Leeds Rhinos nostalgia: Routine Regal Trophy triumph memorable for a variety of reasons

Ellery Hanley.
Ellery Hanley.
Have your say

A ROUTINE knockout win over lower division opposition 21 years ago was memorable for a number of reasons.

Leeds’ biggest star at the time was Ellery Hanley, the finest British player of his generation.

Though born in Leeds, Hanley made his name at Bradford Northern before winning every available domestic honour during a glittering spell with Wigan.

The trophies eluded him at Leeds, but he remained one of the sport’s top stars and was in prolific form in 1994-95, finishing the campaign with an incredible 41 touchdowns.

Two of those came in the 54-24 Regal Trophy second-round win over Swinton, at Headingley on December 4 – and included his milestone 400th career try.

At the other end of the scale, the tie saw youngsters Mick Shaw and Marvin Golden make their debut, both off the bench.

Golden capped his first appearance with a try, one of nine scored by the home team.

Star of the show was emerging play-maker Graham Holroyd, who partnered Garry Schofield in the halves.

Both Schofield and Holroyd bagged a brace of tries and the latter also landed nine goals – from 10 attempts – for a personal points tally of 26.

That was the best return by a Leeds player since the 1989-90 season when Colin Maskill managed a similar total twice, against Barrow and Leigh.

David Creasser had managed 28 points – from two tries and 10 goals – against Salford in September, 1987.

It was Holroyd’s first appearance since suffering a shoulder injury in October and he was named man of the match.

Defence was coach Doug Laughton’s concern before the game and he wasn’t happy at seeing his side concede 24 points.

It was 14-14 at the end of the opening quarter, but two Leeds tries in five minutes just before the break ended Swinton’s hopes of an upset.

Leeds’ other try scorers were Esene Faimalo and Kevin Iro and the crowd was just 4,867. More than 20,000 turned up a week later, when Leeds beat Wigan 33-28.


Leeds 54

(Tries: Hanley 2, Holroyd 2, Schofield 2, Faimalo, Golden, Iro. Goals: Holroyd 9)

Swinton 24

(Tries: Lord 2, P Barrow, B Clark. Goals: Gartland 4)

REgal trophy, round 2, DECember 4, 1994

Leeds: Tait, Fallon, Iro, Innes, Cummins, Schofield, Holroyd, Faimalo, Lowes, Mann, Mercer, Eyres, Hanley. Subs Shaw, Golden.

Swinton: Welsby, Ashcroft, Purcell, Turner, Lord, P Barrow, Clark, Forber, Gartland, T Barrow, Olsen, Whittle, Marsh. Subs Harthill, Prince.

Referee: Russell Smith.

Attendance: 4,867.