Harlequins RL v. Leeds Rhinos
So, a glorious evening kick off. The Quins had come close to defeating The Best Rugby League Team in the World during their challenge cup play-off. Nearly, but not quite.
I had come along expecting to see The Best Rugby League Team in the World hand the London side their arses on a plate. Could I have been more wrong?
To start, though, the Leeds pack were massive, I mean, enormous, eight foot tall, in their stockings, each! And broad as a Yorkshire accent an'all.
The game opened with quick play, end-to-end completed sets. Leeds scored first, but Quins recovered. They did that again. As per previous discussions, the underdogs took the opportunity of a take-two from a panalty to gain an edge in this try swapping match - the psychological edge definitely proved useful.
By the start of the second half Harlequins had a lead to defend - and defend it they did with blood and guts. The West Yorks' side should have overturned that lead, but failed to convert their tries from the wing. This much, then, can be said, the Southerners prevented them from scoring through the posts.
The end quarter was marred by a fight on pitch between a newly returned from injury Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Leeds' Senior. they were both, rightly, sent to the sin bin.
There were questions about the ref. - though, I suppose they did their job right, but because the cameras were there, we had a video ref. and maybe he was consulted unnecessarilly. To be frank, I found the tedium of waiting for a result not worth it, I suspect the ref. could have made his mind up for good or ill, and let the game get on. I don't think video reffing is an improvement in RL.
Harlequins RL 28 - 24 Leeds Rhinos