Rhinos collapse after comeback charge
A COURAGEOUS fightback from the Rhinos nearly produced a first home win of the season. But, having roared back to record a 17-point swing in the scores, Tim Hutchins' side capitulated in the final minutes...
Haringey Rhinos 25
West London 27
A COURAGEOUS fightback from the Rhinos nearly produced a first home win of the season.
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But, having roared back to record a 17-point swing in the scores, Tim Hutchins' side capitulated in the final minutes.
Haringey went into the game in high spirits, having won their previous two matches, and that spilled over into an impressive opening 10 minutes.
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The home side controlled the lineout, scrum and dominated possession and territory. Having already missed two penalties, Oliver Wollaston succeeded in converting the third.
But, as West London made a rare foray up to Haringey's five-metre line, Jade Murphy cynically slowed the ball down and was sent to the sin-bin.
It proved to be a costly infringement as the visitors scored two tries within three minutes, the first from the initial penalty. Converting both, West London took a 14-3 lead.
Fortunately, Rhinos recovered to limit the damage and score before before half-time, capitalising on set-piece dominance and several phases as the powerful Austen Aggrey forced his way over the line.
Trailing by 11 points at the break, the home side again started briskly. But a pass out wide to in-form winger John McDervit was intercepted, allowing his opposite number to touch down under the posts, providing an easy conversion.
Finding themselves 21-8 down, Rhinos looked set for defeat, but instead they fought their way back to take the lead.
In the 49th minute Mark Brassy benefited from strong forward play and burst through the line to score a converted try.
Then, with 17 minutes left, Murphy characteristically darted over from short range.
And finally, in the 71st minute - with West London's line-out in disarray - Tom Gains picked one off at the tail and fell unopposed over the line, giving Rhinos a 25-21 advantage.
It proved to be a painful nine minutes. Haringey conceded two penalties within their own half, and could only watch as both efforts sailed between their posts.
Rhinos made one final charge up to the touch-line, with Cameron Howson continuing Rondel Bernard's progress from one 22 to the other. However, he conceded a penalty and the visitors gratefully punted the ball into touch to seal their victory.
Haringey travel to Barnet Elizabethans on Saturday.