Surrey Storm 38 Leeds Rhinos 49 - Vitality Superleague play-offs in sight after storming Rhinos win
It was back to business as usual for Leeds Rhinos at the Copperbox arena as they saw off Surrey Storm 49-38 in their battle to reach the semi-finals.
With the Rhinos still hoping to land a spot in the top four, Monday evening proved critical after just losing out to Loughborough Lightning the night before.
Coach Dan Ryan kept his usual starting seven that has proved so disruptive on court for the game in hand but Rhinos didn’t get the start they were looking for.
In a messy first quarter, several dropped balls, interceptions and cautions later, the Rhinos were under pressure to keep Storm at bay, goal shooter, Karen Bailey’s height proving problematic.
Storm’s player-on-player also kept Rhinos to a mere one-goal advantage; in their previous meeting Leeds had been six clear at the end of the first quarter.
After a quick break, things started looking up for Rhinos. Defensively they stepped up the pressure with Vicki Oyesola charging forward and player of the match, Emily Hollingsworth, forcing a wing attack change for Storm.
Ryan, however, kept his team the same throughout in a bid to ensure Rhinos achieved their 10th win of the season with two games to go. And the partnership between Jade Clarke and Donnell Wallams was pivotal in this.
So, can Rhinos make the top four? We will find out in their next match-up against London Pulse on Sunday, June 20.