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Ryan Hall hat-trick sinks London as Leeds Rhinos run riot
10:14pm Friday 21st March 2014 in Sport
Leeds Rhinos 54, London Broncos 6
England winger Ryan Hall celebrated his new five-year contract with a hat-trick of tries as Leeds went top of Super League with a demolition of winless London.
Hall, recalled after being rested for his side’s win over Widnes, scored all his tries before half-time as the Rhinos cruised into a 34-0 lead in the mismatch most observers feared.
Fellow winger Ben Jones-Bishop also got in on the act, scoring two tries for the second successive week.
For the Broncos, who lost forward Atelea Vea with a damaged spleen on only his second appearance in Super League, it was damage limitation from the start, although they provided a glimmer of hope for the rest of the season with a spirited second-half performance after trailing 34-0 at the interval.
Such was the foregone conclusion that Leeds’ former London coach Brian McDermott felt able to rest skipper Kevin Sinfield – for the first time since 2009 – and his England team-mate Tom Briscoe.
The Rhinos boss, who was also without injured forwards Jamie Peacock and Brett Delaney and centre Joel Moon, opted to give a debut to 19-year-old prop Rob Mulhern as well as a second appearance to 18-year-old Elliot Minchella.
But there was still bags of experience – with Rob Burrow, who captained the side on his 350th Super League appearance, slotting effortlessly into Sinfield’s shoes, while Danny McGuire’s grubber kick create the first try for Brad Singleton after just 84 seconds.