Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) team continued their strong start to the 2022 season with a pair of 18-0 victories against Wigan Warriors and Castleford Tigers in the Round 2 Festival at Victoria Park in Warrington.
With brand new side Salford Red Devils making an appearance to the festival alongside all six teams competing in this year’s PDRL League, the festival was another wonderful showcase of PDRL with RFL President Clare Balding and CEO Ralph Rimmer also paying a visit to meet the teams and enjoy some of the hard-hitting action.
After pushing league leaders Wakefield all the way in the opening game of the day, the Rhinos knew they would be in for a real battle against Wigan in their first fixture of the morning who continue to go from strength-to-strength with an ever-growing squad of players. It took almost 10 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, with the returning Sam Zeller, making his first PDRL appearance in almost a year, darting over from dummy half on the last tackle as the Rhinos finally made field position count.
Having grabbed a hat-trick of tries in the first Festival of the season in Wakefield three weeks ago, winger Scott Gobin was back on top form and hit a great line on a short ball from Tommy Pouncey to cut open the defence and race clear for his fourth of the season.
And once they had survived a scare at the other end thanks to a sensational try-saving tackle from fullback Nick Leigh, Leeds quickly put the game to bed as Tom Kaye fooled the defence with a dummy and powered his way over the line, despite the best efforts of the scrambling Warriors’ players to deny him.
It was local rivals Castleford Tigers who were the next opposition for the Rhinos, but with a depleted team and only six players available to play the decision was taken for both sides to play out a Development game giving the opportunity for everyone to get involved and enjoy some minutes of the pitch- ultimately resulting in Leeds being handed another 18-0 victory.
Any hopes of coming out of the Festival at the top of the PDRL table were unfortunately dashed after Wakefield kept up their 100% start to the campaign with three wins from three games, but the Rhinos will get the chance to move into pole position and exact some revenge on Trinity for the 12-6 loss last time out when they go head to head at the next Festival in Castleford on Saturday 21st May. They will also face off against Bradford and Warrington, whom they defeated in Round 1.
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