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Rhinos rally to sink Bulls
Leeds fight back from 18 points down to stun Bradford
Leeds Rhinos produced an outstanding second-half comeback to beat Bradford Bulls 32-28 at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday with a last-gasp penalty try sealing a dramatic success.
The Rhinos had looked down and out as they trailed a reinvigorated Bulls side 28-10 with less than a quarter of the game remaining.
Bradford's exciting young second-rower Elliot Whitehead looked to have put his side on course for victory with a hat-trick of tries, while Patrick Ah Van touched down as did Matt Diskin against his old club.
But inspired by winger Ben Jones-Bishop, who scored two tries and was hauled down for the crucial penalty try, Leeds rallied to record a memorable win and maintain their 100 per cent record at Magic weekends.
Jones-Bishop, who spent last season on loan at Harlequins, got the first points of the afternoon as he raced in at the corner after Brett Webb had floated a superb pass that took two Bradford defenders out of the game.
But soon after Brett Delaney was penalised and sin-binned for a professional foul and Bradford made their numerical advantage count.
They were back on terms when Whitehead raced on to Kyle Briggs' clever chip through to touch down for the equalising score - Ah Van's conversion putting his side ahead.
New Zealander Ah Van was fortunate not to see a card himself shortly afterwards as he took out the breaking Rob Burrow with a nasty-looking high tackle, although referee Steve Ganson chose not to put the incident on report.
Still down to 12 men, Leeds succumbed again just before Delaney's re-emergence as Whitehead grabbed an almost identical second try, this time latching on to Brett Kearney's kick through to dive over.
Chev Walker came close to extending the lead against his former club, but could not ground a bouncing ball in the in-goal area under pressure from Jones-Bishop.
But the Bulls did not have to wait long to get back on the board as Ah Van intercepted another expansive pass from Webb and raced 80 metres to touch down - although the exhausted winger failed to land the subsequent conversion.
Leeds responded with their second try just past the half hour mark, Burrow switching the direction of the attack and offloading to Keith Senior who flicked a quick pass out to Ryan Hall allowing the winger to power over and touch down despite the best efforts of Briggs to hold him up.
Sinfield again missed the conversion, but the Leeds skipper landed a penalty on the stroke of half-time to make the score 16-10 after Oliver Elima was penalised for picking up a knock forward.
Three minutes into the second period Diskin grabbed a try - the 50th of his career - against the club he left in the summer. The 29-year-old spotted a gap from dummy half and darted past some static Rhinos defenders to dive over from close range - Ah Van slotted a simple conversion.
Whitehead then completed his hat-trick on 53 minutes as Leeds allowed a high-kick from Kearney to bounce. Despite being surrounded by defenders, the Bulls second-rower reacted quickest to collect the ball and drop over the line - Ah Van's fourth successful conversion seemingly putting the Bulls in complete control at 28-10.
But Leeds gave themselves renewed hope just past the hour mark when Jones-Bishop grabbed his second score, the winger given an unopposed run to the line after the ball was worked out wide from left to right.
Sinfield missed that conversion, but he had no trouble with one from right in front of the posts just two minutes later as Kylie Leuluai dropped on Webb's hack forward to reduce the arrears to just eight points at 28-20.
A third try in five minutes arrived courtesy of Rob Burrow as the half-back jinked and dummied his way between a couple of would-be tacklers and scampered to the line - Sinfield's third conversion brought his team to within two.
Finishing much the stronger, Leeds appeared to be running out of time to find a winning try only for Jones-Bishop to provide a moment of inspiration.
The youngster sped down the touchline and, having been first to reach his own chip forward, kicked on again into the in-goal area only to be hauled down late by Gareth Raynor as he prepared to touch down.
Referee Ganson referred the decision to the video official who, after an anxious wait for the Rhinos, awarded a penalty try which Sinfield converted.
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Gary Smart says...
I feel for Bradford after this loss, but I am also glad that Leeds were able to produce a memorable comeback. I think Bradford will easily make the play offs this year, they just came undone to a Leeds outfit that are good at rallying and stealing wins from seemingly 'dead and gone' positions. Well done Bradford, and Leeds, lets smarten up for the Hull FC match on Friday!
Posted 15:31 14th February 2011
Christopher Pollard says...
Why wasn't "benefit of the doubt" the criteria to be used when Chev Walker's try was chalked off? The video ref didn't have any evidence to support his call that Walker had knocked on. In the incident you couldn't see Walker's arms on TV, so how come Silverwood could!
Posted 13:28 14th February 2011
Michael Bairstow says...
Well played Bradford...We are back!
Posted 22:14 13th February 2011
James Simcox says...
Great game Leeds comeback from the dead again. They are the team to challenge Wigan & Saints this season
Posted 19:10 13th February 2011
Steve Quantrill says...
My original comment should have read ... was Danny Buderus offside during the Leuluai. Still a sensational match....
Posted 17:42 13th February 2011
Steve Quantrill says...
Sensational game ..... Was Danny Buderus offside when he scored his try?
Posted 17:03 13th February 2011
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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