A club in turmoil, the Leeds Rhinos, took the short drive down the road to Wakefield to take on a Trinity side who have their eyes set firmly set on securing a play-off place, and ending the season as Yorkshires top placed outfit.
The home side were without David Fifita, who picked up an ankle injury at the Magic Weekend, but Junior Sa’u was back after missing last weekend's Challenge Cup game due to being cup tied. Leeds had Tui Lolohea and Konrad Hurrell amongst a side which also saw newly announced departing captain Kallum Watkins named in the second row.
The Rhinos were desperate for a win, and a much needed two points. After Wakefield won the earlier season fixture quite comfortably, there was just two points between the sides when Trinity picked up the points in mid-April.
A tremendous start from the home side kept the Rhinos pinned in their own twenty as Chris Chester’s side set out their stall. Three goal line drop-outs illustrated the Trinity dominance but the Rhinos managed to maintain their line.
On fourteen the Rhinos were given a penalty for a second effort in the tackle and Liam Sutcliffe opened the scoring from twenty-five metres.
In awful conditions a wayward pass from Danny Brough on twenty-five gave the Rhinos possession on the Trinity twenty. On the fourth tackle Adam Cuthbertson was held down in the tackle and Sutcliffe accepted the invitation to kick a second penalty goal.
Just after the half hour mark Danny Brough missed a simple looking penalty goal from in front of the sticks. The Rhinos still 4-0 ahead.
There had only been one winner in the first half, the grim West Yorkshire weather, which forced error after error and robbed the assembled supporters of any real try-scoring opportunities.
Junior Sa’u and Ryan Hampshire combined and managed to put the ball to ground when the opening Trinity try seemed inevitable on fifty-one. Two minutes later and it was Tui Lolohea who scored the first four pointer after intercepting a Kelepi Tanganoa pass and going eighty metres, outpacing the Trinity defence to score in the corner. Sutcliffe hit the near upright with his conversion attempt, the Rhinos 8-0 ahead.
Kallum Watkins slid over on fifty eight but a miracle tackle from Jack Croft turned him ob his back and kept him from grounding the ball.
Ben Jones-Bishop slid for the corner on sixty-three, under the tackle of Konrad Hurrell, and was ruled to have got his knee in touch before grounding the ball.
A Harry Newman break was halted by the retreating Wakefield tacklers but as the defence held down in the tackle the sticks were pointed at by Richie Myler and Sutcliffe kicked a forty metre penalty goal for a 10-0 lead.
Sutcliffe missed a seventy-eighth minute penalty but the Rhinos had held on for the win by 10-0.
It was a poor game in poor conditions but the Rhinos will celebrate their win and a crucial two points which will help them in their quest to avoid the drop into the Championship. Keeping a clean sheet will be a massive boost for Leeds, who have leaked tries like a colander in 2019. Its now consecutive wins for Leeds for the first time in 2019 and sets up another four pointer with the Wigan Warriors next weekend.
Trinity: Hampshire Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Croft, Sa’u Miller, Brough, England, Randell, Kopczak, Batchelor, Ashurst, Tanginoa. Subs: Crowther, Hirst, King, Wood.
Rhinos: Lolohea (T), Briscoe, Newman, Hurrell, Handley, Sutcliffe (3G), Myler, Seumanufagai, Dwyer, Singleton, Watkins, Ferres, Merrin. Subs: Smith, Donaldson, Oledzki, Cuthbertson.
Referee: Rob Hicks.