2021 Year Review: Part Two
Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com - 28/05/2021 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 8 - Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos - the Mend A Hose Jungle, Castleford, England - Leeds Rhinos' Konrad Hurrell celebrates scoring a try
As 2021 draws to a close, it has been a eventful twelve months for Leeds Rhinos. From drop goal dramas, fans flocking back to Headingley and an extreme challenges undertaken by club legend Kevin Sinfield, there has been plenty of action associated with the Rhinos over the last year so we’re looking back at all the highs and lows of each month.
Here is the run down of events that took place from May to August:
Leeds’ fortunes started to turn in May as players returned to bolster Richard Agar’s ranks.
A spicy affair against Huddersfield Giants had to be decided in the dying moments by a Lee Gaskell drop goal but back at Headingley, the Rhinos came out as the late winners against Wakefield, thanks to a late penalty goal from Rhyse Martin.
Hull FC’s visit on the 23rd May finally saw fans return to the Headingley terraces for the first time in over 400 days, although the Rhinos couldn’t rise to the occasion as they lost 18-12. Still the reinforcements kept returning for Leeds and against Castleford at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, the Rhinos produced one of their best performances of the season.
An eleven try mauling of the Tigers saw Jack Broadbent, Luke Gale, Tom Briscoe (2), Morgan Gannon, Brad Dwyer, Kruise Leeming (2), Luke Briscoe and Richie Myler all get their names on the scoresheet, although the game will be remembered for Konrad Hurrell’s incredible solo effort.
Leeds Rhinos’ Under-19s, Under-17s and Under-16s all returned to action for the first time in May too. Leeds Rhinos Women also continued their winning start to the league with big scorelines against Featherstone and Wakefield but Lois Forsell’s side were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by St Helens, who won 20-12 at York’s LNER Stadium.
As summer approached, Covid outbreaks meant that the Rhinos played only one game throughout June. That came at the end of the month against Salford, where two tries apiece for Tom Briscoe and Jack Broadbent helped the Rhinos win 38-12, despite three sin binnings and two red cards being handed out during the game.
Leeds players from both the men’s and women’s teams were in international action too as England men faced the Combined Nations All Stars and England’s Women took on Wales. Mikolaj Oledzki and Ash Handley came from the bench for England, while Matt Prior and Kruise Leeming helped the All Stars to a 24-22 win. Caitlin Beevers and Fran Goldthorp were both try scorers in England’s 60-0 win over Wales.
Elsewhere, Leeds Rhinos Women toppled derby rivals Bradford Bulls, thanks to braces for Ellena Powell and Caitlin Beevers, plus there were wins for the Rhinos’ Under-19s vs Newcastle and Under-17s vs Wigan.
Despite having a relatively quiet June, July saw the Rhinos thrown back into the action with six fixtures.
Jack Broadbent stole the limelight as he recorded four tries in a 48-18 win over the struggling Leigh Centurions at home before Leeds beat Warrington in a nail biting thriller at the Halliwell Jones Stadium (even though Rob Lui and Liam Sutcliffe were both sin binned in the final ten minutes).
Back to back matches against the league leaders Catalans Dragons should have seen Leeds take points from Steve McNamara’s side, but two second half fightbacks saw the Dragons continue to hold onto the top of the table.
Harry Newman made his return to action, following a double leg break, in the second meeting with Catalans and the centre didn’t have to wait long to get his name back on the scoresheet either as he opened the scoring in a 38-16 win over the Red Devils. A trip to the east coast also ended in victory for Leeds as well, after a tremendous second half performance saw the Rhinos walk out 22-12 winners at the MKM Stadium.
Leeds Rhinos Women ended the month on a winning note too as Lois Forsell’s side won their remaining three league fixtures. Tara Moxon’s four tries against Warrington was a standout before Wigan were defeated 28-6 at Victoria Park. Their game against Huddersfield was forfeited by the Giants so the Rhinos sat atop the league table.
Seven of Leeds’ academy players were also selected for Yorkshire’s Academy Origin match against Lancashire.
August was another busy month for Leeds as the season began to build towards its climax.
A late George Williams drop goal saw Warrington take their revenge for the Rhinos’ win in June, and then a week later, Castleford too avenged their heavy defeat to beat the home side 32-18 at Headingley. Leigh were comfortably beaten 46-10 winners at Leigh Sports Village in round 19 though.
Leeds’ return to Headingley to take on Huddersfield was a special occasion as Rob Burrow made his return to the stadium. Burrow was promoting his new book ‘Too Many Reasons to Live’ and the Leeds legend watched on as the Rhinos beat the Giants 18-12.
Leeds finished the month on the road with games against Wigan and Wakefield. The Warriors couldn’t find the finishing flourishes as the Rhinos walked away 14-0 winners, thanks to tries from Brad Dwyer and Richie Myler, but Wakefield proved to be a bump in the road for the Rhinos.
Willie Poching’s men proved superior in a 20-13 win, despite Rob Lui’s drop goal in the final minutes, meaning Leeds would have to beat both Hull FC and Hull KR to ensure the Rhinos could compete in the play offs.
Leeds Rhinos Women were also in a play off fight and began strongly with a 28-6 win over Castleford and 14-4 result against York. After a two month break due to Covid, Chev Walker’s Under-19s came back into action to beat Castleford, Wakefield and draw with Hull KR in an academy classic.
Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair also won the first silverware of the season as they defeated The Argonauts 60-28 in the Challenge Cup Final.
Are you ready to watch the Rhinos in 2022?
A full range of membership options are available for fans next year. Great benefits such as the 15% family membership discount and the digital match day programme subscription will continue, plus there will be the return of ‘Bring a Friend for Free’ for selected home matches next season.
The full range of memberships are:
- Gold Season Membership – Top Level Season Membership (Silver Season Membership plus £25)
- Silver Season Membership – Standard Season Membership
- Flexi Membership – 5 game pack
- Flexi Membership – 3 game pack
- Supporter Membership – Entry level membership and provides priority for ticket purchase
To find out more information about this year’s membership options, head over to tickets.therhinos.co.uk or call the ticket office on 0371 423 1315. Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10.30am-3.30pm (excluding Bank Holidays).
*Concessions = Senior Citizens, Students, Under 21s and Disabled. Senior Citizens means those aged 65 and over on 1st February 2022, Under 21s must be 20 or under on 1st February 2022 and Students must provide valid ID with an expiry date. We do not accept NUS, Totum or Uni Days or any Student ID that is not branded from a registered college or university.