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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 18 Salford Red Devils 16

14th September 2018

By Phil Daly

Leeds Rhinos left it late to seal the victory against Salford Red Devils but it made for an exciting game of rugby league between the two teams.

Both sides came into the game off the back of wins. The Rhinos notched an impressive win away from home against Widnes and Salford beat Toronto despite finishing the match with only 11 men. Salford were unbeaten in the Super League Qualifiers and they carried their confidence over into this game as they made a huge goal line stand after conceding the first penalty of the match just 10 metres from their own try line. Leeds tried to break the deadlock but the Salford defence stood strong.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos didn’t have to wait too long to get the first points on the board though as just minutes after, an excellent passage of play resulted in Tom Briscoe touching the ball down in the corner. It all came from Dom Crosby’s line break that had Salford scrambling in defence. The ball then found its way to Jack Walker who produced an unbelievable offload to Briscoe who gratefully grabbed the pass and got the game’s first try. Sutcliffe was faced with a tough conversion that was unsuccessful but Leeds had the lead 4-0.

Salford replied almost immediately through Niall Evalds. The Red Devils full back ran onto the ball at full speed and there was no stopping him as he dove for the line. Chamberlain also couldn’t kick the ball between the sticks so we were level once more.
Leeds had a couple of chances to retake the lead midway through the first half. The referee disallowed a try for a forward pass and Brad Singleton also got over the line but he was held up. The Rhinos just couldn’t quite get back in front after five consecutive sets deep in the Salford half. The Red Devils eventually made it back down the field after weathering the storm but it only resulted in a missed drop goal from Rob Lui.

Despite releasing the pressure, a marvellous line break from Sutcliffe undid all of Salford’s defensive work. Sutcliffe was able to pass the ball outside to Keinhorst who was in support and once he had the ball in his hands, there was nothing in front of him but open field. Although there was a good chase from the visitors, Keinhorst was able to score in the corner. Once again, a conversion from the right wing was missed but the Rhinos had an 8-4 halftime lead.

There were mistakes from both teams to begin the second half. However, it was a handling error from Leeds that almost proved costly as Salford were given the ball deep in the Rhinos half. After the Red Devils were held up and then had a try disallowed for a knock on, the Rhinos struck again.

This time Sutcliffe had no problems putting the ball over the crossbar as he converted a penalty from in front of the posts and extended the lead to 10-4.

Unfortunately for the Rhinos, captain Brett Ferres was forced to leave the pitch after receiving a yellow card and Salford were able to make their man advantage count. Greg Burke powered over the try line to score and Chamberlain added the extras to level the score once more.

Just seconds after Ferres returned to the field of play, Tom Briscoe scored his second try of the game. The ball was played out wide to Briscoe who had too much speed and he beat the full back to dive over the line. It was third time lucky for Sutcliffe as his conversion from out on the right wing was successful this time and he made the score 16-10.

Salford once again had an answer. After a line break at midfield, they were able to put together a well worked passing move and Derrell Olpherts scored in the corner. Chamberlain converted the try and levelled the match at 16-16.
Lui then once again tried a drop goal but it was charged down and Joel Moon recovered the ball to march the Rhinos down field. Salford then conceded a penalty with just 50 seconds remaining which gave Sutcliffe the chance to win the game. He did exactly that as his kick sailed between the sticks and the game finished 18-16.

Leeds now have the chance to seal their Super League status with a victory away at Halifax next Sunday.

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