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Super league champions Leeds Rhinos have outmuscled the NRL premiers Melbourne Storm to take out the 2008 World Club Challenge by 11-4 at a packed out Elland Road today.
The Rhinos' victory takes the ledger to five straight wins by English teams to claim the World Champions title.
During a physical first half, Leeds were first to open the scoring in the 11th minute when Kevin Sinfield slotted a penalty goal from right in front. Melbourne struck back five minutes later through Ryan Hoffman. The Rhinos regained the lead three minutes before the break with Scott Donald scoring out wide. At half time, the home side were leading 8-4 with the goal kicking of Sinfield proving to be the difference.
The Storm were greeted with the wind and rain in their faces in a grinding second half of rugby league football. With injuries taking its toll on both sides, it was the Rhinos who lifted when it counted most.
The home side kept the visitors scoreless in the second half with Sinfield's boot adding the only points, a penalty goal in the 60th minute and field goal in the 68th minute proving enough to get the Rhinos home.
Melbourne Storm 4 vs Leeds Rhinos 11 World Club Challenge 2007 - Full Time :: March 1st, 2008 6:30am (AEDT) Venue: Elland Road, Leeds U.K. Referee: Ashley Klein
Melbourne Storm (4) Tries: Ryan Hoffman Goals: Steve Turner (0/1) Leeds Rhinos (11) Tries: Scott Donald Field Goals: Kevin Sinfield (1/1) Goals: Kevin Sinfield (3/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Kevin Sinfield (Rhinos) 2 Points: Brent Webb (Rhinos) 1 Point: Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Rhinos)
Welcome to Elland Road Leeds for the much anticipated clash between UK champions Leeds Rhinos and NRL premiers Melbourne Storm. Players getting ready to come onto the field...
Players taking to the field now, both teams look very focussed.
KICK OFF: Melbourne with the kickoff but have kicked it out on the full. Bad start for the Storm.
6 min: Melbourne got close to the line but couldn't find a breakthrough. Great defence from the Rhinos.
10 min: Leeds get first shot at points with a shot right in front of the posts. Billy Slater penalised for passing whilst on the ground
11 min: PENALTY GOAL Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos 2-0
16 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Ryan Hoffman gets the first try of the game after a great ball from Cronk. Conversion attempt by Steve Turner unsuccessful. Melbourne Storm 4-2
23 min: Danny McGuire (Leeds Rhinos) has come from the field looks like it could be a shoulder problem.
27 min: McGuire (Leeds Rhinos) has come from the dressing sheds and he doesn't look happy, Hopefully nothing to serious.
37 min: 3 Minutes out from half time and Scott Donald may have scored for the Rhinos its been sent to the Video Referee to check for obstruction.
37 min: TRY Leeds Rhinos A great ball from Brent Webb sees a unmarked Scott Donald go over for the Rhinos. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful. Leeds Rhinos 8-4
HALF TIME: Very Physical Encounter. This game could go either way.
Terrible conditions here in the second half, Melbourne will be running into the Wind and the Rain.
KICK OFF: Melbourne will receive. Rhinos with the kick off
INJURY NEWS: Steve Turner has Concussion and will not be back whilst McGuire has a shoulder problem but has not been ruled out.
42 min: A little bit of feeling out there a bit of a scuffle after some silly play from Anthony Quinn.
50 min: Clinton Toopi (Leeds Rhinos) has gone straight to the dressing sheds maybe a dislocated shoulder.
52 min: Melbourne have a big chance. New set of 6, 20 metres out from the try line.
54 min: Melbourne had a chance but couldn't break the line. Great game on our hands.
59 min: Jeff Lima has been penalised for a late shot on Rob Burrow. Rhinos will get a shot at goal.
60 min: PENALTY GOAL Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos 10-4
65 min: Leeds Rhinos came close to scoring through Carl Ablett but it was deemed a knock on by the video referee.
67 min: Toopi (Leeds Rhinos) did suffer a dislocation to his shoulder it has now been popped back in but he would be in some pain.
68 min: FIELD GOAL Leeds Rhinos Kevin Sinfield has snapped a field goal. Can Melbourne bounce back?
Leeds Rhinos 11-4
72 min: 8 minutes to go Melbourne have had repeat sets and multiple chances but couldn't capitalise.
76 min: Anthony Quinn comes close to scoring but couldn't get the ball down before going into touch.
FULL TIME: Its all over at Elland Road, Leeds Rhinos are the champions of world but they could pay a hefty price for it with Danny McGuire and Clinton Toopi both injured in this match.
For Melbourne they tried right till the death but were beat by the better team on the day. There only injury was Steve Turner with a concussion.
Thanks for joining us here at League Unlimited for our live updates of the World Club Challenge. Join us back here tonight (8pm Sydney Time) as we give you live updates of the 2008 Charity Shield match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and The South Sydney Rabbitohs, should be a cracker!