On this Day – 27th May

Alan Smith crosses for a try in the 1979 Premiership Final win over Bradford Northern

ON THIS DAY in 1979, Leeds won the Premiership Final with a 24-2 win over Bradford Northern at Huddersfield in front of a crowd of 19,489.

Kevin Dick kicked Leeds to their second Premiership win in four years as Leeds surprised even their own fans, with the ease with which they defeated Bradford Northern. After losing Holmes before the game, for the first time that season, Leeds’ fans were worried when Dyl limped off after five minutes. 

The under-rated pack took over, however, and led Leeds to a win against the odds. Dick’s long range goal-kicking and touch finding shattered Northern’s spirit, although Dave Smith’s gem of a try was a killer blow. The fine win earned Leeds a trophy for the 13th successive season.

Leeds: N Hague, A Smith, D Smith, L Dyl (P Fletcher), J Atkinson, K Dick, J Sanderson, M Harrison, D Ward, S Pitchford, G Joyce, G Eccles (B Adams), P Cookson

Bradford N: Mumby, Parker, Okulicz, Gant, Spencer, Ferres, A Redfearn, Thompson, Bridges, Forsyth (Van Bellen), Trotter (Mordue), Grayshon, Casey

Referee: WH Thompson (Huddersfield)

ON THIS DAY in 2005, Leeds travelled to Knowsley Road to face St Helens in Super League action.

The Rhinos suffered their first away defeat of the season against St Helens at Knowsley Road with a hat trick from Jamie Jones-Buchanan the highlight of the night for the visitors.

In 2007, the Rhinos played Hull KR at Craven Park and came away with a well earned 18-10 win.

ON THIS DAY in 2011, Leeds welcomed Warrington Wolves to Headingley in Super League and endured a tough night against Tony Smith’s side as they ran out 42-6 winners.

ON THIS DAY in 2012, Leeds took on Bradford Bulls at the Magic Weekend at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium with the game being a red letter day for Danny McGuire as the legendary try scorer ran in five tries to defeat the Bulls.

ON THIS DAY in 2016, Leeds Rhinos were enduring a miserable run of form in Super League and suffered a sixth successive defeat, this time at Warrington Wolves as they lost out 52-18 to the home side.

ON THIS DAY in 1987, Leeds Rhinos forward Matt Prior was born. Prior joined the Rhinos for the 2020 season from Cronulla Sharks in the NRL.

The prop made over 250 appearances in the NRL and played for New South Wales in 2018. A NRL Grand Final winner in 2016 with the Sharks.

Originally from Wollongong, Prior played his junior rugby at Thirroul Butchers before signing for his home town club of St George Illawarra Steelers in 2006. He made his NRL debut against North Queensland Cowboys two years later and won his first NRL Premiership with the Dragons under Wayne Bennett in 2010, coming on off the bench in the Grand Final win over Sydney Roosters. The following year, he started at loose forward as the Dragons defeated Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium in the World Club Challenge. 

He moved to Cronulla Sharks in 2014 and two years later started in the Grand Final win over Melbourne Storm.