NOT MANY players wait a decade for their first-team debut.
Prop Richard Moore did that, finally pulling on a Leeds Rhinos jersey for a competitive match on February 26, 2012 – 10 years after a previous spell with the club.
Born in Keighley, Moore played in Rhinos’ academy alongside future stars including Rob Burrow, Danny McGuire and Ryan Bailey.
But he didn’t make a first-team breakthrough and left for Bradford Bulls in 2002, later having spells with Leigh Centurions, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Crusaders.
Following the Welsh outfit’s demise he was a surprise signing for Leeds ahead of the 2012 campaign.
He made 16 substitute appearances for Rhinos that year and doubled his tally in 2013 – including three starts – before moving on to Hunslet.
He played in Hawks’ 2014 League One promotion-final win over Oldham at Headingley, moved to Halifax for two seasons and is now, aged 36, at Featherstone Rovers.
Moore’s Leeds debut came in another first, Rhinos’ maiden game on Widnes Vikings’ artificial iPitch.
Halton Stadium hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Rhinos over the past couple of years, but on that occasion it suited Leeds’ pacy outside-backs and Ben Jones-Bishop and Ryan Hall both bagged a brace, along with Rob Burrow, in a comfortable 44-16 victory.
Jones-Bishop scored the opener on 16 minutes, finishing off a flowing move also involving Hall and McGuire and Kevin Sinfield landed the first of his six goals. Burrow’s double came in successive sets soon afterwards, but Widnes – whose side included former Leeds man Ben Cross and current Rhino Anthony Mullally – rallied with tries by Patrick Ah Van and Rhys Hanbury and an Ah Van conversion.
Jones-Bishop added a second touchdown before the break and then Hall and Zak Hardaker crossed.
Paddy Flynn pulled a try back, improved by Ah Van, but Leeds finished with a flourish as Kallum Watkins danced over and then Hall scored from McGuire’s kick.
Moore came off the substitutes’ bench and said after the game: “It is great to finally get to play for Leeds.
“I have waited 10 years to do this and it feels good to have done it.”
Widnes Vikings 16
(Tries: Ah Van, Hanbury, Flynn. Goals: Ah Van 2)
Leeds Rhinos 44 (Tries: Jones-Bishop 2, Burrow 2, Hall 2, Hardaker, Watkins. Goals: Sinfield 6)
February 26, 2012, Super League
Widnes Vikings: Briscoe, Flynn, Marsh, Isa, Ah Van, White, Hanbury, Cross, Clarke, Davies, Winterstein, Allen, Cahill. Subs Finnigan, Pickersgill, Craven, Mullally.
Leeds Rhinos: Webb, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Griffin, Burrow, Leuluai, Delaney, Hauraki, Ablett. Subs McShane, Kirke, Moore, Pitts.
Referee: Steve Ganson.
Leeds were beaten 38-4 at Headingley by NRL champions North Queensland Cowboys in the World Club Challenge a year ago yesterday. Rhinos made a fight of it in the first half, Rob Burrow scoring their try as the sides went in locked at 4-4, but the Aussies were too strong in the final 40.
Rhinos’ hold on the World Club Challenge trophy was prised loose by Melbourne Storm, who won 18-14 at Headingley four years ago today. Ryan Hall and Jamie Jones-Buchanan were Leeds’ try scorers and Kevin Sinfield kicked three goals.
Nine years ago today, Scott Donald and Keith Senior both crossed twice in a 34-6 home Super League win over Catalans Dragons. Other try scorers were Danny McGuire, Kylie Leuluai and Ian Kirke. Kevin Sinfield landed two goals and Rob Burrow added one.
Leeds’ first Super League-winning campaign began with a 58-14 Headingley demolition of London Broncos on this day 13 years ago. Marcus Bai scored a hat-trick on his debut, Chev Walker, Keith Senior and Rob Burrow each bagged a brace and Mark Calderwood also crossed, with Kevin Sinfield landing nine conversions.