FANS’ FAVOURITE Barrie McDermott had many qualities as a rugby league player including toughness, ball handling ability and a tremendous desire to win – but goal kicking was not among them.
In his 283 appearances for Rhinos, McDermott was trusted with a conversion attempt only once – in a game 12 years ago today – and he missed.
The occasion was a Challenge Cup semi-final against French underdogs Toulouse at Huddersfield on July 31, 2005.
Rhinos were given some trouble early on, but proved far too strong over the course of the 80 minutes and had their place in the final secured well before the end.
On the final play, Willie Poching scored Rhinos’ 10th try to make the score 56-18 and McDermott, in his final season for the club, was given the opportunity to add the extras.
He sent his kick off-target.
Rhinos endured some anxious moments in the first half and the Super League and World Club champions led only 22-18 at the break.
Toulouse, who had beaten Widnes Vikings in the previous round and included former Rhinos youngster Tommy Gallagher in their line-up, led twice in the opening 40 minutes.
They went ahead early on through a try by Adrien Viala and though Chris McKenna touched down for Rhinos, James Wynne crossed to give the French team the lead again.
Gareth Ellis went in for Leeds’ second try, but Damien Couturier added a penalty to an earlier conversion to square matters at 12-12.
Leeds seemed to be taking control through tries by Danny McGuire and Ali Lauitiiti, but Sebastien Raguin went over and Couturier converted on 39 minutes and Leeds fans were in anxious mood during the break.
Marcus Bai scored a minute into the second half and Mark Calderwood and Rob Burrow – who kicked eight conversions – also touched down in the third quarter to end the French resistance before McGuire, Chev Walker and Poching added to Rhinos’ tally late on, though the final scoreline was harsh on Toulouse.
Leeds Rhinos 56 (Tries: McKenna, Ellis, McGuire (2), Lauitiiti, Bai, Calderwood, Burrow, Walker, Poching. Goals: Burrow 8)
Toulouse 18 (Tries: Viala, Wynne, Raguin. Goals: Couturier 3)
Challenge Cup semi-final at Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield.
Leeds Rhinos: Mathers, Calderwood, Walker, Senior, Bai, McGuire, Burrow, Ward, Diskin, Lauitiiti, McKenna, McDermott, Ellis. Subs: Bailey, Dunemann, Scruton, Poching.
Toulouse: Murphy, Lima, Couturier, Estebanez, Janzac, Mulhall, Wynne, Faure, Gay, Gallagher, Delpoux, Raguin, Viala. Subs: Prizzon, Vincent, Frayssinet, Almuzara.
Referee: Richard Silverwood.