It was Leeds’ eighth loss in 10 First Utility Super League games and left them second from bottom in the table and facing a struggle to qualify for the Super-8s.
The overriding feeling afterwards was bitter disappointment at another missed opportunity, but for fit-again back Ashton Golding there was a silver lining.
The 19-year-old came in for his first appearance in two months and scored Rhinos’ second try, as they hit back from 14-0 down in the final 10 minutes.
It was the first time Golding had crossed the whitewash in seven senior appearances and he admitted it was an emotional moment.
“I have always wanted to get that one try, for my grandad who passed away a few years back,” Golding said.
“That is something I will take and it’s nice for my family as well. We can have a talk about that, but it is just disappointing not to get the win.
“We left it too late.”
Despite his satisfaction with the try, Golding said he would have swapped it for two points and a move up the league ladder.
He reflected: “It is always good to get over and that was my first Super League try, so I was happy with that, but the disappointment overrides it completely.”
For Golding, getting back on to the field was an achievement after a frustrating spell.
He had an outstanding pre-season and was called into the side for the round-two visit to Widnes Vikings, but suffered an ankle injury early in the game.
That was a notorious fixture for Leeds, with Carl Ablett and Tom Briscoe also being sidelined with ankle problems.
They both returned before Golding, though Briscoe is back on the casualty list due to a damaged shoulder.
“It was good to get a game under my belt,” Golding said.
“Obviously playing wing was a little bit different, but to be on the field with the likes of the players I am is an honour and a privilege.
“It was just about getting a game and coming through unscathed.
“My ankle’s fine and I managed to handle the conditions okay.
“I got through the game, but the result was tough to take.”
Of his lay-off, he said: “I was out six or seven weeks and it has been really frustrating, seeing the way it has been going and not being able to do anything.
“It is one of those when you are chomping at the bit to get back. It has come now, but unfortunately we were a bit under par.”
Golding is confident Leeds can reverse their poor form.
“One hundred per cent,” he said. “We are really positive in everything we do. We are working for each other and that’s something you can’t buy in a team.”