the game with seven minutes remaining.

It looked like the Champions would have to settle for a draw until Michael Shenton, who had earlier scored for the Tigers to bring the sides level, gave a penalty away after team mate Brent Sherwin had knocked on a Danny McGuire through kick on his own try line in the last second. Sinfield cooly stepped up and slotted over the penalty to win the game for his side.

ON THIS DAY in 1932, Leeds Rugby League Hall of Fame member Jeff Stevenson was born.

Stevenson made 228 appearances between 1952 and 1959 and was one of the most liked and well respected players of his generation and was the last skipper to lead Great Britain to a rugby league series victory over Australia on home soil.