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Leeds 39-32 Canterbury Bulldogs

Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield holds aloft the World Club Challenge trophy
Leeds: (26) 39
Tries: Walker, Calderwood, McGuire, Poching, Burrow, Mathers, Jones-Buchanan
Goals: Sinfield 5
Drop Goal: Sinfield
Canterbury: (6) 32
Tries: El-Masri 2, Lolesi 2, Patten, Grimaldi
Goals: El-Masri 5

Leeds survived a late fightback by the Canterbury Bulldogs to win Friday's Carnegie World Club Challenge 39-32.

Leeds powered into a 20-point lead at half-time, scoring five tries through Chev Walker, Mark Calderwood, Danny McGuire, Willie Poching and Rob Burrow.

Richie Mathers added a sixth and Jamie Jones-Buchanan made it seven.

But the Bulldogs set up a tense finish, scoring four quickfire tries, before Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield calmed the nerves with a 78th-minute drop goal.

The Bulldogs, who had beat the Sydney Roosters to win the Australian NRL title, seemed to struggle in the Elland Road conditions.

While Leeds, with just three changes to their Grand Final-winning line-up, looked slick in front of a packed home crowd of 37,028 - the highest gate yet for a World Club Challenge.

Walker opened the scoring on five minutes when Gareth Ellis worked the ball out wide and the big centre took McGuire's pass to cut inside Luke Patten and touch down.

The Rhinos' second try was a gift from the error-prone Patten, who failed to control Sinfield's long, raking kick.

We'd like to play the World Club Challenge over there
Tony Smith
Leeds coach

Pacy winger Calderwood took advantage and coolly tapped the ball ahead for an easy try.

Canterbury briefly threatened to stage a comeback when winger Hazen El Masri crossed the line on 19 minutes.

But Leeds upped the temp and McGuire produced a memorable dash to the corner for a sweet score.

The Super League champions poured forward for two more tries before half-time. Poching collected Calderwood's kick ahead before Burrow finished off a dazzling move by the Rhinos.

The ball whirled through nine pairs of hands, before Burrow took Marcus Bai's pass to touch down for the Rhinos' fifth try, Sinfield kicking his third goal.

Danny McGuire of Leeds scores under the tackle of Hazem El Masri
McGuire delights the home crowd with his mazy run and touch down

After the break, Patten made amends for his miserable first half when he raced on to Brent Oliver's pass to score the Bulldogs' second try.

But Leeds wasted no time in extending their lead, taking full advantage of another two defensive blunders.

Mathers pounced for a try on 51 minutes after McGuire's kick eluded Patten and three minutes later second rower Jones-Buchanan touched down after El Masri tried to pass from an impossible position.

The tide turned in the remaining 25 minutes as the Australians fought back with four tries.

Kiwi Test centre Kamaal Lolesi touched down twice, El Masri grabbed his second and skipper Tony Grimaldi poured over.

But Sinfield's drop goal - for an individual 11-point haul - put a deserved victory beyond doubt for Leeds, who became the fourth English winners of the competition since it was reintroduced in 2000.


Leeds: Mathers; Calderwood, Walker, Senior, Bai; Sinfield, McGuire; Bailey, Dunemann, Ward, Jones-Buchanan, McKenna, Ellis.

Replacements: Burrow, Lauitiiti, McDermott, Poching.

Canterbury: Patten; El-Masri, Lolesi, Tonga, Cutler; Anasta, Hughes; C Armit, Perry, Asotasi, Maitua, B Williams, Grimaldi.

Replacements: Oliver, Czislowski, Myles, Brideson.

Attendance: 37,028.

Referee: Sean Hampstead (Australia).




see also
Rhinos ready to repel all-comers
02 Feb 05 |  Leeds
Bulls aid Leeds' Challenge rivals
29 Jan 05 |  Rugby League
Grimaldi leads Canterbury in WCC
29 Jan 05 |  Rugby League


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