8s and 9s in Peter Smith's Leeds Rhinos player ratings and match report from huge 54-0 win over Giants

This is a very bizarre Leeds Rhinos team.

After two utterly abject performances, they showed the other side of their character in a sparkling 54-0 rout of woeful Huddersfield Giants at Headingley on Friday.

Led by Blake Austin and with returning players David Fusitu’a, Aidan Sezer and Sam Lisone all making a big impression, Rhinos dominated throughout against a team they beat by a single point in April.

Fusitu’a, in his first game since suffering an ankle injury in March, bagged a brace, but his initial impact was to force a drop out which led to Sam Walters storming over from Cameron Smith’s short pass on 10 minutes.

Just seven later, Austin shrugged off four defenders on an incredibly powerful run before his pass sent Richie Myler, another star man, in. Then, on 21, Austin shimmied into open space inside Giants territory and Ash Handley was in support to score.

Rhinos had two tries disallowed in the next nine minutes. Video official Tom Grant, backed up referee Ben Thaler’s original decision, ruling James McDonnell had knocked on a kick by Sezer earlier in a move which ended with him touching down from the number seven’s pass. Then Sezer put Martin into space, but Thaler reckoned the final pass to Handley was forward.

Leeds built pressure, which they hadn’t done in recent games. Just before the break a couple of drop-outs were followed by a Giants knock-on and off the scrum Jarrod O’Connor, Sezer and Myler combined to put Fusitu’a in at the corner.

McDonnell was unfortunate with the ‘no try’, but got his touchdown early in the second half off a sweet move begun when O’Connor sent Sezer into a gap and his and Myler’s offloads set up the second-rower.

Martin converted and booted a penalty to make it 30-0 after 50. Fusitu’a was held up over Giants’ line before Handley intercepted from Will Pryce. Innes Senior got across to make the tackle, but was then sin-binned for a professional foul.

Walters scored his second from close-range, off a lovely offload by Corey Johnson and Martin touched down from Myler’s clever kick before Senior returned.

He couldn’t stem the tide though and Leeds added two more late on, Fusiutu’a doing well to snatch another kick by Myler and Martin also completing a brace, from a wonderful pass by Handley after another good kick from the number one. Martin finished with nine goals, from 10 attempts, for 26 personal points.

Here’s how the Rhinos players rated.