Best of the year for Rhinos

Rugby league: Ipswich Rhinos 30 Luton 16IPSWICH returned to winning ways against Eastern Division Champions Luton.Pete Le Marquand was instrumental in setting up the victory, scoring and being involved in many of Ipswich's best moves.

Ipswich Rhinos 30 Luton 16

IPSWICH returned to winning ways against Eastern Division Champions Luton.

Pete Le Marquand was instrumental in setting up the victory, scoring and being involved in many of Ipswich's best moves.

The curtain comes down on the summer season with another play-off visit to semi-final certainties Coventry.

Last week's defeat means Ipswich can only finish second in the play-off tables and go no further.

These two sides served up a thrilling spectacle.

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Luton had the better of the early exchanges, but lack of discipline cost them when loose forward Graeme Lumley was given ten minutes in the sin bin for dissent.

Ipswich stood up well to Luton`s strong tactics with a disciplined display.

Match referee Mr Smith of Surrey stamped his authority on the game with the early dismissal.

Ipswich took full advantage of the extra man and Pete Le Marquand went over on the final tackle under the posts. Soon after Brendan Cook shrugged off would-be tacklers to power home.

Pete Le Marquand converted both tries to give Ipswich a 12-0 cushion.

Luton stormed back. They raced into the lead with three tries from Brian Masterton, Lumley and Ashley Stewart.

Huw Thomas kicked two conversions to give Luton a 12-16 half-time lead.

A half-time talk from Chick Knox Macaulay galvanised the Rhinos to produce some of their best rugby of the year.

Ipswich then dominated, putting Luton under pressure for long periods. Luton held the lead until the 57th minute, when second row James Gregory made a break from within the Ipswich half. His pass found Adam Cook who showed guile and power to outstrip the Luton defence and force his way over for the equaliser.

Luton produced a strong fightback to regain the lead, but Ipswich's defence was too strong.

This proved to be a good day to blood new players and Nottingham Trent University hooker Richard Burton and Colchester youngster Peter Smith both made confident debuts.

Knox Macaulay went on a trademark bustling run covering lots of ground sideways and beating off tackles before straightening up to sprint through for a try in the corner.

Pete Le Marquand's conversion attempt hit the crossbar and fell back.

Evan Player helped himself to a brace of tries in the closing minutes to seal a fine last home match


Ipswich Rhinos: Paul Le Marquand, Barrett, Knox Macaulay, Gleeson, A Cook, Pete Le Marquand, Clasby, Wilson, Burton, Player, Gregory, B Cook, Windridge, Evans, Aylott, Haylock, Smith.

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