Rhinos can’t Full-ow the leaders
Haringey Rhinos 13 Fullerians 16
HARINGEY Rhinos let slip a half-time lead to crash to their fourth league defeat in a row against leaders Fullerians at New River Stadium.
After three straight losses following their bright start to the season, Haringey knew victory was vital if they were to regain some momentum and threaten the teams at the top.
However, despite leading 7-3 at the break thanks to a Rubert Jonker inspired first-half display, the Rhinos tossed the points away as Fullerians came storming back.
It was the visitors who put the first points on the board with a penalty kick, but Rhinos hit back at the end of the first half in a move which started as scrum-half Jade Murphy released Jonker, who crashed through the opposition defence.
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Two more rucks followed, with the ball recycled back to Jonker, and the player-coach again crashed through the defence to score in the corner.
Murphy kicked the crucial touchline conversion to add to the Rhinos’ lead, and the hosts took a four-point lead into the break against the pacesetters in London Division 3 North West
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A penalty goal saw Fullerians narrow the gap at the start of the second half, and Haringey then suffered another blow as they lost Shaun Huiskamp, prop Derrick Cordy and Murphy to injury.
The Rhinos briefly extended their advantage as industrious work at the breakdown forced a penalty, which was duly kicked by stand-in kicker Gareth Jones.
However, Fullerians were next to score with a converted try that took them into a 13-10 lead, leaving the home side chasing the game with time running out.
However, a chip and chase by winger John Mehr (pictured left), with support from the fresh legs of substitute hooker Nick Yates, forced Fullerians into giving away a penalty, and Jones slotted the ball between the posts to tie the scores at 13-13.
Both sides knew the next points could be crucial and, disastrously for the Rhinos, their own indiscipline saw them give away easy points soon after equalising, as Fullerians kicked their way to a 16-13 lead.
Jones had another penalty chance to level, but saw his kick fly agonisingly wide of the uprights, and with that miss the Rhinos’ final chance had gone. Seventh-placed Haringey visit eighth-placed London Nigerian this Saturday.
Haringey Rhinos: Berry, Wood, Cordy, Howson, Hawkes, Evans, Jakens, Gaines, Murphy, Jonker, Mehr, Jones, Whitear, Huiskamp, Tommy, Whitear, Yates, McDevitt.