In-form Rhinos run riot
Hardaker and Hall both bag a brace of tries in Headingley rout
Last Updated: 10/08/12 10:40pm
Danny McGuire: failed to score his 200th try before going off injured
Leeds crushed Widnes 68-24 at Headingley - but victory may have come at a price for the Rhinos after Danny McGuire limped off the field.
The half-back failed to find the try he needed to set an outright Super League record before he was forced out of the action in the 69th minute, a worrying sign for the hosts with the Carnegie Challenge Cup final looming.
By then the Rhinos had already made sure of their eighth win in their last nine outings, scoring 12 tries in the process to thrash the poor Vikings.
Ryan Hall and Zak Hardaker both touched down twice while skipper Kevin Sinfield kicked 10 of his 12 conversion attempts in the rout.
The margin of victory was even more impressive considering coach Brian McDermott opted against risking Jamie Peacock, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Rob Burrow, who were all carrying minor injuries.
It took the home side just six minutes to break through as Ryan Bailey bulldozed his way over to leave Sinfield an easy shot at the posts.
McGuire then combined neatly with Carl Ablett to send winger Hall diving over in the corner and this time Sinfield was just as accurate from wide out.
McGuire's 200th Super League try - he currently sits alongside former team-mate Keith Senior on 199 - almost arrived three minutes later when he received the ball inside his own half but was caught inches short of the line.
However, Shaun Lunt was up in support and he grabbed the Rhinos' third try with only 11 minutes gone on the clock.
Widnes did briefly hit back when centre Stefan Marsh shrugged off three tacklers on his way to the posts, Patrick Ah Van tagging on the goal.
Yet the Rhinos were soon back on the attack, Hardaker and Richard Moore going over, before Hall ran on to McGuire's clever kick to the corner for his second try of the night.
Both sides scored again before the break - Frank Winterstein firstly for the visitors before Brett Delaney added the Rhinos' seventh try - to make the score 40-12 in favour of the home team.
There was concern as Hall and Widnes winger Willie Isa collided and needed treatment but both recovered sufficiently to continue.
Widnes stuck to their task despite the heavy scoreline, tries in rapid succession by Cameron Phelps and Marsh restoring some pride, with Ah Van managing to convert both.
But Leeds were in no mood to let things slip and Darrell Griffin, Kylie Leuluai and Steve Ward all getting their names on a crowded scoresheet before Hardaker completed his brace.
Substitute Jimmy Keinhorst crossed for the first Super League try of his career in the final minute to round out the scoring in the final minute.
First Utility Super League
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves