Leeds fight back to crush Hull


Published: Thursday 5th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Kevin Sinfield climbed up to fourth place in rugby league’s all-time list of point-scorers as Leeds maintained their 100 per cent record with a remarkable 43-12 win at Hull to go top of Super League.

The Rhinos overcame an abject first-half performance to run their hosts ragged with seven tries without reply after the break, two of them from the evergreen Danny McGuire on his 350th appearance and two others from his old half-back partner Rob Burrow.

It was an astonishing turn-around for Leeds, who had trailed 12-0 at the break to two tries from another veteran half-back, Leon Pryce which took his career total to 200.

Hull coach Lee Radford would have been delighted with his team’s first-half performance but dismayed by their collapse which leaves them with three straight defeats.

Radford was forced to give a debut to teenage second-rower Jansin Turgut, the England academy captain, after four players withdrew from his original 19-man squad.

It also meant a second appearance for Australian centre Steve Michaels, just a week after it was announced in Queensland that an arrest warrant had been issued for him as part of an investigation into cocaine trafficking, and a lightweight bench which ultimately proved their undoing.

However , with skipper Gareth Ellis, the former Leeds forward, leading by example on his return from injury and getting great assistance from hooker Danny Houghton, Hull were dominant through the first half.

Aided by two early penalties, they pounded the visitors line and were rewarded on seven minutes when Pryce outjumped Leeds full-back Zak Hardaker to regather Marc Sneyd’s high kick for his first try.

Michaels almost repeated the feat moments later but was turned on his back and winger Tom Lineham had a try disallowed for being offside as he pounced on Ryan Hall’s failure to defuse another “bomb” from Sneyd.

It was no surprise when Hull increased their lead, Pryce weaving his way through the Leeds defence for his second try, which brought up his 200, and Sneyd’s second conversion made it 12-0.

Leeds’ attempts to get back into the game before half-time floundered on the back of some elementary handling errors, with back rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan going closest to a try as he lost his grip on the ball attempting to touch down.

Hull almost edged further ahead on the stroke of half-time when Sneyd narrowly missed a drop-goal attempt but their lead was cancelled out within four minutes of the restart as Leeds set about turning the game on its head.

Substittue Brad Singleton broke clear to get McGuire over just 36 seconds into the second half and the veteran Leeds half-back repaid the favour with a perfectly-timed short pass that got the forward over for only his third try for the club.

Sinfield converted both tries, the first from the touchline, to bring his side level and two flashes of brilliance from England centre Kallum Watkins enabled the Rhinos to complete the transformation.

He broke from inside his own half to get McGuire over for his second try before gliding over for a solo effort on 58 minutes.

Sinfield’s third goal took him past John Woods in the scoring chart and he remained on target to convert both Watkins’ try and a barge-over by prop Kylie Leuluai on 62 minutes to make it 30-12.

That was the signal for Burrow to take over the scoring heroics as he supported a break by Hardaker to notch his first before regathering his own grubber kick for his second.

Sinfield maintained his 100 per cent record with seven successful place kicks and put over a drop goal for good measure.

Published: Thursday 5th March 2015 by The News Editor

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