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The Leeds Rhinos have pulled up a stool and ordered a drink in the last chance saloon as they entertain a Wakefield Trinity side for whom the two points are equally as crucial as they attempted to guarantee their position in the top eight.

A win for the Rhinos would leave them in ninth spot but just a point behind their opponents and two points behind the Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants and extend them a lifeline to avoid the dreaded middle eights for the second time in three years.

An expectant Headingley held their breath to see if their returning hero Kevin Sinfield could record his first victory at the helm of the side for which he won so many playing honours.

It was the perfect start for Sinfield’s Rhinos. On two minutes Mitch Garbutt had a try truned down for an earlier obstruction but on four minutes the Rhinos kept the ball alive from the right wing to the left, the ball ending up in the hands of the dependable Ryan Hall to round the Trinity winger and improve the angle for the conversion. Liam Sutclliffe obliged with the boot for 6-0.

On twelve Bill Tupou scored a superb solo try running sixty metres down the left wing, brushing off the Rhinos tacklers and scoring close to the sticks. Ryan Hampshire added the conversion to level the scores.

Wakefield gifted the Rhinos their second try when a poor pass from David Fifita went to ground, was hacked forward by Richie Myler who chased and grounded his own kick. Sutcliffe kicked the goal and the Rhinos held the lead once more.

On twenty-five Leeds benefitted from a penalty for interference . Fast hands saw the ball into the hands of Ash Handley who stepped inside and dove over to score. Sutcliffe kicked brilliantly from wide for 18-6.

Justin Horo was next to benefit from his opponents indiscipline, this time a ball steal. Horo took the ball at first received fifteen metres from the line and pushed over the line to score. Hampshire added the conversion for 12-18 after thirty-three.

Rain welcomed the two sides to the pitch for the start of the second half.

Liam Sutcliffe kicked a penalty goal ten minutes after the restart to give the Rhinos an eight point cushion.

With ten minutes remaining Joel Moon slipped when chasing a grubber into the Leeds in goal area allowing Kyle Wood to get a hand on the ball. The decision was referred upstairs as a try and although there was a suspicion that he’d bounced the ball in the act of scoring the decision stood. Hampshire kicked the extras to set up a grandstand finish with just two points separating the sides.

Jack Walker lost the ball in the tackle on his own fifteen and three tackles in Hmpshire was tackled high and accepted the invitation to kick the penalty to level the scores at 20-20.

On seventy-five a Fifita break set up a Jacob Miller drop goal attempt which hit the post and bounced back into play and two minutes later Ryan Hampshire slid his attempted drop goal wide of the right upright.

Thirty seconds from the hooter Miller scuffed his second drop goal attempt and the Rhinos ran the ball downfield but the final hooter sounded to announce the draw. 

It was a game which the Rhinos should have won but a brilliant fightback from Trinity earned them the draw.

While there was plenty of excitement the draw will satisfy neither side. The Rhinos as now three points adrif of the sides in sixth, seventh and eighth places. While the ‘fat lady’ isn’t yet singing, she’s definitely warming up in the dressing room. Wakefield now need just a point to be safe, the Rhinos know that they need to win both of their remaining games against the Salford Red Devils and the Widnes Vikings and hope that one of the sides above them loses both of theirs.

Dark days at Headingley.

Rhinos: Walker, Briscoe T, Sutcliffe (4G), Handley (T), Hall (T), Moon, Myler (T), Garbutt, Dwyer, Singleton, Ablett, Ferres, Cuthbertson.  Subs: Golding, Ward, Oledzki,  Walters.

Trinity: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou (T), Johnstone, Miller, Hampshire (3G), Fifita, Randall, England, Ashurst, Horo (T), Annakin.  Subs: Wood (T), Pauli, Arona, Hirst.

Referee: Rob Hicks.

Half-Time: 18-12.

Full-Time: 20-20.

Attendance: .



Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 13th Jul 2018 9:57 PM | Views : 1656 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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