Leeds Rhinos backed up their famous win against St Helens by thumping Wakefield Trinity 26-0 tonight.
It was a slow start to proceedings at Headingley but who could blame either side in the freezing conditions.
The cold was definitely getting to each side’s attack which looked clunky for both leading to an obstruction penalty for either side, a rare occurance in Super League these days given officials usually direct the team who have committed the offence to surrender.
It was also somewhat error strewn but both sides stood up defensively to long periods of pressure and the only other opportunities seemed to arise when high bombs would stimulate chaos in the Wakefield backfield but Leeds couldn’t capitalise.
The closest either side cane in the first half an hour was when Rhyse Martin was held up after a short Jarrod O’Connor ball.
Unfortunately the big moment of the first 35 minutes was an injury to Ash Handley as he hobbled off the field. Intriguingly it wasn’t Harry Newman who replaced him as he returns from injury but was in fact another injury returnee James Bentley.
On the stroke of halftime Blake Austin thought he scored after an Aidan Sezer kick but Rhyse Martin was adjudged to have knocked the ball on in its flight.
This came after a superb Nene MacDonald break. Nonetheless at halftime it was 0-0. At halftime Lee Gaskell went off for Wakefield with an injury himself.
The second half started with another injury for Wakefield and a Leeds penalty. Samisoni Langi went off with a head knock after tackling Richie Myler without the ball but Wakefield will say they could have had a penalty for a late hit on Mason Lino in the same play.
From the resultant field position, a lovely play from the Rhinos with a ball out the back for Richie Myler allowed him to put in David Fusitu’a down the left.
That naturally brought a big cheer from the crowd and the next one welcomed the return of Harry Newman from the bench on his return from injury.
Then, remarkably with his first touch Newman collected an Austin kick batted back from Fusitu’a for Newman to race in and score.
This time Martin converted and the Rhinos led 10-0.
Leeds had a good command of the game by now and were speeding up the ruck and after a six again call Aidan Sezer burst through and teed up Tom Holroyd for a try to make it 16-0.
The floodgates were now open and another left side raid saw Myler throw a cut out pass over the top for Fusitu’a to get his second of the game.
Leeds then got a fifth try and it was a deserved score for Nene MacDonald who backed up Myler as he picked up a lose ball and raced away. It was MacDonald’s first for Leeds and was deserved based on his recent showings.
Worryingly for Wakey they were held scoreless for the third consecutive week making it over 240 minutes of rugby since their last try.