21 Jun 2024

Leeds Rhinos 18 Leigh Leopards 10

On an emotional night that 17,535 fans packed into AMT Headingley to join the club in celebrating the life of Rob Burrow CBE, Leeds Rhinos rose to the occasion to beat Leigh Leopards 18-10.

Brodie Croft’s first half double split the sides at the break, before a low scoring second half saw Matt Frawley seal the win for the home side, despite late tries from Edwin Ipape and Matt Moylan.

After Rohan Smith’s mutual departure earlier in the week, assistant coaches Chev Walker and Scott Grix took charge of a youthful Rhinos side in the absence of Harry Newman, Ash Handley, Sam Lisone and Tom Holroyd. Loan signing Sam Eseh came off the bench for his club debut, whilst Ben Littlewood was named in the matchday 17 but didn’t feature. In the absence of Newman and Handley, a youthful edge of Ned McCormack and Alfie Edgell lined up outside of Rhyse Martin, and Justin Sangare came back into the starting back in place of Holroyd

Before kick off, the whole stadium joined together to pay tribute to Burrow after the Hall of Famer’s passing a fortnight ago. Large pitch flags, fireworks, Operaman’s Nessun Dorma and ‘RB7’ held up along the AMT Stand greeted both teams and a parade of former team mates and staff who worked with Burrow during his time at the club.

With the stadium heightened with emotion, a cagey opening few sets let both sides settle into the contest before Croft broke the deadlock on 10 minutes. Utilising an offside penalty to get themselves closer to the Leigh line, the Rhinos charged forward with Justin Sangare and Cameron  Smith before Croft danced his way around Leopards defenders to somehow managed to get the ball on the line for a great solo effort. Although it had to be checked with the video referee, the try was given the green light.

Leigh responded with some light attacks that ended up with the ball out of play – Ricky Leutele was unable to find Charnley as his pass sailed into the front row of the North Stand – or the Leopards player was forced out of play.

The Rhinos took their rewards for strong defence as a knock on by Tom Amone led to Lachie Miller feeding Croft, who showed great speed to go the length of the field to score another sensational try for the Rhinos. Martin couldn’t convert from the sideline as the score was 10-0.

Frankie Halton edged Leigh closer to a score, only to be denied by the video referee as the back rower was judged to be held up. With time ticking down, a late shot on Cameron Smith saw Martin point to the posts and the PNG international nailed the ball through the sticks to make the score 12-0 at half time.


The second period got off to a lively start as Leigh were convinced they had scored five minutes into the half. Leutele thought he had the better of Paul Momirovski and Lachie Miller but Chris Kendall’s no try decision was correct. The Leopards continued the pressure as Edgell and McCormack were forced to deal with Moylan’s last tackle kick, but ultimately Leigh couldn’t convert their chance.

Down at the other end of the field, Leeds were able to cross at the first time of asking. Miller worked the Leigh edge defence well to pass back on his inside for Edgell to break the line. With support on his shoulder, the youngster showed great composure to deliver a great pass for Matt Frawley to get his third try of the season.

The remainder of the game had the Leeds fans on the edge of their seats as Leigh mounted a comeback in the final 20 minutes. A Martin knock on gave the away side their first try as a designed scrum play saw Moylan beat Leeds’ defence to get the ball down.

Dwyer tried a sniping run out of dummy half, much like he did in Rhinos colours, but it was his hooking team mate Edwin Ipape that opened the game up with 13 minutes to go as he took the ball at first receiver and barrelled his way under the posts to close the score to eight points.

Kai O’Donnell and Zak Hardaker missed chances for Adrian Lam’s side, but resolute defending and team work from the Rhinos saw them hold on until full time; Chev Walker and Scott Grix guiding the side to a 18-10 result.

Match Facts


1. Lachie Miller, 2. David Fusitu’a, 4. Paul Momirovski, 31. Ned McCormack, 29. Alfie Edgell, 6. Brodie Croft, 7. Matt Frawley, 8. Mikolaj Oledzki, 14. Jarrod O’Connor, 17. Justin Sangare, 16. James McDonnell, 12. Rhyse Martin, 13. Cameron Smith

Subs: 26. Corey Johnson, 18. Mickael Goudemand, 32. Ben Littlewood (Not Used) 36. Sam Eseh (18th Man – 30. Tom Nicholson-Watton)

Tries: Croft (11, 29), Frawley (50)

Goals: Martin 3/4



6. Matt Moylan, 34. Umyla Hanley, 3. Zak Hardaker, 4. Ricky Leutele, 5. Josh Charnley, 21. Ben McNamara, 7. Lachlan Lam, 8. Tom Amone, 15. Matt Davis, 17. Owen Trout, 11. Kai O’Donnell, 16. Frankie Halton, 12. Jack Hughes

Subs: 14. Dan Norman, 9. Edwin Ipape, 33. Brad Dwyer, 35. Aaron Pene (18th Man - 34. Darnell McIntosh)

Tries: Moylan (58), Ipape (68)

Goals: Moylan 1/2

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