Wakefield Trinity 22 Leeds Rhinos 28 - Tom Johnstone impresses but 'visitors' hit back to win
Leeds Rhinos hit back to get their Betfred Super League season off to a flying start with a 28-22 win over Wakefield Trinity in cracking derby at Emerald Headingley.
Leeds, officially the away team, trailed by 12 points with a quarter of the game gone, but Richie Myler inspired a spirited rally and they finished with five tries to Wakefeld's four.
Two of Trinity's tries were spectacular long-range efforts by winger Tom Johnstone and they were very impressive for a spell in the first half.
Both Leeds, rookie centres, Alex Sutcliffe and Jack Broadbent, did well and Zane Tetevano, their only debutant, showed some good signs.
Luke Briscoe scored Leeds’ first try of the season, from Myler’s pass after just four minutes, but Trinity equalised almost immediately when Jacob Miller set Johnstone racing clear from close to Wakefield’s line, evading Tom Briscoe and Myler in the process.
That was the first time Trinity had been in Leeds’ half and they scored again the next time they got there, on 15 minutes, through their other winger, Innes Senior, who finished strongly at the corner off Reece Lyne’s pass, following a strong break in the middle by Kelepi Tanginoa.
Mason Lino converted off the touchline and Trinity were in again moments later through Matt Ashurst, who had the touchdown delivered on a plate by Miller.
Lino, who had also handled, made it 16-4 at the end of the first quarter and Trinity were well on top, but Rhinos scored three tries in the final 14 minutes of the half to take an interval lead.
A fine run from Broadbent lifted Leeds’ spirits and led to a try by Alex Sutcliffe, from Luke Briscoe’s pass.
Martin added the extras from out wide and Rhinos grabbed a fourth try after Matt Prior stole the ball from Chris Green and Myler went over off some magic from Gale. Martin landed the goal to make it 22-16 at half-time.
Johnstone scored a second break away try to level the scores again five minutes into the second period, scorching away after taking Gale’s kick close to Wakefield’s line.
After Lino converted, it was nip and tuck until the hour mark when Broadbent scored his first Super League try at the end of a flowing move involving Liam Sutcliffe and Myler.
Martin’s kick was off target, but he landed a penalty four minutes from time and Leeds held on for a fine away win.
Trinity, though, will take confidence from a good first performance and their half-back pairing of Miller and news signing Lino has real promise.
Recent addition Kyle Eastmond wasn't risked for Leeds and they will be delighted with the two points, particularly with so many first-choice backs missing.
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