Leeds Rhinos: Opportunity knocks for hat-trick hero Keinhorst

Jimmy Keinhorst goes in to score his hat-trick try.  Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Jimmy Keinhorst goes in to score his hat-trick try. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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SIX DAYS ago he captained a young Leeds Rhinos team which was thrashed 50-12 at Keighley Cougars.

Today he was landing in Australia to begin preparations for the World Club Challenge.

Jimmy Keinhorst celebrates his hat-trick try.

Jimmy Keinhorst celebrates his hat-trick try.

It hasn’t been a normal sort of week for Leeds Rhinos’ German international Jimmy Keinhorst, but sport is all about opportunities and Keinhorst took his when it unexpectedly arrived ahead of the Betfred Super League round two clash with Hull KR.

Joel Moon wasn’t risked due to a leg injury, so Liam Sutcliffe moved to stand-off and Keinhorst received a call-up at centre.

He responded by scoring a hat-trick in Rhinos’ 20-11 success which will send them into Friday’s world title match against NRL champions Melbourne Storm with two victories under their belt.

Reflecting on a whirlwind few days, Keinhorst said: “I came into the team on Wednesday when Moony dropped out.

Jimmy Keinhorst scores his second try against Hull KR.

Jimmy Keinhorst scores his second try against Hull KR.

“He wasn’t right, so I came in for the team run and hopefully I did a good enough job for the team.”

Keinhorst’s hat-trick – one try late in the first half and the other two in the final 12 minutes – was the difference between the sides, after Leeds had trailed 10-0 and 11-10.

It was an error-ridden performance by the champions, but outstanding goalline defence kept them in the game and a strong finish to both halves saw them home.

“It’s not all about scoring tries,” Keinhorst added.

“Obviously it was nice to score a few tries, but I wasn’t happy with a couple of bits and I’ll have to keep working hard on those. I am always looking to improve, but it was good from the team to grind it out.

“We didn’t adapt well to the conditions at the start, so to get ourselves back in the contest and get the win was good for us.

“They started the game better than us and played the conditions far better.

“They were in it for the full 80 and it was a tough game.

“Credit to them, they pushed us all the way, but we stayed in the contest.

“We were down a couple of subs in the second half, which made it tough, but it was a good effort by the boys.”

Keinhorst had not expected to be travelling to Melbourne, but is determined to make the most of it.

“You don’t think about these things that are going to happen, but the opportunity has come along now,” he said.

“We will see how the team recovers, go there and have a real go at them.

“It is all about recovery now and getting right for Friday.”

Keinhorst’s delight at his call up was in contrast to the disappointment suffered by Anthony Mullally who sustained a fractured finger against Hull KR, ruling him out of the trip Down Under.

He is one of five props unavailable due to injury, alongside long-termer Keith Galloway (Achilles), new signing Nathaniel Peteru, who had surgery yesterday to repair a torn biceps suffered on his debut against Warrington Wolves last week, former Melbourne player Mitch Garbutt (dead leg) and teenager Mikolaj Oledzki (shoulder).

Mullally’s injury meant a last-minute call-up for back-rower Josh Walters, who had been due to play against Hunslet in last night’s Harry Jepson Memorial Trophy tie.

“We will go with who we’ve got and we’ll give it a good crack,” Keinhorst said.

“We believe we can do it and we will give it everything we’ve got.

“These opportunities don’t come around too often so we will give it our best shot.

“They are considered the best team in the world at the moment, but we believe in each other and we believe we can go there and do a job.”

Leeds Rhinos’ 19-man squad is: Ashton Golding, Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Liam Sutcliffe, Ryan Hall, Joel Moon, Richie Myler, Adam Cuthbertson, Matt Parcell, Brad Singleton, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Carl Ablett, Stevie Ward, Brad Dwyer, Brett Delaney, Jimmy Keinhorst, Jack Ormondroyd, Jack Walker, Josh Walters.

Odds courtesy of Betfred: Keinhorst to continue his fine form – 20/1 at Betfred to score first v Melbourne Storm and 4/1 any time.