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Page last updated at 21:55 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009

Hull KR 10-19 Leeds

Hull KR (10) 10
Tries: Briscoe Goals: Dobson 3 Drops:
Leeds (4) 19
Tries: Ablett, Hall, Watkins Goals: Sinfield Drops: Sinfield

Rhys Lovegrove is held by Leeds Rhinos Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Kyle Leuluai
Both defences were in fine form in a physical match at New Craven Park

Leeds maintained their unbeaten start to the season after a hard-fought win against a spirited Hull KR side.

The visitors took the lead inside four minutes through Carl Ablett, but Rovers immediately responded with a converted try from full-back Shaun Briscoe.

Two Michael Dobson penalties extended the home side's lead to 10-4 at the break, but Leeds levelled the score through Ryan Hall after 48 minutes.

And a Kallum Watkins try sealed the win on 72 minutes.

However, the victory was marred by a sickening head injury to Ryan Bailey in the build-up to teenager Watkins' try.

Play was held up for nine minutes as the prop received treatment on the touchline following a covering tackle from defender Briscoe.

The defeat was particularly harsh on the Robins, who once again produced an impressive defensive display following their opening 13-13 draw with Bradford last week.

The omens were positive for the home side, who had not lost an opening home league match in 17 years.

Leeds were without influential Australia hooker Danny Buderus, rested as a precaution ahead of the World Club Challenge against Manly next Sunday.


The champions took the lead inside the opening five minutes when Danny McGuire's smart missed pass sent through Ablett in acres of space to touch down, although the normally reliable boot of Kevin Sinfield missed the straightforward conversion.

And within five minutes, Rovers were in front when Paul Cooke's perfectly weighted grubber kick bounced into the hands of the onrushing Briscoe, captain of the side in the absence of Mick Vella, to touch down under the posts, with Dobson adding the extras.

Scott Donald saw a try disallowed when video referee Ian Smith adjudged the winger had knocked on as he attempted to ground Sinfield's superb through kick on 14 minutes.

Despite numerous attempts, Leeds could not penetrate the obdurate Rovers defence, who once again impressed with a series of hard-hitting tackles inside their own 20m line.

Dobson extended the lead to six points with a penalty on the cusp of half time after Leeds were penalised for not retreating behind the whitewash with Hull five metres from their tryline.

Leeds regained parity eight minutes after the interval courtesy of a sweeping move, culminating in a fine high catch from Keith Senior, who set up Hall to cross over from five yards.

Brilliant defence from winger Liam Colbon and Briscoe denied Senior a certain try on 60 minutes when both defenders wrapped themselves around the ball and prevented the Great Britain centre from grounding it after a powerful surge.

The visitors' performance was marred by indiscipline and their persistent indiscretions saw Paul McShane sent to the sin-bin on 68 minutes.

Rovers thought they had taken the lead a minute later when Jake Webster pounced on a mistake from Hall, who failed to gather Dobson's grubber inside his in-goal area, but video referee Smith disallowed the score to the disbelief of the home crowd.

A Sinfield penalty gave Leeds the lead inside the final 10 minutes and the visitors clinched the victory when Bailey's smart pass allowed teenager Kallum Watkins to slide over.

But Leeds elation quickly turned into concern when the medical staff converged on Bailey, who was knocked out cold following a covering challenge from Briscoe.

Bailey was eventually taken off on a stretcher, with Sinfield adding the extras before slotting over a drop-goal in the final minutes.

Leeds coach Brian McClennan on Ryan Bailey's head injury:
"He lost consciousness but he is fine. He is going to be good.

"What a great play that was too! He showed good footwork there and I thought he was very good tonight. We've got a few bangs and that is testament to how Hull KR competed.

"We are feeling really proud of our efforts, we had to do a lot of tackling tonight."

Hull KR coach Justin Morganon Jake Webster's disallowed try :
"It was a try. I couldn't see any conclusive evidence to say he had knocked it on.

"I'm disappointed with that and it was a massive turning point. It was a massive call from the video referee.

"I think we had enough chances to score some more points, but you do have to create a lot against Leeds to get some kind of result.

Hull KR: Briscoe, Fox, Welham, Webster, Colbon, Cooke, Dobson, Fozzard, Fitzhenry, Aizue, Newton, Galea, Murrell.
Replacements: Lovegrove, Netherton, Fisher, Cockayne.

Leeds: Smith, Donald, Ablett, Senior, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Leuluai, Diskin, Bailey, Kirke, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan.
Replacements: Mcshane, Burgess, Allan, Watkins.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington)

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see also
Leeds 18-4 Wakefield
13 Feb 09 |  Rugby League
Bradford 13-13 Hull KR
15 Feb 09 |  Rugby League
Leeds 28-6 Celtic Crusaders
06 Feb 09 |  Rugby League
Super League XIV factfile
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby League

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