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Wayne Bennett names 19-man squad for Elland Road Test

James Graham will Captain England in the Third Test against New Zealand at Elland Road this Sunday, as the national side aim to secure a 3-0 victory against the Kiwis.

Head coach Wayne Bennett has made four changes to his 19-man squad: Leeds Rhinos half-back Richie Myler, Warrington Wolves’ Stefan Ratchford, Wigan Warriors’ Joe Greenwood and Wakefield Trinity centre Reece Lyne come in to the side to replace Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Tomkins, Daryl Clark and George Burgess.

Second row Elliott Whitehead will make his 20th appearance for England in this Sunday’s Test.

England Squad in full:

  1. Jonny Lomax (St Helens, Orrell St James)
  2. Tommy Makinson (St Helens, Wigan St Judes)
  3. Jake Connor (Hull FC, Siddal)
  4. Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
  5. Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants, Deighton Juniors)
  6. George Williams (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
  7. Richie Myler (Leeds Rhinos, Halton Farnworth Hornets)
  8. Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves, New Springs Lions)
  9. Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders, East Hull)
  10. James Graham (c) (St George Illawarra Dragons, Blackbrook)
  11. John Bateman (Wigan Warriors, Bradford Dudley Hill )
  12. Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders, West Bowling)
  13. Luke Thompson (St Helens, Bold Miners)
  14. Adam Milner (Castleford Tigers, Stanley Rangers)
  15. Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)
  16. Joe Greenwood (Wigan Warriors, Saddleworth Rangers)
  17. Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves, Wigan St Patricks)
  18. Mark Percival (St Helens, Halton Farnworth Hornets)
  19. Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity, Ideal Isberg)


Jonathan Doidge has been appointed as BBC Radio Leeds’ new cricket correspondent to cover Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

Jonathan will take over the commentary mic from Dave Callaghan (known as Cally) who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Born in Horsforth in Leeds, Jonathan has been a regular on the county circuit for a number of years and has expert knowledge of the game and its players. He also has over two decades worth of experience in sports journalism and broadcasting.

Jonathan said: “I enjoyed many hours sharing the mic covering cricket with Cally. He was a friend as well as a colleague and I understand that he meant a great deal to his listeners.

“It will be both an honour and a privilege to cover my county. I am very excited about what lies ahead. Roll on April!”

Jonathan will cover all County Championship games, both home and away, along with the shorter one day, and T20 matches.

Jonathan added: “There has been a lifelong passion for cricket in my family. Both my brothers represented Yorkshire at various levels and I still play (badly!) when I can. I know what cricket means to Yorkshire people and I have a great respect for both that and the game itself.”

BBC Radio Leeds Sports Editor, Jonathan Buchan, said: “Whilst we will never be able to replace our beloved Dave Callaghan, I hope our listeners will welcome Jonathan in as one of their own. His knowledge of the game and passion for the county shines through and that was a major part in the decision to add him to our team. He already has a strong relationship with the club and the characters that have stood at the crease both in the past and present day.”

Listeners will be able to hear ball-by-ball commentary of every Yorkshire game in the 2019 season via the BBC Radio Leeds website

Rapid revival from Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos 46 Catalans Dragons 10

Jonathan Doidge at Headingley Carnegie

When you have just succumbed to a record Super League defeat, you probably don’t much care how your next two points are won so long as they come quickly. This, an eventual runaway success for Leeds, was achieved the hard way for the most part, before a welcome flourish. They deserved this and should rightly gain in confidence from it.

A surfeit of first half penalties stymied many attempts to fashion opportunities and rendered the contest impotent in terms of momentum.
Led forward by the industrious Matt Parcell, whose try took the game away from the Dragons just as they were threatening to get right back in it before the break, the Rhinos played with purpose.

Most of the good stuff that the home side managed to string together in between the sound of the whistle was, in part, down to Parcell, while Adam Cuthbertson was also very effective, bagging a couple of well-earned tries.

There was a much greater feeling of structure about the team, both in attack and defence. Others of significant influence were Joel Moon and Jimmy Keinhorst, while Danny McGuire grabbed his first try in competitive action since the 2015 Grand Final.

Jordan Baldwinson got a first start for the home side, while Carl Ablett was back from suspension and the team were better for it. Rob Burrow’s return from illness was not too taxing, the veteran getting the final 25 minutes and having the desired impact, both creating and scoring.

Catalans tried going route one, hitting the home side down the middle and appearing reluctant to use much in the way of width. Their kicking game was probably better than the Rhinos’, with Walsh causing more problems with what went aerial from his boot than anything that Leeds could muster.

However, otherwise there was little imagination from the Dragons’ attack, especially after the loss of Greg Bird, who was hit late by Singleton in the first-half and had to have seven stiches in his head as a result, so missing the entire second half. Jodie Broughton also sustained a bicep injury.

“I thought they were really good. It thought we handled a real difficult night extremely well,” said Rhinos coach Brian McDermott of his charges.

“We were up against it weren’t we. Down to 11 men at one stage and we showed real commitment to each other.”

On the subject of the officiating, the coach chose his words carefully. “I’m caught between saying something which I very tame and then just saying that there’s not much point. If you were to look at the penalties I would say that every one of them was a penalty. I don’t disagree. But it’s not the version of rugby league we’ve been playing for four rounds and that’s all I’d say.”

“Regardless of last week it’s just good. I’ve been our biggest critic of our offense so far and some of that has started to click, so we don’t go by the usual mundain repetitive attack that I think you see in some teams in Super League.
“I thought the pack were great,” he added. “Jimmy Keinhorst was outstanding again. Joel Moon played in the pivots and was very effective. Danny McGuire looked in control of everything and that’s great to see.

“I thought Adam Cuthbertson was the difference again. He’s getting back to his best. He’s one of those blokes that when you take him out of our team we’re a lesser version in attack of what we’d like to do and put him in it and he’s a big part of what we do.

“This tonight doesn’t write off last week. It still hurts. We are still embarrassed by it. I’ve got the best job in the game and part of that best job in the game is dealing with the losses. When we lose everybody cheers and when we win it’s oh Leeds should win. It throws up some real challenges and tonight was a good night but we’ve got to knock about another 10 versions of tonight together over the next few weeks.”

Catalans counterpart Laurent Frayssinous was not happy with his team’s approach to the contest.
“(I am) Disappointed with the result and disappointed with the attitude we brought tonight,” he said. “Leeds wanted it more than us in every department. There were some signs in the first half defensively that we were not ready for a big battle.

“We conceded 40 point in three games and tonight we conceded more points than we did in three games so that’s disappointing. Offensively in the first half we won the ruck. When we carried the ball strong we had a bit of support and fight on the ground but defensively we were not on our game.”

Leeds led 14-4 at the break, Cuthbertson taking a parcel offload five metres out to set the scoring in motion, with Sutcliffe’s conversion and a further penalty, awarded against the Dragons for dissent, giving them an eight point lead.

Amid all of that, Singleton was put on report for flying in late on Bird, while shortly after Sutcliffe’s penalty goal, Golding did well to hold Justin Horo, who had picked up the ricochet when Walsh’s bomb came back off the posts and had looked like scoring.

The penalty frenzy continued apace, with Cuthbertson taking a 10-minute sabbatical for a professional foul, and after a team warning against Leeds, Keinhorst also had an enforced breather for holding down.

The pair’s time off the field overlapped by about a minute, giving Catalans time to ship play left on the back of the penalty and score through Brayden Wiliame.

Back to 12 men, Parcell did well to hold off three men on the way to scoring his try, after exchanging passes with Cuthbertson, and when Keinhorst threw and dummy and hit the gas to score six minutes after the break, it looked as though that was probably that.

However, Richard Myler’s suspect-looking pass was carried over for a try by Julian Bousquet which gave the Frenchmen hope, with Walsh’s conversion making it 20-10. That was where the fun ended for Frayssinous’ men, however, as Leeds came home in a style that had appeared unthinkable eight days earlier.

Keinhorst intercepted Walsh’s pass to scatter the defence, Burrow sending Cuthbertson over for a second try on the next play. Then the diminutive number seven zipped through just inside the Dragons’ half and scorched away to score under the posts.

Keinhorst was at it again just two minutes later, making a break down the left before drawing full back Bosc and sending McGuire over. Sutcliffe then got on the end of a Burrow grubber to complete the scoring, adding a total of nine goals from as many attempts.

1 Ashton Golding 8
2 Tom Briscoe 7
3 Kallum Watkins 7
4 Joel Moon 8
5 Ryan Hall 7
6 Danny McGuire (C) 7
14 Liam Sutcliffe 7
10 Adam Cuthbertson 9
9 Matt Parcell 8
16 Brad Singleton 7
18 Jimmy Keinhorst 8
12 Carl Ablett 7
24 Jordan Baldwinson 7

21 Josh Walters 6
7 Rob Burrow 8
20 Anthony Mullally 6
15 Brett Delaney 6

Tries: Cuthbertson (8, 58), Parcell (36), Keinhorst (46), Burrow (65), McGuire (67), Sutcliffe (77)
Goals: Sutcliffe 9/9

Catalans Dragons

16 Thomas Bosc 6
2 Jodie Broughton 5
18 Vincent Duport 6
4 Brayden Wiliame 6
21 Ian Thornley 6
6 Luke Walsh 7
7 Richard Myler 6
20 Luke Burgess 6
9 Paul Aiton 7
10 Remi Casty (C) 6
15 Ben Garcia 6
12 Justin Horo 6
13 Greg Bird 5

Subs (all used)
11 Louis Anderson 6
14 Julian Bousquet 7
17 Jason Baitieri 7
23 Alrix Da Costa 6

Tries: Wiliame (30), Bousquet (50)
Goals: Walsh 1/2

Attendance: 13,208
Referee: James Child
HT: 14 – 4
Penalties: 9-9
Man of the Match: Adam Cuthbertson (nearing his best again and two tries to boot)
Weather: Mild, dry
Match rating: 3/5

“Sometimes you’ve got to be kicked in the nuts”: McDermott

Leeds coach Brian McDermott says that his team can win the Grand Final this year, despite being “kicked in the nuts” with a record Super League defeat for the club at Castleford in Round Three.

The Rhinos were quick to turn things around after their 66-10 loss at their arch local rivals, running in seven tries against Catalans to emerge 46-10 winners on Friday night.

“I believe we can win the Grand Final and I believed it last week,” said McDermott, after his team put up what was unquestionably their best performance so far this season.

“I was going to make a big statement last week and Phil (Daly) told me to wind my neck in. Experience tells you that sometimes you’ve got to be kicked in the nuts to find out the best of you and last week we got a certain amount of bruising around our groin area!”

“This tonight doesn’t write off last week. It still hurts. We are still embarrassed by it. I’ve got the best job in the game and part of that best job in the game is dealing with the losses.

“When we lose everybody cheers and when we win it’s oh Leeds should win. It throws up some real challenges and tonight was a good night but we’ve got to knock about another 10 versions of tonight together over the next few weeks.”

Meanwhile, there was relief for Super League’s all-time record tryscorer Danny McGuire. The Leeds skipper, whose 2016 season was torn apart by injury, scored his first competitive try since the 2015 Grand Final and said “It’s a bit of a relief. It’s good to get over the whitewash and I was really pleased with the collective effort from the boys.”

Having been one of many Rhinos to receive some criticism a week earlier, McGuire admits that getting back to proper match sharpness has taken a bit of time, though he feels that he has turned a corner. “I am starting to feel good and get my confidence back. It doesn’t matter how many games you have played it takes a while to find your feet after you’ve been out for a while.

“Even though we scored over 40 points I think it was our defence that won it tonight. We weren’t good enough last week but if you don’t turn up defensively against Catalan and meet them head on you get steamrolled and our middle boys did really well tonight.”