Super Eights - Rugby League

Betfred Super League - Round: Semi Final
VENUE: Headingley Carnegie Stadium     OFFICIAL: P Bentham     MATCH STATUS: Result

Home Team

18
(12)

TRIES

Stevie Ward, Anthony Mullally, Liam Sutcliffe

GOALS

Kallum Watkins 3

16
(6)

Away Team

TRIES

Gareth Ellis, Mahe Fonua, Sika Manu

GOALS

Marc Sneyd 2

Official Match Report

Leeds Rhinos claimed a thrilling 18-16 semi-final victory over Hull to ensure that long-serving half-backs Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow will get an Old Trafford farewell.

The Rhinos prevailed in a tense clash at Headingley to secure a 10th Grand Final appearance and set up a showdown with Castleford Tigers.

That will provide a fitting farewell for McGuire and Burrow but Friday's defeat signalled the end for retiring Hull captain Gareth Ellis and there was no fairytale ending for Mahe Fonua, who is returning to the NRL.

Leeds raced into a 12-0 lead, Stevie Ward powering his way to the line in the first play.

Kallum Watkins added the conversion and he was also on target after hooker Matt Parcell had got substitute prop Anthony Mullally romping through.

The shell-shocked Ladbrokes Challenge Cup winners gradually worked their way into the game and Ellis proved unstoppable after charging onto Danny Houghton's pass.

Marc Sneyd added the goal to make it 12-6 at half-time and centre Jake Connor created a try for Fonua after the break.

Connor palmed the ball back from Sneyd's kick for second rower Sika Manu to score a try that put Hull in front for the first time , but Leeds picked themselves up and struck back when Liam Sutcliffe created a try from nothing with a weaving run to the line.

Watkins kept his nerve with the conversion to restore his side's advantage and the Rhinos clung on.

The Rhinos were forced to battle for their top-flight status after finishing in the bottom four in 2016 but their turnaround in fortunes was complete and coach Brian McDermott said: "The job is not done and, if we don't win next week it will hurt, but I think that's a huge achievement from the players who endured all sorts of ridicule."

"Things were written and said about them. We only added one bloke to the squad and for them to first off finish second and secure top-four with two games to go in itself shows what a character they've got, and to get through to the Grand Final is big."

McDermott almost brought ridicule on himself when he claimed his side could win the Grand Final shortly after they suffered a 66-10 hammering at Castleford in March.

"I believed it at the time," he said. "It wasn't a Hollywood moment, I believed we could do it.

"Because of what's gone on over the last 18 months, I reckon my group has had more honest chats than any other team in Super League. We nearly got relegated and that level of honesty now far outweighs the quality that we come up with on game day."

Hull coach Lee Radford added: "We're obviously hugely disappointed not to be going to a Grand Final. We just fell short unfortunately.

"I can't knock the effort, it was phenomenal. Leeds started like an absolute house of fire - it was like a smack between the eyes in that first 30 minutes - so to show the grit that we did and still be in the game when lot of teams would have folded was outstanding."

 

Other News

Min   Event Action Score
4 goal Goal scored for Leeds by Kallum Watkins 2-0
4 try Try scored for Leeds by Stevie Ward 6-0
18 try Try scored for Leeds by Anthony Mullally 10-0
18 goal Goal scored for Leeds by Kallum Watkins 12-0
27 goal Goal scored for Hull by Marc Sneyd 12-2
27 try Try scored for Hull by Gareth Ellis 12-6
45 try Try scored for Hull by Mahe Fonua 12-10
56 try Try scored for Hull by Sika Manu 12-14
56 goal Goal scored for Hull by Marc Sneyd 12-16
63 try Try scored for Leeds by Liam Sutcliffe 16-16
63 goal Goal scored for Leeds by Kallum Watkins 18-16

Bench

Jack
Walker
Tom
Briscoe
Kallum
Watkins
Liam
Sutcliffe
Ryan
Hall
Joel
Moon
Danny
McGuire
Mitch
Garbutt
Matt
Parcell
Brad
Singleton
Stevie
Ward
Jamie
Jones-Buchanan
Adam
Cuthbertson
Rob
Burrow
Carl
Ablett
Brett
Ferres
Anthony
Mullally

Bench

Jamie
Shaul
Mahe
Fonua
Jake
Connor
Carlos
Tuimavave
Fetuli
Talanoa
Albert
Kelly
Marc
Sneyd
Scott
Taylor
Danny
Houghton
Liam
Watts
Sika
Manu
Mark
Minichiello
Gareth
Ellis
Josh
Griffin
Josh
Bowden
Chris
Green
Brad
Fash
Pos   Player Tries Goals D Goals
1 Jack Walker - - -
2 Tom Briscoe - - -
3 Kallum Watkins - 3 -
4 Liam Sutcliffe 1 - -
5 Ryan Hall - - -
6 Joel Moon - - -
7 Danny McGuire - - -
8 Mitch Garbutt - - -
9 Matt Parcell - - -
10 Brad Singleton - - -
11 Stevie Ward 1 - -
12 Jamie Jones-Buchanan - - -
13 Adam Cuthbertson - - -
14 Rob Burrow - - -
15 Carl Ablett - - -
16 Brett Ferres - - -
17 Anthony Mullally 1 - -
Pos   Player Tries Goals D Goals
1 Jamie Shaul - - -
2 Mahe Fonua 1 - -
3 Jake Connor - - -
4 Carlos Tuimavave - - -
5 Fetuli Talanoa - - -
6 Albert Kelly - - -
7 Marc Sneyd - 2 -
8 Scott Taylor - - -
9 Danny Houghton - - -
10 Liam Watts - - -
11 Sika Manu 1 - -
12 Mark Minichiello - - -
13 Gareth Ellis 1 - -
14 Josh Griffin - - -
15 Josh Bowden - - -
16 Chris Green - - -
17 Brad Fash - - -