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2020-02-03 19:43:30资讯 253262

Leeds Rhinos 18Lee Smith gave Leeds Rhinos the perfect leaving present as his dramatic double gave Rhinos an historic third straight Grand Final win. Centre Smith leaves for Wasps RU this week, but ensured he will forever be remembered by the Rhinos faithful. His second try, with less than eight minutes remaining, was far from clear-cut as video referee Phil Bentham took an age to decide whether he was onside from Danny McGuires clever kick. It was a borderline decision that was roundly booed by the St Helens support - as it condemned them to a hat-trick of Old Trafford defeats against the Rhinos. Much of the pre-match build-up had focused on whether Sean Long could write the perfect final chapter to his Saints career before he heads to Hull FC. But he was upstaged at the Theatre of Dreams by Smith - who was also the man of the match in last seasons decider. This time his captain Kevin Sinfield was handed the Harry Sunderland Trophy - but this was a true team effort. Compelling Leeds were on the back foot for much of a tight, compelling contest, but their defence restricted Mick Potters side to a solitary try before Smith stepped forward with his vital

late intervention. It didnt take long for the first flashpoint between two teams who have simmered all season. Less than a minute had been played when Leeds full-back Brent Webb was pulled up for a high shot on A

de Gardner - and referee Steve Ganson then penalised the Rhinos defence for offside as James Graham prepared his first charge. Flame-haired prop Graham had found himself at the centre of the controversy in the last meeting at Headingley, when he pointedly refused to shake hands at the end of a fiery encounter.

But he put that aside in a strong opening 10 minutes as Saints made the better start. Potters side almost took the lead when the Rhinos failed to contest a Long high kick, and Webb was forced to clear as Gardner went for the line. Another dangerous Long effort then just ran dead before the on-rushing Keiron Cunningham could capitalise on the position. But Saints would not be denied in the 13th minute. A last tackle kick from Jon Wilkin bounced fortunately into the arms of young gun Kyle Eastmond, who darted over from 25 metres out. Eastmond is due to start talks with the club over a new contract

soon - and w

ith Warrington watching on, his early try will have added a little more substance to his demands. The youngster added the conversion to his own try, and a penalty made it 8-0 after Keith Senior was harshly penalised for obstruction. Saints had pretty much dominated up until that point, but the Rhinos found a route back into the game on the halfhour mark. Hooker Matt Diskin was the scorer, burrowing over from dummy half on the last tackle for a try that will have disappointed the St Helens defence. Kevin Sinfields conversion

attempt hit the right post, and Leeds suffered more disappointment when impact sub Ali Lauitiiti limped off five minutes before the interval. But that was soon forgotten when the Rhinos struck again soon after. There appeared to be little danger when Danny McGuire kicked through

on the

last play. But Francis Meli fumbled the ball on the line and Lee Smith - in his last game for the club - pounced to touch down. Sinfield was again unsuccessful with the conversion, leaving the sides locked at 8-8 at the half time break. If Potter had been left frus

trated by his sides finish to the first half, he would have been pulling his hair out at the start of the second. Winger Gardner allowed Sinfields kick-off to roll into touch, and moments later the Leeds skipper was slotting over a drop goal to give his side the lead for the first time. Gardner almost made amends when he dived for the corner after Matt Gidleys superb break. But he was bundled into touch by a double effort from Ryan Hall and Webb, although the Leeds full-back was penalised for going in with the knees. That gave Saints a full set on the Rhinos line, but the chance was wasted when Maurie Faasavalu dropped James Robys poor pass. Potters team did edge back in front though through the unlikeliest of sources. Leeds scrum-half Rob Burrow - the smallest man on the pitch - was penalised for a high tackle on opposite number Long. Eastmond made no mistake from close range, but the lead last

ed less than five minutes as Sinfield responded in kind when Cunningham was penalised for interference in front of his own posts. Leeds Rhinos: Webb - Donald, Smith, Senior, Hall - McGuire, Burrow - Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield. Subs: Lauitiiti,Bailey, Kirke, Burgess ST HELENS: Wellens - Gardner, Gidley, Eastmond, Meli - Pryce, Long - Graham, Cunningham, Puletua, Flannery, Wilkin, Gilmour. Subs: Hargreaves,Faasavalu, Roby, Clough Referee

: S Ganson.