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DEAD AND BURROWED; RUGBY LEAGUE: SUPER LEAGUE GRAND FINAL,OLD TRAFFORD.

Byline: DAVID BURKE

ST HELENS 16 LEEDS RHINOS 32

SUPER SUB Rob Burrow masterminded the Rhinos fourth title triumph in five years.

Pocket rocket Burrow, man of the match in Leeds' 2007 Grand Final victory over St Helens, did it again with a supercharged show off the bench.

The Rhinos, fifth in Super League, made history by becoming the first club to finish outside the top three to be crowned champions.

Burrow scored a scintillating try and made another for Ryan Hall to make it 20-16 before Carl Ablett and Zak Hardaker sealed victory.

The Rhinos trailed 16-8 on the hour before a rip-roaring finale to send Saints plunging to their fifth Old Trafford defeat in a row.

Leeds, who led 8-2 at the break thanks to Burrow's spectacular solo effort, went into the clash as underdogs despite winning five matches in a row after their Challenge Cup final defeat by Wigan.

The Rhinos had the support of Scouser Wayne Rooney, sat alongside Joey Barton in the stands, after his night of shame in Montenegro and he cannot fail to have been impressed by Burrow's finishing.

The greasy conditions made it a forward battle with few chances until Jamie Foster booted Saints ahead when Danny Peacock was penalised for holding down Lee Gaskell after 24 minutes.

That was soon cancelled out by Kevin Sinfield's long-range effort for Sol Soliola's ball steal on Buderus.

But, as in their Wembley defeat, Burrow's arrival off the bench sparked Leeds.

The 14-1 shot to score the Grand Final's first try shot past Scott Moore and Tony Puletua before leaving James Roby and Paul Wellens flat-footed to race over for the only try before the break after 33 minutes. Sinfield tagged on the conversion with the Rhinos deserving their 8-2 interval advantage.

Ben Jones-Bishop's misfield from the restart in the second half put Leeds under pressure but they managed to keep their line intact.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan lost the ball to allow Saints to go over with sub Andrew Dixon latching onto Jonny Lomax's kick.

It would have been Dixon's first try since last season's Grand Final but the effort was ruled out by video ref Ben Thaler for a knock-on.

But then Tommy Makinson took advantage of Brent Webb's casual defence to follow up his own kick and touch down with Thaler awarding the score and Foster converting to make it 8-8. Another blunder by Jones-Bishop gave Saints the chance to go in front with Roby, Lomax and Gaskell combining for Shenton to go over with Foster adding the conversion.

Gaskell's 40-20 kick increased the heat on Leeds with Foster stretching the lead to 14-8 when Buderus was caught offside.

Sinfield's kick off went out on the full to allow Foster to add another penalty but Brent Webb's converted try cut the gap to 16-14.

Wilkin's ball rip gave Sinfield the chance to level 16-16 with 12 minutes left. Burrows' genius put Hall over in the corner to fire the Rhinos back in front before Ablett and Hardaker completed the scoring.

ST HELENS: Tries: Makinson, Shenton; Goals: Foster 4 LEEDS: Tries: Burrow, Webb, Hall, Ablett, Hardaker; Goals: Sinfield 6

CAPTION(S):

FIRST BLOOD: Burrow gets the Rhinos' opening try JUST THE JOB, ROB Burrow gets the plaudits after touching down
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 9, 2011
Words:545
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