Leeds Rhinos got their Super League campaign off to a winning start with a hard-fought 40-30 victory over Hull KR at the KC Lightstream Stadium.
The hosts dominated the first half with Albert Kelly scoring two tries, but Leeds rallied with Danny McGuire’s brace inspiring them to success.
Brad Singleton’s converted try three minutes from time rubber-stamped a dramatic comeback win.
The Rhinos took the lead in the second minute after being awarded the first penalty of the game.
Tom Briscoe, who scored a hat-trick in the same fixture at the start of last season, finished off a slick move on the right-hand side. Kevin Sinfield missed the conversion, but the visitors led 4-0.
Rovers responded brilliantly with three tries in 15 minutes. Kelly scored his first Super League try in the sixth minute following a good kick for his half-back partner Terry Campese.
Josh Mantellato kicked the first of his four first-half conversions to make it 6-4 to the home side.
Mitch Allgood took Adam Walker’s superb offload to score Rovers’ second try, also converted by Mantellato, in the ninth minute, giving the home side a 12-4 advantage.
A record home crowd were celebrating again moments later when Kelly bagged his second by taking Campese’s kick brilliantly to score - Mantellato converted.
Leeds showed their character by rallying in the 21st minute through skipper Sinfield from a Kallum Watkins break. Sinfield converted from in front of the posts to reduce the arrears to 18-10.
The West Yorkshire side scored again six minutes later when McGuire grabbed his second after good work by Carl Ablett.
But it was Rovers who ended the first half on a high with Campese kicking through and grounding the ball before it went dead.
Mantellato maintained his 100 per cent kicking record with his fourth conversion to leave Rovers leading 24-16 at the interval.
Kris Welham’s converted try at the start of the second half put Rovers 30-16 in front and in a great position to start the season with a win.
But the Rhinos rallied as they so often do.
McGuire got his second amid claims of an obstruction. Kallum Watkins then went over in the 55th minute with a converted try to close the gap to two points.
Leeds regained the lead in the 66th when Zac Hardaker darted through to score. Sinfield’s conversion make it 34-30 as Rovers began to tire.
When Rovers failed to trap Ryan Hall for a goal-line drop out with five minutes remaining, that signalled the end for Rovers’ chances.
All that was left was for Singleton to go over and convert his try at the death, thus confirming the outcome.