Leeds 25-14 Toulouse: Rhinos win battle of Super League’s bottom two

James Donaldson Leeds Rhinos
James Donaldson of Leeds Rhinos celebrates his try

Leeds picked up their second win of the Super League season thanks to a 25-14 scoreline against fellow strugglers Toulouse.

In what seemed like an early crunch game towards the foot of the table, Toulouse took the lead against the run of play midway through the first half through Paul Marcon but tries from James Donaldson and Brad Dwyer ensured the Rhinos took a 12-6 lead into the break.

Rhinos extended their advantage through Tom Briscoe before Rhyse Martin converted a penalty and Kruise Leeming’s drop goal. Matty Russell replied for the visitors before Dwyer crossed for the second time. Junior Vaivai’s late try was not enough to stop Rhinos from taking the points.

Full report

The Rhinos started the game on the front foot as they forced the visitors onto their own goal line in the opening minutes. The hosts almost found an opening through Ash Handley but he was adjudged to have gone into touch.

A brief moment of respite was then greeted with another charge from Leeds, captain Leeming’s neat defence-splitting kick was fed through to Martin before he was denied on the goal line.

The French visitors took the lead with their first foray as Tony Gigot’s high kick picked out Marcon who rolled over the whitewash. Gigot added the extras to make it 6-0 in the 17th minute.

The hosts levelled things up just before the half-hour mark when Dwyer’s ball from dummy half found Donaldson, who went over. Martin’s conversion levelled the scores.

Leeds thought they had taken the lead in the 35th minute when Morgan Gannon touched down after receiving a crossfield kick but referee Tom Grant ruled the effort to be offside.

Moments later, the hosts finally had the advantage for the first time in the game when Dwyer’s dummy fooled the Toulouse defence before he ran through to touch down, with Martin’s conversion making it 12-6 at the break.

HT: Leeds Rhinos 12-6 Toulouse Olympique

Jack Sinfield Leeds Rhinos
Jack Sinfield in action for Leeds

The second period started in similar fashion to the first and Leeds extended their advantage 10 minutes after the restart when Briscoe dived over under pressure in the corner. Martin missed his only conversion of the evening, making it 16-6.

The Rhinos added two more points to their tally to make it 18-6 when Dwyer converted a penalty after Toulouse spilled a high kick before regaining possession in an offside position.

With 20 minutes to go, Rhinos took the game further away from the struggling visitors when Leeming’s drop goal nudged his side further in front.

Just as Rhinos threaten to take the game away from Toulouse, the visitors scored a try with just over 15 minutes to go when Russell touched down in the corner – but Gigot failed to add the extras.

Leeds again extended their lead when Dwyer sprinted from dummy half and crossed the whitewash for his second of the evening before Martin’s conversion made it 25-10.

Toulouse made the most of some late pressure when Vaivai touched down but it was not enough and they remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

FT: Leeds Rhinos 25-14 Toulouse Olympique

Leeds: Sutcliffe; Handley, Broadbent, Simpson, Briscoe; Leeming, Sinfield; Prior, Dwyer, Oledzki, Gannon, Martin, Smith. Subs: Thompson, Mustapha, Donaldson, O’Connor.

Tries: Donaldson, Dwyer (2), Briscoe Goals: Martin 4 Drop Goals: Leeming 1

Toulouse: Ashall-Bott; Marcon, Hankinson, Vaivai, Russell; Gigot, Marion; Sangare, Cunningham, Navarrete, Dixon, Stefani, Bretherton. Subs: Pelissier, Springer, Pezet, Hansen.

Tries: Marcon, Russell, Vaivai Goals: Gigot

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