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Leeds Rhinos

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Loughborough Lightning

Match Details

28th February 2021
Round 4
Studio 001
Report Stats

Match Results

Watch On: Broadcaster Logo

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Team Stats

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Performance Stats

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Loughborough Lightning impress against Leeds Rhinos Netball

Leeds Rhinos faced their biggest challenge to date, resulting in a 31-55 loss against the dominant side, Loughborough Lightning.

A scrappy start from both sides in the first few minutes of the game saw Lightning losing their first centre pass due to the pressure of the Rhinos defensive starting VII, but they soon manage to regain possession and further, taking on a 3-0 lead.

There was no doubt that 201cm Mary Cholhok was not going to be Rhinos' biggest problem with a much shorter defensive Leeds unit. She dominated the shooting circle from the first whistle, challenging Paige Kindred and Vicki Oyesola.

The long bombs from Lightning's attacks were not going to stop the work of the talent that is Oyesola, as she continued to provide opportunities with her defensive turnovers for Rhinos. Capitalising on this became a real difficulty when the strong unit of Nat Panagarry and Beth Cobden were quick to break this down.

Rhinos showed moments of great play with minutes left on the clock for this beginning quarter, but the stars of Lighting were showing signs this was going to be a challenging match up. Hands from Cobden continued to disrupt Rhinos' attack leaving them nine goals behind after their first 12 minutes of Round 4.

Rhinos continued to feel the pressure as they are exposed by lightning with their easy penetration to circle edge, whereas Rhinos were forced to play it between Jade Clarke and Brie Grierson as they struggled for an opening with the shooting circle.

Oyesola was then substitute due to illness and was replaced with Michelle Magee on for her Rhinos debut.

Despite this big loss to the team, fans saw some great moments on the court with Clarke and Grierson finding the circle edge to spot Rushton. Rushton sunk a shot in the last few seconds of the second quarter, with the hope for a more contested second half.

Amelia Hall stepped on court in the hope of opening up the attack and inject speed and the energy Rhinos needed to put up a fight for the rest of this game.

A more exciting quarter for Rhinos saw Hall showing confidence and effectively finding her space on the circle edge to provide opportunities for Rushton under the post and many more exciting long bombs from the middle third from Rhinos' defence.

Rhinos were seen to be a more confident side and finished the third quarter from a long bomb into Rushton, finishing the last few minutes with Rhinos best goal scoring quarter yet, seeing a more settled side.

Despite Lightning's undeniable dominance this game, Rhinos did all they could to find a flow from defence to attack, with new combination and the grit from the nine players they have been left with following the injuries previously.

Rosie Harris collects a warning for persistent infringement leaving Ella Clark to pop in shots for the final few minutes with ease. With no confidence lost, Harris then goes on to turnover ball and get it to Dixon who does all she can to keep the score line from increasing.

A game smart caution for Hall in the last few seconds of the game, stopped Loughborough from gaining that final goal before the whistle blew, but Leeds Rhinos still lose this round with Lightning sealing the deal with 55-31.

Age Partnership Player of the Match: Beth Cobden (Loughborough Lightning).

Match report from Leeds Rhinos Netball / Rosie Brabrook.

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