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Haringey captain warns rivals to beware of rejuvenated Rhinos after first triumph

18:31 27 January 2014

Haringey Rhinos captain Tom Armer was the centre of his team

Haringey Rhinos captain Tom Armer was the centre of his team's victory, scoring the fifth try and successfully kicking every conversion. Pic: Tony Gay

TONY GAY at tonephote@aol.com

Haringey Rhinos’ club captain Tom Armer has issued a passionate rallying cry after Saturday’s first win of the season, warning rivals that his side are ready to charge up the table in Herts/Middlesex Division One.

Haringey, who were relegated last season, have struggled for much of the campaign, losing their first 13 games – but they ran in five tries at the weekend to earn a morale-boosting 35-19 home win over Bank of England.

Jack Parker touched down twice while Rhys Headley and Grant Cooper also registered – and Armer crossed the whitewash too while slotting all five conversions to secure a bonus-point victory that takes the Rhinos off the bottom of the league.

“I’m speechless, it’s the best feeling in the world,” said Armer. “I can’t stop smiling.

“We knew we could do it, it’s been a long time coming and this has shown that we’re not the whipping boys of the league - not by a long shot.

“If we can keep this form going and get a few more bonus point wins under our belt, staying in this league is not out of the question.

“The attacking display was awesome, we looked dangerous every time we had our hands on the ball. Other teams should be worried about playing the Rhinos.”

Haringey’s preparations were hampered by players pulling out at late notice, but Jock McGregor and Under-18s star Aiden Morrison answered coach Mark Whitear’s call with typical enthusiasm and excitement as they joined the Rhinos’ first XV.

The hosts came flying out of the blocks, with Parker making typically powerful runs to put Bank on the back foot, and only the ball spilling out of hands at the last minute stopped them from scoring early tries.

Duarte Rego & Tom Pert were controlling the game excellently to keep BofE guessing - mixing it up using the forwards, backs and the boot.

Bank had to resort to using the wind and kicking it to the corners, but some good work by Haringey’s back three of Armer, Andy Emmott and Dan Rycroft led to counter-attacks which ensured that the Rhinos spent the first half in control.

They finally took the lead as Parker took an excellent flat ball from Pert, juggled the ball and touched down unhindered between the posts, while Armer converted.

The game ebbed and flowed but the Rhinos were in the ascendency, using the skills they had worked on in training to get on the outside of the opposition centres, and making yards whenever they did so.

Parker scored again, wriggling free from three would-be tacklers to touch down under the sticks – but a controversial yellow card for an alleged dump tackle reduced Haringey to 14 men and BofE took full advantage to pull a try back and narrow the gap to 14-7 at half-time.

With the wind behind them and the slight slope in their favour, it was still the Rhinos’ game to lose and they started strongly again – but this time it was the forwards making dents in the opposition line.

The set pieces had worked brilliantly throughout the game, and Amrit Derry and Rob Handley were controlling the line-out while Headley, Max Miles and Tom Burrows were munching the opposition front row like they were a light breakfast.

Headley topped off a fine individual performance with a try, scoring from a pick and go off the back of a well-controlled ruck.

However, the Rhinos then started to believe the win was in the bag, and they let their standards slip.

Bank broke through some weak tackling to score under the sticks and then went on to score their third try of the match, closing the deficit to two points 21-19.

Yet Haringey picked themselves back up and started to control the game yet again - and Cooper charged over the line from 10 yards out to cap off a typically cantankerous display at inside centre.

The Rhinos were nine points up, but they refused to settle for that and, after a perfectly-weighted ball from Pert which cut out the entire BofE back line, Armer went over unopposed to put the hosts out of sight and reward coach Mark Whitear for all of his hard work with the team.

Haringey Rhinos: Burrows, Miles, Headley, Derry, Handley, Charlton, Robinson, Mabena, Rego, Pert, Armer, Cooper, Parker, Emmott, Rycroft. Subs: Thompson, Williams, McGregor

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