Leeds Rhinos’ new era, on and off the field, began in positive fashion when they hit back to beat Wakefield Trinity in the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge.
Trinity deservedly led 4-0 at the break, but Rhinos scored two tries in the final 18 minutes to win 10-4.
In David Furner’s first game as coach - and after the official opening of Emerald Headingley’s South Stand - Trinity led 4-0 at half-time through Bill Tupou’s 28th minute try which followed an error by Leeds’ Liam Sutcliffe.
Rhinos’ Richie Myler and Tom Briscoe had touchdowns disallowed either side of half-time and Tupou got over for a second time only for Jacob Miller’s pass to be ruled forward.
Rhinos levelled with 18 minutes left when new signing Tui Lolohea’s kick bounced up for Tom Briscoe who took it well and raced over at the corner.
Eight minutes later Ash Handley went over to edge Rhinos ahead with a try created by quick hands from Lolohea and Richie Myler.
Lolohea converted and Leeds held on as Ashton Golding twice denied Ben Jones-Bishop a late try. Both teams had a player sin-binned. Trinity’s Tyler Randell received a yellow card in the first half for a high tackle on Luke Briscoe and Jack Walker joined him early in the second half for a professional foul after chasing back to produce a try-saving tackle on Miller.
See tomorrow’s Yorkshire Evening Post and online for a fuller report and reaction.