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Zak Hardaker wins Man of Steel award

Credit: Press Association

Leeds Rhinos' star Zak Hardaker has scooped the prestigious Steve Prescott Man of Steel award at tonight's Super League award ceremony.

The full-back beat fellow teammate Adam Cuthbertson and St Helens prop Alex Walmsley to the honour.

Rhinos take on Saints in Super League semi finals

Leeds Rhinos take on St Helens later this evening in the Super League playoff semi finals.

For three Rhinos stalwarts it will be an emotional evening as Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leulauai play at Headingley for the final time.

Sinfield is crossing codes to join Yorkshire Carnegie, Peacock is taking up a management role at Hull KR and Leuluai is retiring.

Leeds centre Kallum Watkins believes it will be a tough ask to get past the reigning champions.


Rhinos clinch League Leaders Shield with last minute try

Leeds snatched a remarkable victory amid unbelievable tension to lift the league leaders' shield on a night of high drama in Super League.

The Rhinos were heading for a fourth straight defeat - and an away semi-final - after Huddersfield established a 16-8 lead but they stormed back with 12 points in the last seven minutes to claim an unlikely 20-16 victory.

Right winger Tom Briscoe, Leeds' five-try hero at Wembley, handed his side a lifeline with a 74th-minute score while left winger Ryan Hall grabbed the winner in the last move of an epic game.

It means the Rhinos, two-thirds of the way towards completing the treble, will host St Helens in the second semi-final next Friday while Wigan, who lost out in the battle for top spot despite a 47-12 win over Castleford, play Huddersfield at the DW Stadium on Thursday.

The John Smith's Stadium was no place for the faint-hearted as scores flashed over from the DW Stadium and the helicopter based at the City Airport on the outskirts of Manchester began to hover between the two destinations with the prized trophy.

Points were at a premium throughout a close-fought first half but there was no shortage of excitement, with Huddersfield demonstrating just why they have the best defence in Super League.

Leeds drew first blood after nine minutes when second rower Stevie Ward collected skipper Kevin Sinfield's pass to glide through a rare hole in the home defence to touch down.

But when Hall fumbled the ball into touch from the re-start, it gifted the Giants a perfect attacking position and they made the most of it, with prolific right winger Jermaine McGillvary diving over at the corner for his 27th try of the season.

The score maintained McGillvary's record of scoring in all seven rounds of the Super 8s and virtually guarantees he finishes the season as Super League's leading tryscorer.

Danny Brough's touchline conversion levelled the scores but Sinfield edged his side into an 8-6 interval lead with a 40-metre penalty.

The Rhinos fans must have felt the trophy slipping from their grasp five minutes into the second half when full-back Zak Hardaker fumbled the ball from Hall's risky pass near his own line and Huddersfield hooker Luke Robinson hacked on to the line and appeared to ground the ball.

However, slow-motion replays revealed Robinson lost control of the ball and Leeds breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Brough brought his side level with a penalty on 48 minutes and they twice split the visitors defence through Brett Ferres and Joe Wardle without managing to apply the finishing touches.

At the other end, Danny McGuire had a try disallowed for an obstruction and Hardaker was held up on his back over the line.

At one point Sinfield was shaping for a drop goal but he was quickly shut down and McGillvary got the Giants on a counter-attack which produced what looked to be the pivotal score.

Second rower Jack Hughes, who is on loan from Wigan, gathered the ball from Brough's high kick and combined with centre Leroy Cudjoe to get scrum-half Jamie Ellis sprinting over for a try.

Brough landed his second conversion and shortly afterwards kicked a second penalty to open up an eight-point lead but the drama continued as Briscoe went over on 74 minutes for his side's second try.

Sinfield's touchline conversion cut the gap to just two points and levelled the scores for a third time with a penalty before Hall collected McGuire's kick over the Huddersfield defence to sprint away for the match-winning try.

Rhinos duo shortlisted for Prescott Man of Steel award

Leeds Rhinos duo Zak Hardaker and Adam Cuthbertson have been shortlisted for the 2015 Steve Prescott Man of Steel award.

Zak Hardaker has been shortlisted for the 2015 Man of Steel award Credit: Press Association

England full-back Hardaker, 24, has enjoyed his most impressive season with Leeds, where he has been one of the most consistent players in the competition, delivering a succession of high quality performances in both attack and defence.

Adam Cuthbertson makes up part of the three man shortlist Credit: Press Association

Cuthbertson has had a hugely successful first season in Super League since joining Leeds at the turn of the year from Australian club Newcastle Knights. Playing at prop and loose forward, the 30-year-old has been a key member of the Rhinos pack during a summer which has seen them win the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and go within one win of lifting the League Leaders’ Shield.

St Helens' prop Alex Walmsley completes the three man shortlist.

Garreth Carvell calls time on rugby league career

Former Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC prop Garreth Carvell has announced his retirement from rugby league.

Credit: Press Association

The former Great Britain and England prop, 34, currently Player Welfare Manager at Salford Red Devils has been forced to hang up his boots by the effects of a series of injuries suffered during his 19-year professional career.

Carvell won the Challenge Cup four times in his illustrious career.

In a statement he revealed that he is awaiting a knee replacement and surgery on his neck to replace three prolapsed discs.

It is with some sadness that I would like to announce my retirement from the greatest game in the world. I have played professional rugby since I was 16 and although the mind is still willing unfortunately the body has declared it’s time to stop.

I’d like to thank everybody that has helped me throughout my career, from my start at Leeds Rhinos where I made my debut alongside Kevin Sinfield as a 16-year-old, my two spells at Hull FC, my short stint at Castleford and, of course, my time at Warrington Wolves.

I was fortunate enough to represent and tour with my country and also had the pleasure to contribute to Challenge Cup wins for Hull FC and Warrington Wolves.

– Garreth Carvell

Super League's greatest ever try scorer agrees new contract with Leeds Rhinos

Super League's greatest ever try scorer Danny McGuire has agreed a new two year contract with Leeds Rhinos that will keep him at Headingley Carnegie until at least the end of the 2017 Super League season.

Danny McGuire scoring at Wembley Credit: Leeds Rhinos

“I am really pleased to have the new deal agreed. I never had any intention of going anywhere else, I’m a Leeds lad and I have played my entire career here but it is always nice to know the club sees you as part of their future too. We have had some incredible times over the last few years and this deal we mean I have been here for 20 years in total but it is the future that most excites me. We have got a fantastic group of young players that remind me a lot of the group of players I came through the academy with and, if I can help the team develop over the next few years, that is something I will very much enjoy.”

– Danny McGuire

The new contract is a boost for the Rhinos ahead of a trip to the South of France this Saturday to face Catalans Dragons in the Super 8s. The 32-year-old has been an integral part of the Rhinos golden era and continued his record breaking tally of tries with his 256th career try for Leeds with the Rhinos second try at Wembley as the Brian McDermott’s side retained the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup a fortnight ago.

“Danny has been in outstanding form for us this season and been a virtual ever present throughout the campaign. He is part of a special generation of players who have influenced the history of this club and I know he still has a key part to play in our future.”

– Head Coach Brian McDermott


Injury curtails Aiton's Rhinos career

Paul Aiton has played his last match for Leeds after Brian McDermott revealed the Catalans-bound hooker will be out for 16 weeks with a dislocated wrist.

Paul Aiton will miss the remainder of the season with a wrist injury Credit: Press Association

The Papua New Guinea international had already been ruled out of the Challenge Cup final on August 29 after suffering the injury against Warrington last Friday, but has now been denied a potential Old Trafford farewell.

In further bad news for Rhinos fans, back-rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan will miss the start of next season as he recovers from the ruptured quad tendon sustained in the Challenge Cup semi-final win over St Helens.

Aiton joined Leeds from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats ahead of the 2014 season and has become a key member of McDermott's squad.

The 30-year-old rejected a new contract offer from the Rhinos in favour of a switch to Super League rivals Catalans and had spoken just last week about his desire to finish his spell at Headingley Carnegie on a high.

But Aiton will now be forced to watch Leeds' bid for the treble from the sidelines before beginning a new chapter in his career in the south of France.

Singleton signs new four year deal with Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos have received a major boost ahead of the start of the start of their Super 8s campaign tonight against Warrington Wolves at Headingley Carnegie with prop Brad Singleton agreeing a new four year deal with the club.

Leeds Rhinos prop Brad Singleton has signed a new four year deal Credit: Leeds Rhinos

Twenty-two-year-old Singleton made his debut in 2011 but has come of age this season, featuring in 24 games so far in 2015 and crossed for an impressive eight tries.

His new deal will keep him at Headingley Carnegie until at least the end of the 2019 season.

“I am pleased to have agreed a new four year deal at this great club.

"At the start of the year I set myself the goal of playing every week and so far I have only missed two games, although I have to admit that I have surprised myself with how many times I have got over the try line!

"Clearly next season there will be a transition within the side, as a number of players move onto the next stage of their careers.

"That was a major influence for me to sign the new deal. With that transition taking place, it would be silly to look elsewhere, there are some exciting roles to fill, and I am sure there are some exciting times for the youngsters coming through in the next year.

“If you did a head count, we clearly needed to add numbers to the squad for 2016 but I think the recruitment has been excellent and credit for that must go to Brian and Gary.

"I am sure Brian will have some headaches in terms of picking the side but for us as players that is what gets the best out of the side."

– Brad Singleton

“I am very pleased that Brad has decided to continue his progression with the Rhinos.

"The last two seasons have seen Brad establish himself as a regular first team player and he is developing into a tough uncompromising prop.

"He is still relatively young for his position and has his best years ahead of him. But Brad now knows what is needed, not only to play first team but also to play for Leeds Rhinos and the expectancy that comes with that.

"Brad has some very strong leadership qualities that I'm sure will be needed by himself and the team over the next few seasons.”

– Brian McDermott, Leeds Rhinos head coach

Early morning queues for Rhinos Challenge Cup final tickets

Leeds Rhinos fans were queuing from as early as 7 o'clock this morning to get their hands on tickets for the Challenge Cup final at the end of the month.

The Rhinos booked their place in rugby league's showpiece event thanks to a 24-14 victory over St Helens.

It will be the fifth time in the past six years the Rhinos have played at Wembley but last year's win was their only triumph since 1999.

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