R6: Rhinos Vs Wasps
An incredibly close game as Rhinos finally host their first home game against Wasps.
History was made when Leeds Rhinos faced Wasps netball in their round 6 fixture on Sunday 6th March. Netball returned to Leeds and was showcased at the First Direct Arena for the first time in netball history.
Clarke got the game underway which saw Rhinos score the first goal of the fixture. Strong defensive pressure from Keenan and Oyesola forced Wasps off the backline, Rhinos transitioned smoothly and the score was 2-0. Wasps created a turnover and Dunn got Wasps first goal of the game. Rushton moved well into the circle creating play and adding another to her tally. Wasps displayed patience whilst experiencing tight defensive pressure from Rhinos, Dunn still managed to find the net and the game was level at 3 all. A penalty was called against Huckle onto Rushton and second time on the shot Sienna sunk it 4-3. An attacking contact was called against Dunn and Keenan took the ball, after a patient transition Sienna gets another 5-3. A tussle within the circle for the rebound but the ball ended up in Wasps hands, Rhinos defence proved clinical and forced Wasps off the side-line and the Rushton and Burger combination proved strong allowing Rhinos to continue adding to their tally. Grierson was calm and controlled who reset back to the transverse line, patient play but this passage of play ended up with a Wasps goal 8-7. Burger held strong under the post, but Wasps were given possession, 9-10. Rushton remained composed and added another to her tally. Rhinos pilled on the pressure to Wasps last centre pass of the game but they still managed to take the ball to goal. Clarke took the last centre of the quarter with 16 seconds remaining allowing them to enter quarter time just one goal behind guests Wasps 11-12.
To start the second quarter Clinton entered the court at GS. Wasps entered this quarter confident holding a one goal lead. Rhinos defence remained strong and disrupted Wasps transition but they continued to still find the net. Rushton remained strong for the rebound but is called for contact, Oyesola regained possession for Rhinos, a long shot from Rushton reduces the deficit to 3, 12-15. Rhinos continued to show smart play and the gap became smaller. Keenan picked up a ball with a hand from the post keeping it on court and after a smooth and smart transition the deficit was down to just one 17-18. A strong defensive effort from Rhinos saw the ball go off the backline for the Wasps shooting duo and a strong hold from Clinton saw her level the game at 18 all. The game continued goal for goal for the remainder of the half. Keenan ended this quarter with a turnover but the long ball with seconds remaining on the clock didn’t reach anyone. Rhinos ended the half with a one goal lead 24-23.
Quarter three saw Wasps make changes in the attacking end and it was Rhinos who took the first shot of the second half. Wasps added on two to their tally giving them the lead again by just one goal. Rhinos were pushed off the side-line but Grierson added pressure and tipped the ball which was picked up by Rushton, Clinton remained composed and it was 26 all. Keenan took a turnover and Sienna drove away from the circle to allow Clinton some space to level the game at 27 a piece. Clarke and Rushton combined well and Rushton was strong on the rebound taking the goal 29-29. Play continued to be goal for goal until Wasps earned possession however after a tricky transition for Wasps the ball ended back up in Keenans possession but time was up for quarter three and Rhinos were entering the final 15 3 goals behind, 33-36.
Moving into the final quarter Tracey Robinson, Rhinos head coach made changes to the 7 out on court. Grierson moved into the Ga position, Hall entered the game at WA, Rushton moved back into GS and Magee took to the WD position. Rhinos charged confidently into quarter four despite the deficit and instantly caused a held ball, Rushton remained strong under to post and the game was back to just one 35-36. Clarke picked up ball and after a strong and quick transition Grierson got her first of the game to level it at 36 all. Allison got her own rebound for Wasps and the game remained level. Rushton remained strong in the circle and after a turnover from Grierson on the line it was a 2 goal game, 40-38. Footwork was called against Wasps Dunn and Rushton continued successful under the post bringing Rhinos lead to four, 42-38. Oyesola and Keenan combined to earn another turnover but the ball went straight through Rhino hands, Dunn was composed for Wasps and it levelled up at 43 all. Rushton remained calm and added another to her tally giving Rhinos a one goal lead with 25 seconds remaining. Oyesola made a tip giving Rhinos possession with seconds remaining, Rhinos kept possession and time was called. Rhinos took the win 44-43 in-front of a passionate Yorkshire crowd.
Rhinos were back to winning ways and now look to a double header weekend away, when they face Severn Stars at Worchester Arena on Friday 11th and Manchester Thunder for the first derby of the year at Manchester’s AO arena on Saturday 12th March. Rhinos return home later in the month at Sheffield’s EIS on March 26th.
GS: Sigi Burger
GA: Sienna Rushton
WA: Brie Grierson
C: Jade Clarke
WD: Emily Hollingworth
GD: Vicki Oyesola
GK: Tuaine Keenan
Reserves: Rebekah Airey, Amy Clinton, Michelle Magee, Lydia Walker, Amelia Hall
GS: Rachel Dunn
GA: Lucy Parize
WA: Iona Christian
C: Leah Goss
WD: Lauren Nicholls
GD: Ella Powell-Davies
GK: Josie Huckle
Reserves: Gezelle Allison, Rachael Fee, Ellie Gibbons, Christina Shaw, Caroline Tarnowski
Match Report : Tyler Sue Chapman, Leeds Rhinos
Pic : Rhinos Twitter