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
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
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