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Leeds Rhinos

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Manchester Thunder

Match Details

12th March 2023
Round 6
Leeds Beckett Unversity
Stats Report

Match Results

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First Centre Pass

Caroline O’Hanlon
Caroline O’Hanlon Leeds Rhinos View profile

Team Stats

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Performance Stats

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Performance Stats

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Performance Stats

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Thunder claim bragging rights over Rhinos

Manchester Thunder came out on top in the first battle of the season between Lancashire and Yorkshire, overcoming Leeds Rhinos with a 15-goal win.

The Rhinos were greeted to rapturous applause from the home fans at Leeds Beckett for the second home fixture of the season. Local rivals Manchester Thunder came into the game off the back of two wins, whilst Leeds were looking for their first win.

Leeds had been dealt a blow before the game, with Ellie Bird ruled out, so Paige Reed started her first game for the Rhinos at shooter and Brie Grierson came into the starting line up at goal attack.

Quarter one
The game started quickly with both teams scoring from their first centre passes. Leeds with the first goal through Grierson before Thunder levelled through Lenize Potgieter.

Leeds made a solid start to the game and a great intercept from Vicki Oyesola allowed Rhinos to extend their lead again through Grierson. Despite lots of pressure from the visitors, the Rhinos found goal again with Reed getting her first of the game to make it 3-1.

The momentum was with the Rhinos and soon they had an 11-6 lead – Reed scoring from a centre pass and then adding another after an intercept at the Thunder centre pass. A penalty against Kerry Almond allowed Reed to stretch her team’s lead by six goals.

Thunder grew into the half and a long shot from Pearson helped them fight back. They quickly capitalised from a turnover and then scored again from their own centre pass.

Leeds still had a two goal lead heading into the final minute of the quarter, but they lost the ball in the shooting circle which allowed Thunder to edge one goal closer before Pearson brough the game level at 17-17 at the end of Q1.

Quarter two
Rhinos secured their centre pass and scored the first goal through Reed, but Thunder took the lead for the first time when Pearson scored from a turnover ball. She then edged them two goals ahead from the next centre pass.

Rhinos head coach Liana Leota made an early change with Millie Sanders coming on for Michelle Magee and the umpires took the time to speak with the Rhinos and Thunder about tidying up the body-on-body play in the shooting circle.

It was an intense quarter with both teams battling hard and with Rhinos putting their body on the line trying to shut down Thunder’s attacking play. Thunder put up a defensive wall which Rhinos tried to break. Elle McDonald found Reed, but the goal was finished off by Grierson. Contact against Almond then allowed Rhinos to bring it back to within a goal at 22-23.

Thunder pulled away to a 28-23 lead, but contact in the circle from Thunder let Reed keep the home side on the tails of their opponents with a goal and then an intercept. A held ball from Natalie Metcalf then allowed the Rhinos to bring it to within three goals.

There was little to separate the teams and Leota had plenty to be satisfied with from her side, but it was Thunder who went in at half time with the four goal advantage at the break.

Quarter three
Thunder made the perfect start to the second half with an intercept which led to a goal for Pearson, and, from there, they laid the platform to have their strongest period of the game, with 22 goals.

A missed shot from Rhinos gave Thunder the opportunity to score, and they continued to creep further and further ahead. Rhinos’ defensive unit was impressive and made it difficult for Thunder to take the ball straight to goal, but their perseverance paid off and eventually they were able to break through.

A quick steal from Elle McDonald set up Reed to score but Thunder applied the pressure, scoring consecutive goals. Rhinos defenders continued to work hard and made some crucial interceptions, but Thunder were growing in confidence, playing a quick game, that allowed them to increase their score to 54 goals to the Rhinos’ 41 going into the final quarter.

Quarter four
Leeds didn't let their heads go down and the crowd didn't let their enthusiasm falter either with the home support cheering on their side until the final whistle.

It was a tough task for the Rhinos to come back, as Thunder continued to convert their chances.

Manchester’s attack looked in control, flying through the court, but Rhinos responded, playing the ball into space, holding on to possession and taking it down to goal.

Thunder kept the scoreboard ticking but a tenacious Rhinos continued to fight all the way. Thunder stretched out to a 15 goal lead but contact against Bowen set up an attacking opportunity for the Rhinos.

Rhinos finished the quarter strong and after an off balance, goal line intercept they played the ball through court into the hands of the Reed who scored. It was Thunder though who had done enough to take the bragging rights in the derby fixture, with the final score 67-53 to the visitors.

Match Report provided by Leeds Rhinos