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RHI ANDMIGHTY; LEEDS Warrington 18 Leeds 26 SUPER LEAGUE GRAND FINAL Sinfield a bloody marvel as he takes blows but carries Leeds to glory.

Byline: Gareth WALKER

CCAPTAIN Marvel Kevin Sinfield twice climbed off the canvas to lead Leeds Rhinos to a sixth Grand Final win in nine seasons.

On two occasions, the most successful skipper in the club's history could have retired to the sidelines with injury.

c to a sixth nine se On tw successf history c sidelines After c collided Joel Mon treatmen kn k ock to Then ag a ain After clearing a first-half kick, he collided with Ben Westwood and Joel Monaghan and needed lengthy treatment to continue following a knock to the ribs.

Then soon after the break he again."ent down after being hit hi hi hi hi hi hi hi h gh gh gh gh gh a d nd nd nd nd l t at at at ate by by by byMic ic ic ic icha ha ha ha ha l el el el el elMon on on on onag ag ag agha ha ha han high and late by Michael Monaghan following a kick down field.

But both times Sinfield battled on bravely - and played yet another crucial role as the Rhinos continued their Old Trafford dominance.

The stand-off finished with 14 points from a try and five immaculate goals, writing another chapter into his remarkable Rhinos history.

His kicking display also continued a stunning run of not missing a single kick during the play-offs - 21 in succession.

Sinfield said: "For us to come from fifth again."s an incredible high. Winning this just gets better. That last month has been awesome."

Leeds coach Brian McDermott secured a second straight title and hailed his entire squad before turning his attention to his inspirational skipper'

McDermott said: "The pressure on on on on the he he hese se se se pla la laye ye yers rs rs has as as bee ee een im im imme me mens ns nse.

on these players has been immense. They ought to make statues of every one of them.

"I'll steal a line that Harry Jepson (the Leeds president) said about Kevin. He might not be the best six or the best 13 Leeds have had, but by a long, long way he's been the best captain Leeds have had."

Fairytale With centre Carl Ablett terrorising Lee Briers down Warrington's right, Jamie Peacock outstanding in his eighth Grand Final win and Rob Burrow excelling, the Wolves fell short of a fairytale finish on their Old Trafford debut.

Warrington coach Tony Smith said: "At times it looked like we were trying not to lose rather than trying to win. It could have gone either way but Leeds deserved to win."

The sides had been locked to toge ge h th th ther er at 14 14 14 1 -14 f af afte ter a ca ca t ptiv t ating together at 14-14 after a captivating first half. Warrington had started the brighter, Richie Myler spotting a gap in the Leeds defence and darting between Peacock and Jamie Jones-Buchanan to score.

But the Rhinos dominated the next half-hour, showing a constant willingness to push the ball wide and target Briers in particular.

The halfback had to get through a mountain of defensive work, with Leeds sending Ablett down the channel time after time as the Rhinos Grand Final machine clicked ominously into gear.

Sinfield pulled them level with a rare try, supporting Ablett after Joel Monaghan had spilled the Leeds skipper's towering kick. Sinfield converted his own effort, then added a penalty when Ben Harrison was penalised for interference.

Another borderline penalty, for a i Mi Mike Cooper hi hi h gh tackl kle, gave a Mike Cooper high tackle, gave Leeds the field position for their second try, Peacock and Sinfield combining for Danny McGuire to pick out Ben Jones-Bishop, who stepped over out wide.

At this stage it was all Rhinos, but Warrington found a route back into the contest just before the break.

Momentum They had to wait until the 36th minute for their first penalty, but three in the closing stages of the half helped them level the scores, as Briers' pinpoint pass sent Joel Monaghan over. Hodgson converted and added a penalty right on half-time to level the scores.

The momentum was now clearly with Warrington, and they regained the lead shortly after the restart.

Leeds fullback Zak Hardaker spilled the ball in a Myler tackle and, soon after, Hodgson went to the blindside from dummy half and Ryan Atkins powered over.

Then the balance of power switched again, as Ablett targeted Briers, first earning a penalty for a high tackle and then running over the top of him to score, giving the Wolves halfback a mouthful after touching down.

Hodgson had missed his last difficult conversion but Sinfield made no such mistake, edging Leeds back in front by two points.

The next try was always going to be crucial - and it went to the Rhinos.

After Harrison had knocked on, Shaun Lunt, McGuire and Ablett combined to send Hall over out wide.

And, fittingly, Sinfield added the touchline conversion to seal another memorable night for his club.


LEEDER OF THE PACK: Sinfield was the Rhinos' inspiration

RHINO BLASTY Ben Jones-Bishop goes in for Leeds second try

SILVER STARS: Jubilant Leeds lift the trophy

HALL RIGHT NOW: Leeds Ryan Hall crosses for his side's fourth try
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 7, 2012
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