Super League  Friday 29th September 2017  Headingley Carnegie Stadium  Att:

Squad

Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Ward, L. Sutcliffe, Singleton, Garbutt, Keinhorst, Ferres, Mullally, Walker.

Squad

Shaul, Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Minichiello, Ellis, Connor, Green, Thompson, Washbrook, Manu, Bowden, Fash.

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Liam Sutcliffe

Anthony Mullally

Stevie Ward

GOAL SCORERS:

Kallum Watkins

Kallum Watkins

Kallum Watkins

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Sika Manu

Mahe Fonua

Gareth Ellis

GOAL SCORERS:

Marc Sneyd

Marc Sneyd

Full Report

Match Official: P Bentham

Leeds Rhinos claimed a thrilling 18-16 semi-final victory over Hull to ensure that long-serving half-backs Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow will get an Old Trafford farewell.

The Rhinos prevailed in a tense clash at Headingley to secure a 10th Grand Final appearance and set up a showdown with Castleford Tigers.

That will provide a fitting farewell for McGuire and Burrow but Friday's defeat signalled the end for retiring Hull captain Gareth Ellis and there was no fairytale ending for Mahe Fonua, who is returning to the NRL.

Leeds raced into a 12-0 lead, Stevie Ward powering his way to the line in the first play.

Kallum Watkins added the conversion and he was also on target after hooker Matt Parcell had got substitute prop Anthony Mullally romping through.

The shell-shocked Ladbrokes Challenge Cup winners gradually worked their way into the game and Ellis proved unstoppable after charging onto Danny Houghton's pass.

Marc Sneyd added the goal to make it 12-6 at half-time and centre Jake Connor created a try for Fonua after the break.

Connor palmed the ball back from Sneyd's kick for second rower Sika Manu to score a try that put Hull in front for the first time , but Leeds picked themselves up and struck back when Liam Sutcliffe created a try from nothing with a weaving run to the line.

Watkins kept his nerve with the conversion to restore his side's advantage and the Rhinos clung on.

The Rhinos were forced to battle for their top-flight status after finishing in the bottom four in 2016 but their turnaround in fortunes was complete and coach Brian McDermott said: "The job is not done and, if we don't win next week it will hurt, but I think that's a huge achievement from the players who endured all sorts of ridicule."

"Things were written and said about them. We only added one bloke to the squad and for them to first off finish second and secure top-four with two games to go in itself shows what a character they've got, and to get through to the Grand Final is big."

McDermott almost brought ridicule on himself when he claimed his side could win the Grand Final shortly after they suffered a 66-10 hammering at Castleford in March.

"I believed it at the time," he said. "It wasn't a Hollywood moment, I believed we could do it.

"Because of what's gone on over the last 18 months, I reckon my group has had more honest chats than any other team in Super League. We nearly got relegated and that level of honesty now far outweighs the quality that we come up with on game day."

Hull coach Lee Radford added: "We're obviously hugely disappointed not to be going to a Grand Final. We just fell short unfortunately.

"I can't knock the effort, it was phenomenal. Leeds started like an absolute house of fire - it was like a smack between the eyes in that first 30 minutes - so to show the grit that we did and still be in the game when lot of teams would have folded was outstanding."

 

Match Action

  • 63m
    goal

    Kallum Watkins

    Leeds

  • 63m
    try

    Liam Sutcliffe

    Leeds

  • 56m
    goal

    Marc Sneyd

    Hull

  • 56m
    try

    Sika Manu

    Hull

  • 45m
    try

    Mahe Fonua

    Hull

  • 27m
    try

    Gareth Ellis

    Hull

  • 27m
    goal

    Marc Sneyd

    Hull

  • 18m
    goal

    Kallum Watkins

    Leeds

  • 18m
    try

    Anthony Mullally

    Leeds

  • 4m
    try

    Stevie Ward

    Leeds

  • 4m
    goal

    Kallum Watkins

    Leeds