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Friday 19th July 2013, 20:00 - Round:22
|Ben Jones-Bishop 2, Joel Moon, Ryan Hall,||T||Andy Raleigh, Ali Lauitiiti, Frankie Mariano,|
Rob Burrow 2,
Lee Smith 3,
Attendance: 18,387 Official: P Bentham Venue: Headingley Carnegie Stadium
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ four-match winning run was brought to an end but not before they pushed champions Leeds Rhinos all the way in a tense Super League derby played in front of a season's-best crowd of 18,387 at Headingley.
The Rhinos dominated the game for long periods yet were only able to breathe easily when England winger Ryan Hall scored their fourth try five minutes from the end and Rob Burrow kicked the touchline conversion.
The defeat dents the Wildcats' play-off hopes, although they will take enough confidence from an error-strewn show to believe they can turn the tables in next Friday's rematch at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
The Rhinos hope to have skipper Kevin Sinfield back by then and his calming influence was sorely missed tonight as the champions failed to make the most of a lion's share of possession.
Their star-studded threequarter line came to the rescue, scoring all four tries, with winger Ben Jones-Bishop grabbing two before half-time.
Successful 40-20 kicks from Liam Sutcliffe and the outstanding Burrow enabled Leeds to pile on the early pressure but a combination of poor handling and resolute Wakefield defence ensured a scoreless first quarter.
The Rhinos were determined to play an up-tempo game despite the soaring temperatures and, after a short drinks break, were rewarded with the game's first try on 23 minutes.
Jamie Peacock and Burrow worked the ball out to the right, where Sutcliffe and centre Kallum Watkins produced quick hands to get Jones-Bishop over for his first score.
Wakefield were determined not to be blown away, however, and quickly struck back.
Zak Hardaker pulled off a fine last-ditch tackle to deny loose forward Kyle Trout after he had been put in the clear by a clever Tim Smith pass yet the Wildcats maintained the pressure. It paid off when Smith's grubber kick rebounded off the boot of Jones-Buchanan into the path of replacement prop Andy Raleigh for a simple try.
Lee Smith's goal edged the visitors into a 6-4 lead but Jones-Bishop collected Sutcliffe's precision kick to the corner to claim his second try and Burrow, taking over the goalkicking from Hardaker, added the touchline conversion to make it 10-6 at the break.
Wakefield did not help themselves with a host of handling errors early in the second half while Leeds continued to chance their arm without being able to find the finishing to match their ambition.
Jones-Bishop was bundled into touch by Ben Cockayne in one corner while, at the other, Hall was deceived by a high pass from his centre Joel Moon.
Wakefield suffered a body blow when in-form skipper Danny Kirmond hobbled off on 47 minutes and slipped further behind eight minutes later when Moon accepted Burrow's cut-out pass and sidestepped past winger Peter Fox for Leeds' third try.
The hosts also suffered a major injury blow when Watkins hobbled off 15 minutes from the end and were forced to endure a nervous last 10 minutes as former player Ali Lauitiiti took Tim Smith's short pass to score Wakefield's second try.
Lee Smith's second goal closed the gap to just two points but Hall made sure of the Rhinos' win when he touched down Burrow's kick to the corner.
Burrow's touchline conversion proved crucial as Cockayne regained possession for Wakefield from the restart to set up the position for second rower Frankie Mariano to crash over for his side's third try, to which Lee Smith added the goal.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals