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Rhinos stomp home - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Tue, 16 Oct 2007 00:02:00 GMT
Leeds secured their second premiership after defeating World Club Champions St. Helens 33-6 in the Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.

It was a fitting farewell for Rhinos coach Tony Smith who now takes over as Great Britain Head Coach.

Leeds went into the sheds 8-6 up thanks to a converted try by Brent Webb and a penalty from the boot of skipper Kevin Sinfield. Saints’ only points came from a converted try from Man of Steel James Roby.

After a competitive first half most fans would have been expecting a close and nervy finish. Leeds though played the best 40 minutes of their season in the second half and was completely dominant.

Two quick fire second half tries from Ali Lauitiiti and Scott Donald gave Leeds the platform to sink the Saints.

Lauitiiti used all of his strength to bulldoze his way over the line and Scott Donald scored a text book winger out then in try, making Paul Wellens look silly.

Man of the match Rob Burrow then slotted home a drop goal to put the Rhinos up 19-6.

Saints began to panic as they realised there was a real danger that Leeds were about to take their Super League title from them. When Leeds kicked the ball dead in goal, Saints tapped the ball on their own 20 then booted the ball down the pitch, going for the forty-twenty. The ball rolled over the whitewash on the thirty metre line and Leeds had the put in.

As Leeds marched towards Saints’ line, Sinfield launched a cross field bomb which was expertly plucked out of the air by Lee Smith who touched down in the corner. Sinfield converted and added a penalty to put the result beyond doubt.

To cap off the victory, Jamie Jones-Buchanan scored under the sticks on the last play of the game. Sinfield converted to give the Rhinos a convincing 33-6 Grand Final victory.

Leeds Head Coach Tony Smith told Sky Sports: “I am just really pleased for all my players, and so proud of them.”

Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield added: “"The guys had the belief. We knew we had it in us and the guys stood up today.”

Saints Head Coach Daniel Anderson paid tribute to the Rhinos: “Credit to them, they shut us down and they thoroughly deserved victory.

“It is a fair reflection of the fatigue of two very gruelling seasons.”

Leeds will celebrate long and hard into the night and next up for them is a World Club Challenge clash with NRL premiers Melbourne Storm in February.

St. Helens 6: Tries – Roby
Goals – Long

Leeds Rhinos 33: Tries – Webb, Lauitiiti, Donald, Smith, Jones-Buchanan
Goals – Sinfield (6)
DGs – Burrow

St. Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Fozzard, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Flannery, Wilkin. Replacements: Roby, Bennett, Graham, Fa'asavalu.

Leeds Rhinos: Webb, Donald, Toopi, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ellis, Sinfield. Replacements: Lauitiiti, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett.

Referee: Ashley Kline Attendance: 71,352
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