Carly Bond

Challenge Cup

Sam Tomkins

I didn’t think I could let the incident involving Sam Tomkins on Saturday go by without a blog post.  My initial thoughts at half time when I saw the pictures on Twitter were those of no surprise.  I have always stood by my thoughts that he is one hell of a talent with a little too much arrogance.  A trait in a sportsperson that I personally dislike.

The aftermath to the whole debacle has left a sour taste in my mouth.  His initial denial of the act for one, to then only apologise after seemingly being pushed by Wigan to help the situation before it went to the RFL, however, this is something I am sure every club would do to protect their own so I can’t really complain about that.  And then for the RFL to only give him a suspended fine, I think is a little pathetic.  He brought our game into disrepute on the world stage, not just the Leeds fans…something that an actual fine surely should have been warranted.

I guess it would have been nice to have seen the man himself apologise to the Rugby League family on Twitter, something that is a very personal thing, but instead we get a, kind of, gloating comment making sure everyone knew he hadn’t actually got banned, but then I think that shows his arrogance a little bit.

However, my main concern is about the hatred that seems to be flying round Twitter between fans, some of it so upsetting that I have had to un-follow a few people.  Banter I can take, people’s opinions that I don’t necessarily agree with I can take, but genuine meanness and bullying is a no go.  I thought Rugby League was a place where we can all have open discussions regardless what team we support but the small minority of supporters have spoilt that for me over this and I just hope it blows over soon.

It’s such a shame that we are all talking about this and not what a good game of rugby it was and one that I am still so gutted about losing as we played out of our skin in the second half and we extremely unlucky to lose .  Congratulations to Wigan you deserved your win, just try & knock some of that arrogance out of Sam and he could be one of the greatest player this game has ever seen.


Wembley Review

One word…gutted!

We arrived at Wembley, feeling sicker than I’ve felt for a long time. But there is something about Wembley & Wembley Way that sends shivers down my spine. Soaking up the atmosphere is a great way to work up to the big game. Add that to walking out into the seated area from the concourse to sing ‘Abide With Me’ and ‘God Save The Queen’ at the top of your lungs & it’s up there with one of the greatest feelings.

When the Leeds team line up was released, we were pretty shocked to see Weller Hauraki at loose forward with Chris Clarkson on the bench. Why?? A statement that has passed my lips too many times this season.

After the first 30 minutes, I thought it was game over. 16-0, wasn’t helping ourselves at all and we just looked slow and lethargic. I had to applaud Joel Tomkins though, one of the best tries I’ve seen in a while and made us look amateur.

50/50 calls were not going our way and blatant penalties, one being a spear tackle were not being called! I was so livid at this point that I accidentally launched my bracelets 2 rows in front of me! Oops!

Then Robbie Burrow came on and the game changed, we were much quicker at play of the ball. And stretching Wigan one side and then another meant we scored 2 tries going in 16-10. It felt good!

The second half kicked off with us feeling like we maybe could do it. Carl Ablett scored in the corner and we were 2 points behind. Poor Kevin Sinfield just didn’t have his kicking boots on today. Then came the first of 3 major errors by the referee, Wigan scored from a very blatant forward pass, taken them 2 scores away again.

We just could never get those extra points to get us level with them. We scored again, with a try from Ryan Hall and then had an awesome chance to go ahead but for a stupid rush of blood to the head by Kylie Leuluai & maybe a bad decision by Ben Jones Bishop, we just couldn’t do it.

Then came the second major error by the official, Wigan kicked for a 40/20, Robbie Burrow, very lazily, tracked back but the Wigan player took the ball out and the ref gives the play to Wigan. From this they then score a very dubious ‘Benefit of the Doubt’ try. How this can be when you could see the ball very clearly is a another story altogether.

In summary, disappointed doesn’t cover it. I think we played well for parts but 16-0 down was just too much for us to claw back. Too slow play, very silly mistakes and some dubious officials decisions lost us this game. However, it wasn’t the drubbing I thought it might be, so it’s not all bad! We’ll be back.

Wembley – It’s here!

It’s finally here, after all the excitement of the weeks build up! I cannot explain how excited, nervous, sick I feel right now! This seems to mean so much!

My nails are painted, I’ve got ribbons in my hair & on my car, Leeds Rhino top & my cuddly Ronnie the Rhino! All the silly traditions checked off!

Reading the Yorkshire Post this morning didn’t fill me with much hope, when Brian McDermott said the Kallum Watkins is a risk but not as bad as Keith Senior in 2005! Eeek, not good news!

But all that aside, I just cannot wait to see that big white arch standing tall over one of the greatest stadiums in the world! My spine is already tingling at the thought!

Come on you Rhinos…BELIEVE LEEDS!!!!!

One more sleep – Strange Traditions

Today feels like Christmas Eve, I feel excited and nervous all at the same time 🙂 I love the feeling of going to Wembley, its one of the best things in the world. The only problem with this year, is I can’t find my lucky final ribbons for my hair…this is bad times! They were at the 3 back to back to back final wins at Old Trafford…what am I going to do about it (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my mum can get me some more before we set off)

These traditions are always there on final days & I stupidly feel that if I don’t do something, we will lose & it will be because of me! Does anyone else have these stupid traditions?

I just know that come 7am tomorrow morning, it will be:

Nail’s painted blue & yellow – Check
Ribbon’s for the car windows – Check
Cuddly Ronnie the Rhino – Check
Leeds shirt – Check
Blue & Yellow bracelets – Check

Heehee, daft eh? But that’s just me.

Come on boys…BELIEVE LEEDS!!

Wembly Update: Leeds Rhinos 19 Man Squad Announced

I keep getting more & more nervous when I read things about the big game at Wembley at the weekend.  Leeds Rhinos announced their 19 man squad today with the 2 injury worries in Carl Ablett and Kallum Watkins named, meaning that Zak Hardaker, Jay Pitts & Paul McShane miss out.

Read more here.

My thoughts are immediately drawn to the 2005 Challenge Cup Final in Cardiff where Keith Senior played with an injury and it was totally the wrong decision, ending in Leeds losing to Hull FC 🙁 Just hope we’re not going to go back down that route.

Nerves are jangling *bites nails*, what am I going to be like tomorrow & Saturday!

Wembley Worries

Well, today Leeds Rhinos travelled to London for the first of two trips in 8 days to face Harlequins RL in a game, that with 4th spot in our reach, was a must win.  Resting 3 forwards in Ryan Bailey, Jamie Peacock and Jamie Jones-Buchanan, it was always going to be difficult to call but I’m not sure anyone would have expected what happened.

I didn’t travel to watch the game and I only managed to listen to the second half on Yorkshire Radio and at that point we were already 20-0 down.  I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing, to be honest.  The commentator actually said “I haven’t seen a Leeds Performance as bad as this for a lot of years”.  Now, he either hasn’t been watching us this season, or we really were that bad.

From what I was hearing it seemed like our discipline was bad and our defence was even worse.  The final score being 32-22 was a flattering scoreline with 18 of our points scored in the last 6 minutes.  Leaving it too late again, the trick we were playing earlier on in the season.  This just isn’t good enough, one week before Wembley.  Especially when you see Wigan Warriors put 60 points past Bradford Bulls last night, they looked awesome.

I really hope it’s not the case but I, unfortunately,  fear the worst for next weekend. 🙁

Getting Excited

Big thanks has to go to my mum who travelled across to Leeds to queue for semi final tickets yesterday.

Although by the sounds of it, it wasn’t really needed as with half a day left there was still about 4,000 tickets left! This is soooo frustrating, if we’d waited until they went on general sale Mike Hudson would have been able to come with us, but instead we had to buy upfront, just in case they all sold out (ok, so I hold a grudge for a while, but I can’t help it :p).

However, that aside, I now have a ticket & am already feeling a little excited about the prospect of going to Wembley. I’m feeling nervous about the game against Castleford Tigers, local derbies are always tight games. I know I should be looking towards tomorrow’s game but I can’t help but imagine us travelling down to London in a months time, nails painted, ribbons in our hair (I appreciate I’m not 5 year old 🙂 Hee Hee!)

Note to self…must calm down! 🙂

Road to Wembley Continues

I set off to the Leeds Rhinos vs Crusaders game today in a bit of a rush after spending far too much money on furniture for my new house, so didn’t really have time to think about the build up to the game. This turned out to be a good thing as when we arrived with only half an hour to spare, I started to get a little nervous!

I know that we beat our opponents a couple of weeks earlier, but it just had that nervous cup feeling about it! We started off like we’d taken a step backwards after the last couple of weeks! Dropping balls, missing tackles & ending up being 10-0 down 🙁

We then started to play, some awesome rugby came from nowhere with both Robbie Burrow & Jay Pitt having brilliant games. The bad news came when we lost 3 players to injuries over the course of the game; Danny McGuire, Brent Webb & Chris Clarkson. Here’s hoping that they’re not as bad as they looked, as we could really do without losing many more!

Overall, we played well with some bad injuries, reshuffling of players & some very stupid actions from players that resulted in penalties being given away, something that I thought we’d got to the bottom of.

Roll on the 5th round & fingers crossed for a good draw! Now to get home & watch it all over again on Sky Plus, where if pictures are to be believed, Danny McGuire takes his clothes off (Sorry, I know it gives us female supporters a bad name, but I just couldn’t resist 😉 )

Challenge Cup Weekend

My first rugby post from my new website 🙂

Roll on the Road to Wembley, that’s what I say.  I just can’t stop myself getting excited about the prospect of another trip to Wembley.  Last year was a whole host of emotions all in one day…I was so excited going back after 11 years that I just got swept away with the magic of the occasion, the walk up Wembley way to see that most amazing new stadium.  I missed the Twin Towers if I was honest, but the new version is just so spectacular.

The game itself was so disappointing, I had no idea how to feel.  I was devastated, that *that* could happen to us.  I was so sure we’d put up a fight but hey ho, it wasn’t to be.  Like a Twitter Friend said to me, ‘I’m not sure I’m ready for more cup final heartache yet! Not got over last season yet!’  This is exactly what I feel, but surely it can’t be like that again, can it?