Super League: Skipper Kevin Sinfield helps Leeds see off Wakefield on his comeback
Last Updated: 27/07/13 7:30am
Kevin Sinfield marked his comeback with a crucial drop goal as Leeds edged out neighbours Wakefield 31-24 at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
Fit-again skipper Sinfield slotted over a one-pointer in the 65th minute before the Rhinos finally saw off their hosts with late tries from Carl Ablett and Rob Burrow, the second of them coming on the last play.
The defeat was tough on the Wildcats, as they miss out on the chance to move into the play-off places. They have now lost back-to-back fixtures to the reigning Super League champions by a total margin of nine points.
They made light of the absence of skipper Danny Kirmond, ruled out before kick-off through injury, to take the lead after 11 minutes when Paul Aiton scooped up a loose ball and darted over.
Lee Smith, playing against his old employers, added the conversion to make it 6-0 but missed a chance to extend the lead when he was wide with a penalty.
Leeds saw a try for Ablett chalked off before the Wakefield defence was finally breached seven minutes before half-time when winger James Duckworth took a long pass from fellow teenager Liam Sutcliffe to mark his debut with a try.
Sinfield added the extras but the Rhinos found themselves under pressure after the break and Ali Lauitiiti - another home player going up against his old club - set up hooker Aiton's second score of the evening.
However, just as Brian McDermott's side seemed to be wobbling, Ben Jones-Bishop came up with a moment of magic to drag them level again.
The full-back gathered Tim Smith's grubber kick just five metres short of his own line and sprinted virtually the full length of the field for a glorious try that Sinfield also converted.
The England captain - back from a thumb injury after six weeks on the sidelines - nudged the visitors ahead with his drop goal and then knocked over a touchline kick when Joel Moon touched down out wide.
Yet Wakefield rallied with two tries in the space of three minutes, firstly Justin Poore finishing off Tim Smith's pass before Frankie Mariano followed his fellow forward over the line.
Lee Smith took his tally to four goals from four attempts to make it 25-19, but a see-saw contest moved back in Leeds' favour when Sinfield's grubber kick bounced awkwardly in the in-goal area and Ablett dived on the ball.
Sinfield restore his side's one-point advantage with the goal and Leeds made sure of the two points when Burrow forced his way over from dummy half as the final hooter sounded.
First Utility Super League
Thu 26th Mar
Salford Red Devils36 - 8Widnes Vikings
Fri 27th Mar
Castleford Tigers20 - 14Hull FC
Hull K R24 - 22St Helens
Warrington Wolves10 - 29Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors52 - 10Wakefield Wildcats
Sat 28th Mar
Catalans Dragons22 - 38Leeds Rhinos
Thu 2nd Apr
Hull FCvsHull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Fri 3rd Apr
Castleford TigersvsLeeds Rhinos
Wigan WarriorsvsSt Helens
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Mon 6th Apr
Warrington WolvesvsCastleford Tigers
Hull K R0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Wigan Warriors
St Helens0 - 0Hull FC
Catalans DragonsvsWidnes Vikings
Fri 10th Apr
Hull FCvsWidnes Vikings
Sat 11th Apr
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Castleford TigersvsHull K R
Sun 12th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0St Helens
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Apr
Wigan WarriorsvsWarrington Wolves
Fri 17th Apr
St HelensvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 19th Apr
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield WildcatsvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
St Helens0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans DragonsvsHull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Hull FC0 - 0Hull K R
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Super League 2013, round 23
Tony Smith has told Richie Myler to be optimistic after he 'tweaked' his knee on his comeback against Castleford.
Terry O'Connor reflects on more shoulder barge controversy in Super League and a Cas thriller.
Warrington coach Tony Smith praised his side's fight following their 40-30 victory at Castleford.
- Comeback Wolves maintain pace
- Bulls boost play-off hopes
- Giants leap back to summit
- Brown irate at O'Brien injury
- In-form Saints slay Dragons
- Higham: Castleford dangerous
- Wane admits half-time rant
- Gentle hails his cup finalists
- Warriors battle back to summit
- Hull put Vikings to the sword
- Wildcats v Bulls: Teams
- Tigers v Wolves: Teams
- Giants v Reds: Teams
- Saints braced for 'dungeon'
- Catalans v Saints: Teams
- Blythe signs Bradford contract
- McDermott: It wasn't easy
- Rhinos beat battling Broncos
- Sandercock: Sam is big threat
- League the priority for Wane
- Hull FC v Vikings: Teams
- Warriors v Rovers: Teams
- Broncos v Rhinos: Teams
- McDermott: Kev's not done yet
- Crabtree calls for focus
- Smith keen to regain top spot