Super League champions Leeds Rhinos brought the curtain down on 2017 with a 17-10 Boxing Day win at Wakefield Trinity.
It was Rhinos’ first victory since 2015 in the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge and both teams will have taken positives from a competitive pre-season opener.
Leeds forwards Mikolaj Oledzki and Jack Ormondroyd impressed and new half-back signing Ryan Hampshire did well for Trinity, alongside full-back Max Jowitt.Peter Smith
Leeds forwards Mikolaj Oledzki and Jack Ormondroyd impressed and new half-back signing Ryan Hampshire did well for Trinity, alongside full-back Max Jowitt.
Trinity lost hooker Tyler Randell to injury after just five minutes and Anthony England hobbled off in the second half.
Rhinos’ new signing Richie Myler did not come out after half-time due to a head knock.
Both sides scored one try in the first half, but Leeds led 6-4 at the interval thanks to Myler’s conversion.
Leeds went 16-4 up midway through the second half, but Trinity replied and came close to levelling the scores before Jordan Lilley’s drop goal sealed it.
Myler, making his first appearance after signing from Catalans Dragons, added the extras after Brad Singleton, Leeds’ captain for the day, barged over from his pass in 15 minutes.
Trinity got on the scoreboard eight minutes before the break, following a 40-20 kick from Kyle Wood.
The ball was moved right and Ben Jones-Bishop dived over from Jowitt’s pass.
Rhinos scored two tries in seven minutes midway through the second half.
First, Ormondroyd broke through the line and showed impressive pace to power over and then Oledzki smashed his way across from Jimmy Keinhorst’s pass, Liam Sutcliffe adding the extras.
With nine minutes left Joe Arundel went over from Hampshire’s defence-splitting pass.
Hampshire and Mason Caton-Brown went close to levelling the scores, but Jordan Lilley made the game safe for Rhinos with a 78th minute drop goal.
Rhinos were without former Gold Coast Titans prop Nathaniel Peteru, who was sidelined by a hamstring strain.