McGuire's class helps Leeds end losing run

Leeds Rhinos 26 Bradford Bulls 18
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The Independent Online

Danny Mcguire was Leeds' hero, scoring two marvellously distinctive tries and having an educated boot in two others as the Rhinos finally beat their local rivals in last night's Super League meeting at Headingley.

Leeds lost to Bradford five times last season and their anxiety to change that pattern showed in a series of last-minute team changes. One of the players promoted to the starting line-up, Chris Feather, made an early break that could have opened the scoring, but Andrew Dunemann could not capitalise.

Leeds did take the lead when Danny McGuire's crafty kick skimmed the post to elude Paul Deacon and give Dunemann the opening try.

Bradford's reply was a Kiwi special, Robbie Paul making the initial burst and getting his pass to Shontayne Hape - unexpectedly back in action just six weeks after breaking his arm - who did superbly to slip the ball inside for Lesley Vainikolo to score his 10th try of the season.

Vainikolo was also busy at the other end saving the day as Chev Walker's break and Willie Poching's kick ahead took Leeds over the Bradford line.

Poching went close again when he was held up over the line, but Leeds got the half-time lead they deserved when McGuire showed another touch of his quality, taking Kevin Sinfield's pass and throwing a dummy that enabled him to get past Paul Johnson's tackle.

Straight after the break, Marcus Bai went over for the third Leeds try, with McGuire's kick helped along by Pete Senior and planted over the line by the winger who looked to have knocked on. A capacity crowd sensed it might be their night.

The Rhinos defended with determination, but Bradford broke them after 55 minutes when Deacon set up Hape but McGuire put Leeds back on course, gliding away to score from 40 yards. Five minutes later Feather stormed over and Leeds' frustrating wait was as good as over, although Pevita Vaikona got over for the Bulls to keep it interesting to the end.

Leeds: Mathers, Cummins, Walker, Senior, Bai, Dunemann, Burrow, Bailey, Diskin, McDermott, Furner, Poching, Sinfield. Substitutes used: McGuire, Feather, McDonald, Ward.

Bradford: Withers, Vaikona, Johnson, Hape, Vainikolo, Paul, Deacon, Vagana, Smith, Fielden, Parker, Peaock, Langley. Substitutes used: Pryce, Anderson, Reardon, Moore.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).