Leeds Rhinos Nostalgia: Hull’s fightback could not spoil Senior’s big occasion

Leeds Rhinos' Keith Senior, scoring a try as Hull's players Tommy Lee and Shaun Berrigan, pull him to the ground.
Leeds Rhinos' Keith Senior, scoring a try as Hull's players Tommy Lee and Shaun Berrigan, pull him to the ground.
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ONE OF Leeds Rhinos’ great players of the Super League era reached a milestone eight years ago tomorrow.

Keith Senior celebrated his 500th career game with a try as Rhinos defeated Hull 43-30 in a dramatic encounter on July 4, 2009.

At the time it was Rhinos’ highest away score against the Black and Whites, but despite leading 30-6 late in the first half Leeds were forced to endure a nervous second 40 as Hull staged a stunning rally.

Senior’s try, which came after 14 minutes, was the 230th touchdown of his career.

The Great Britain centre began at Sheffield Eagles – playing in Super League’s opening match in Paris in March, 1996 – and joined Leeds three years later.

Senior provided the final pass for Ryan Hall to score the Saturday evening clash’s opening try and was then involved in the build-up as the winger bagged his 21st score of the season to make it 12-0 after just eight minutes.

Shaun Berrigan pulled a try back for Hull – and Danny Tickle landed the first of his five conversions from as many attempts – but scores from Senior, Scott Donald and Kevin Sinfield made it 30-6 eight minutes before the break.

Hull had a try disallowed by video referee Ben Thaler, who spotted an obstruction on Sinfield by Paul King, before Tickle crossed to cut the gap to 18 points at the interval.

Leeds looked to be in full control when Ashley Gibson scored early in the second half, but ex-Rhinos winger Gareth Raynor’s try began a fightback which left the visiting fans biting their nails.

Kirk Yeaman forced his way over to make it 36-24 and though Rob Burrow landed a drop goal during a rare Leeds attack, Mike Burnett’s try left only seven points difference between the teams inside the final 10 minutes. Hull had the scent of a remarkable win, but Burrow’s kick forced a repeat set and from that Ali Lauitiiti’s one-handed offload sent Lee Smith over and Sinfield – Rhinos’ man of the match – landed his seventh goal to complete the scoring.

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