On this Day – 9th August

ON THIS DAY in 1975 former Leeds second row forward Matthew Shultz was born. Matthew joined the Rhinos in 1992 from Hull ARL and made his debut on the opening day of the 1993-94 season against Castleford, he retained his position in the starting line up for the next two games but was unable to maintain this role and his only further appearances that season were from the bench. Over the next two seasons Matthew was unable to make the break through in becoming a first team regular and only made another 6 appearances off the bench. Matthew stayed with the Rhinos for their first season in Super League and appeared in all of the Rhinos Challenge Cup qualifying games as well as coming on as substitute in the semi final against Bradford. In total Matthew played made 5 starts and 16 substitute appearances for Leeds. Since leaving Leeds Matt has played for Hull KR, where he left in 2002 to pursue a career in the fire service.

ON THIS DAY in 1996 Leeds travelled to Wigan to play an inform Warriors side. The Rhinos began the game well with two Mike Forshaw tries, but the sin binning of David Hulme saw the match turn in favour of Wigan. Once Hulme had returned to the playing field Wigan had scored four tries and were in control of the game. Jason Robinson was the outstanding player of the afternoon – scoring 5 tries and taking his side to a 68-14 win that saw Wigan return to the top of Super League.

ON THIS DAY in 1998 Leeds were once again on the road, this time to face Salford. The Rhinos were hoping to make it a hat trick of wins over the Reds, having already beaten them at Headingley earlier in the season and then notching up another win just one game previous to this encounter when they had faced each other at the Gateshead Stadium. Salford were back on their home ground for this game though and Adrian Morely returned to his home town with the Rhinos and was in excellent form, scoring two tries in the game. His second row partner Andy Hay matched this by also touching down twice and then Brad Godden, Richie Blackmore and Graham Holroyd added to the 40-6 score line with a try a piece which saw the Rhinos hopes for honours that season revitalised.

ON THIS DAY in 2013 Leeds visited Salford on this day for a second time and produced a similar performance to 1998. Centre Kallum Watkins supported a break by Liam Sutcliffe to open the scoring and would turn provider for Zak Hardaker, who used his footwork to beat full back Lee Gaskell and double Leeds’ lead. Despite former Rhino Ashley Gibson scoring for Salford, Rob Burrow and Carl Ablett’s tries restored Leeds’ advantage; the visitors taking a 24-6 lead into half time. A second try for Watkins and one for Ben Jones-Bishop handed Leeds the game in the second half despite tries from Salford’s Lee Gaskell and Theo Fages. In the final act of the match, youngster Elliott Minchella took a short ball from Paul McShane to smash through the defence and score his first Leeds try to make the final score 42-16.

ON THIS DAY in 2014 Leeds secured their place in the Challenge Cup Final with a 24-16 win over Warrington Wolves. Aiming for their fourth Challenge Cup final in five years, the Rhinos had to overcome the 2010 and 2012 winners and a quick try from Ryan Hall settled the nerves early on. Sinfield added penalty goal before Hall was in again after a long pass from McGuire found the winger in space to touch down in the corner. In the second half, Chris Bridge got Warrington on the board before Joel Moon was put through a gap by McGuire to make the score 18-4. Stefan Ratchford took an offload from Ben Westwood to close the gap once more but an error from Warrington was intercepted by Tom Briscoe, who dashed 60 metres and beat Rhys Evans to score under the posts, sealing Leeds’ place at Wembley. Westwood would score a consolation with five minutes left but the Rhinos would progress, eventually winning the cup for the first time since 1999 against Castleford.