[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/session.php on line 1036: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /var/www/html/menu.rlfans.com/header.php:51)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/session.php on line 1036: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /var/www/html/menu.rlfans.com/header.php:51)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/session.php on line 1036: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /var/www/html/menu.rlfans.com/header.php:51)

The hopes of the northern hemisphere rested on the shoulders of seventeen Leeds Rhinos players as they visited AAMI Park in Melbourne for the stiffest of challenges against the mighty Melbourne Storm.

The 2018 Downer World Club Challenge was the Rhinos eighth appearance against the Australian champions, but the home side were firm favourites with the bookies, the Rhinos being given less chance than a snowflake in hell.

The Rhinos were bouyed by the return of Joel Moon in the halves, and Jimmy Keinhorst was rewarded for last weeks hat-trick with a place on the bench. But Melbourne had a side that was packed with the household names of Origin and International Rugby League and it would be the stiffest of tests for the Rhinos.

Most of the pre-match controversy had been about the late announcement to appoint dual referees to the game, the first time that the Rhinos had played under such an arrangement.

The Rhinos were out of the blocks quickly in a high speed opening from both sides. Spurning a clear penalty goal opportunity on eight minutes, the Rhinos used all six tackles before working the ball left to Ryan Hall who launched himself over the defence to ground one handed in the corner off a Joel Moon miss-out pass. Kallum Watkins missed the touchline conversion by a whisker.

A Leeds forward pass and subsequent penalty gave Melbourne position and on sixteen Jesse Bromwich took a short pass to crash over the Leeds line. Cameron Smith smashed the conversion into the upright leaving the sides tied up at 4-4.

On twenty-three Brodie Croft put the Storm into the lead after throwing a big dummy and stepping to outwit the Rhinos defence. Smith added the conversion to put some daylight between the teams.

Five minutes from the interval, Melbourne showed the Rhinos respect when Smith opted to kick a penalty goal from twenty metres to extend the lead to 12-4 and then seconds from the break the Storm struck a fatal blow. Breaking through a tiring Leeds defence the ball ended in the hands of Suliasi Vunivalu who tip-toed through the Rhinos defence to go twenty metres to score. Smith added the extras from in front of the sticks for 18-4.

The scoreline didn’t really reflect the effort from the Rhinos, the game had been closer than it suggested. The Rhinos needed to score first in the second half to renew their challenge.

Matt Parcell gave away a penalty with a dangerous tackle on forty-eight and two plays into the set, Nelson Asofa-Solomona reached out to grab Storms fourth off a Smith pass. Smith added the conversion for a twenty point margin.

The Storm were now dominating. On fifty-six, after the Rhinos were again punished for slowing down the play-the-ball, Brodie Croft threw a delayed pass to Felise Kafusi to go through a gap to score. Smith uncharacteristically missed the conversion.

Ten from the final hooter a cross field kick from Croft was parried back by Vunivalu and picked up by Will Chambers to go outside the last Leeds tackler and score in the right corner. Smith missed again with the boot.

A Watkins break on seventy-five got the Rhinos close but great Storm defence stopped them from going over for their second. In the dying seconds the Storm got the final points of the game when Dale Finucane went under the Leeds defence to ground under the sticks. Munster kicked the conversion for a final score of 38-4.

A great effort from the Rhinos in the opening fifteen minutes gave the impression that the Super League Champions may not have just been there to make up the numbers, but the Storm weathered the Rhinos early pressure and dominated the remainder of the game to secure a big and impressive win. Melbourne were in a different class to the Rhinos and there can be no argument that they are World Club Champions.

Rhinos: Walker, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Watkins, Hall (T), Moon, Myler, Cuthbertson, Parcell, Singleton, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Ward.  Subs: Delaney, Dwyer, Keinhorst, Ormondroyd.

Storm: Slater, Vunivalu (T), Chambers (T), Scott, Addo-Carr, Munster (G), Croft (T), Bromwich J (T), Smith C (4G), Glasby, Kafusi (T), Hoffman, Finucane (T).  Subs: Smith B, Asofa-Solomona (T), Bromwich K, Welch.

Referee: Gerard Sutton and Ben Cummins.

Half-Time: 18-4.

Full-Time: 38-4.

Attendance: 16,029.



Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 16th Feb 2018 11:06 AM | Views : 4081 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
POSTSONLINEMEMBERSRECORDYOUR TEAM
4,827,4251,51577,3384,559SET
LOGIN HERE
or REGISTER for more features!.
Thu 31st Jan 19:45
SLXXIV
WIGAN WARRIORS
v
ST. HELENS
Fri 1st Feb 19:45
SLXXIV
HULL KR
v
HULL FC
Fri 1st Feb 19:45
SLXXIV
HUDDERSFIELD
v
SALFORD
Fri 1st Feb 19:45
SLXXIV
CASTLEFORD
v
CATALAN DRAGONS
Sat 2nd Feb 17:00
SLXXIV
WARRINGTON
v
LEEDS RHINOS
Sun 3rd Feb 15:00
 CH
LEIGH
v
TOULOUSE
Sun 3rd Feb 15:00
 CH
BATLEY BULLDOGS
v
BARROW RAIDERS
Sun 3rd Feb 15:00
 CH
BRADFORD BULLS
v
FEATHERSTONE
Sun 3rd Feb 15:00
 CH
ROCHDALE
v
DEWSBURY RAMS
Sun 3rd Feb 15:00
 CH
SHEFFIELD
v
SWINTON LIONS
ALL SCORES PROVIDED BY RLFANS.COM (SETTINGS)