posted on 26 December 2012

Leeds Rhinos took the festive spoils in a fiery Boxing Day clash at Headingley Carnegie.

Reece Lyne went in for a try and gave a strong performance in his Wildcats debut.

Four yellow cards and one red for debutant Justin Poore kept the crowd of just shy of 10,000 entertained enough as well as 76 points in a first run out for both clubs in their pre-season preparations.

Richard Agar handed debuts to Reece Lyne from the start and both Bobbie Goulding and under 19’s Academy prop James Healy from the bench.

Lyne scored a first half try to add to scores for Danny Kirmond, Ben Cockayne, Dean Collis and Richard Mathers.

But it was Leeds who came out on top and drew first blood.  A Sykes kick was charged down and the Rhinos trapped Lyne with ball in hand on the last to earn possession and from the resultant set McGuire slid a grubber kick in behind the Wildcats defence which Vickery gathered and slid over the line in one motion.

Wakefield soon responded though, forcing the Rhinos into an error 20 metres from their own line.  Although the extra man in the back line from the scrum didn’t immediately pay dividends, midway through the tackle count Smith and Sykes combined to send Kirmond through a huge hole.

It was a try that was immediately backed up with another.  The low sun did Jimmy Watson no favours as Smith sent up a towering bomb and after the full-back saw the ball cannon off his leg, he then witnessed Lyne scoop up and score a debut try.

It was a rather sedate Boxing Day fixture up to that point with many of the crowd nursing their way through sore heads, but it soon sparked into life.  Poore gave away successive penalties and after he and Bailey got acquainted on the floor a couple of tackles previously, the duo went looking for each other and as the two collided on Bailey’s decoy run they were soon squaring up.  Poore got the first punch in and soon it was a free for all.  A bloodied Bailey was handed a yellow card, as were Mitch Achurch and Ben Cockayne, whilst Poore saw red on his Wildcats debut.

Leeds quickly made their extra man count to create an opportunity for Vickery  to scamper in in the left hand corner.  There was little 11-man Wildcats could have done about that score, but the next try won’t make many highlight reels.  McShane dabbed in behind the defence and rather than drop on the ball when faced with Mathers, he side footed the ball around the full-back and Singleton was there first to extend the lead.

The Wildcats had had few opportunities in the Leeds half with ball in hand but got one as the half-time interval approached.  After forcing a goal-line drop-out, the ball was worked to the left wing with Lyne making the final pass to Cockayne for the winger to score on the hooter and bring the teams all square at the break.

With the man advantage it was always going to be a half in which the Rhinos created plenty of opportunities and with McGuire leading the young home side around the park they duly delivered.  First he fired a cut-out pass to Watson on the left wing to score before lofting a kick to the right corner where Chisholm punished Cockayne’s failure to gather.

A first foray into the Rhinos half yielded points for Agar’s men as Lyne swooped on an error to set Cockayne free.  The winger was hauled down yards short but the Wildcats maintained their composure to take the opportunity through Collis.

The referee was very much in the Christmas spirit and handed out another card, this time a yellow to Paul McShane for more handbags.

Unsurprisingly it was McGuire’s guile that created a further Leeds try, calmly assessing his options before lofting a kick high under pressure which Foster leapt majestically to claim and land over the try line.

As the two coaches rang the personnel and positional changes the game was back in the balance when Danny Cowling swooped on a loose ball and kicked into open space on halfway, with Mathers reading his intentions to race up field, get a favourable bounce and coast over the line to make it 30-26 after Sykes’ unsuccessful conversion.

But the Rhinos came over the top of a tiring Wildcats side in the final fifteen minutes, Moon going in before some of the Leeds youngsters superbly kept the ball alive for Singleton to wrap up the win.


1 Jimmy Watson

2 Jamel Chisholm

22 Jimmy Keinhorst

4 Joel Moon

5 Joe Vickery

6 Danny McGuire (C)

9 Paul McShane

23 Brad Singleton

24 Liam Hood

16 Ryan Bailey

19 Mitch Achurch

17 Ian Kirke

3 Luke Briscoe

Subs (all used)

11 Alex Foster

14 Liam Sutcliffe

12 Jordan Baldwinson

18 James Duckworth

15 Mason Tonks

20 Ben White


1 Richard Mathers

2 Peter Fox

3 Dean Collis

20 Reece Lyne

5 Ben Cockayne

6 Paul Sykes

7 Tim Smith

8 Justin Poore

9 Paul Aiton

18 Kyle Trout

11 Ali Lauitiiti

12 Danny Kirmond (C)

13 Danny Washbrook

Subs (all used)

21Matty Wildie

22 Danny Cowling

24 Lucas Walshaw

26 Bobby Goulding Jnr

29 Adam Slater

James Healy

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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