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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 18 Huddersfield Giants 25

8th June 2018

By Phil Daly

Leeds Rhinos suffered a frustrating 25-18 loss to Huddersfield Giants as they suffered more injuries worries as Mikolaj Oledzki and Richie Myler went off with head injuries and Jordan Lilley had to be helped from the field late on.

After a cagey start, it was the visitors who opened the scoring when they made the most of a half chance that came after the ball kicked off the turf from a grubber kick on the last. They were quickest to react and eventually the ball came back inside for Kruise Leeming to score. Oliver Russell kicked the conversion to give his side a 6-0 lead.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos hit back through Matt Parcell when the hooker showed great strength and persistence to force his way over from dummy half with three Giants defenders in attendance. Jordan Lilley added the conversion to make it 6-0.

Leeds then took the lead almost immediately with a brilliantly crafted try set up by a break from Stevie Ward from inside his own half. He managed to get the offload away to Liam Sutcliffe, who kicked back in field for Richie Myler to collect and go over between the posts. Lilley was on target again to make it 12-6.

The Rhinos had a chance to extend the lead with a fine break from Matt Parcell but his pass to Ash Handley near halfway went down and the opportunity was gone.

The home side were good value for their lead at that stage but they were hit back a double blow from the Giants midway through the first half. Simon Woolford’s side levelled the game when Aaron Murphy cut back in field to charge onto a short pass and score next to the post.

The Giants then went in from when Alex Mellor went over as the Rhinos ran out of numbers following a long range break by the visitors. Russell converted both tries to give his side an 18-12 lead.

Worse was to come for the Rhinos when Mikolaj Oledzki was forced off the field following a head injury that required a lengthy period of treatment from the medical teams before he was stretchered off.

The Rhinos made the perfect start to the second half with a try inside the opening couple of minutes when Cameron Smith found a gap and glided through to score. Lilley added the conversion to level the game.

However, Huddersfield managed to edge themselves back in front when Adam O’Brien caught the Rhinos defence flat footed from dummy half to go over. Russell added the conversion to put his side into a 24-18 lead.

Leeds lost another player to concussion when Myler suffered a bang to the head making a tackle on the Giants line. Huddersfield missed the chance to extend their lead soon after when Russell put his penalty chance wide however the youngster did put his team two scores in front with a drop goal, at the second attempt to lead 25-18 lead late on.

The Rhinos worked hard in the closing stages but could not find a cutting edge to unlock the Huddersfield defence and give themselves of setting up some late drama.

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