Super League: Leeds Rhinos 48-22 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
|First Utility Super League|
|Leeds (30) 48|
|Tries: Burrow 2, Hall, Hardaker, Watkins, Handley, Yates Goals: Sinfield 8|
|Wakefield (16) 22|
|Tries: T Smith, Hall, Sammut, D Smith Goals: Hall 3|
Outgoing Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield scored his 4,000th career point as his side retained top spot in Super League with a comprehensive win over bottom-of-the-table Wakefield.
Ryan Hall, Zak Hardaker, Rob Burrow (2) and Kallum Watkins crossed before the break for Leeds, Tim Smith, Chris Hall and Jarrod Sammut replying for Trinity.
Ash Handley and Andy Yates extended the Rhinos' lead after the restart.
Watkins scored again before Dan Smith went over for a consolation try.
Fittingly on the day that Yorkshire Carnegie-bound Sinfield became just the fourth player in rugby league history to reach the 4,000th point mark, he finished with a 100% record with the boot, converting all eight of the home side's tries.
Hall got Leeds up and running 10 minutes in, touching down Burrow's grubber kick before Tim Smith stepped and dummied his way to the tryline for Wakefield.
|Landmark day at Headingley|
|On the day Kevin Sinfield moved on to 4,000 points, his long-standing Leeds team-mate Rob Burrow broke the 1,000 point-mark for the Rhinos.|
Sinfield, on his return after missing three games through injury, did not have to wait long for his chance to break the 4,000-point barrier, adding the extras to Hardaker's try in front of the posts.
It seemed inevitable that Leeds would go on a scoring spree but Wakefield were playing with plenty of resilience, levelling when Hall intercepted Hardaker's pass and raced 90 metres to score.
Burrow worked the short side before Ryan Hall was set free down the left and passed back inside to give his team-mate the four points he needed to pass 1,000 career points and he added to his tally just two minutes later, going under the sticks after Carl Ablett's break from halfway.
Wakefield refused to go away, getting back to within eight points after former Rhinos favourite Ali Lauitiiti fed Sammut to score.
Both defences were struggling to prevent clean breaks on a warm afternoon and it was another, this time by Stevie Ward, which got the supporting Watkins in on the act.
It took 15 minutes of the second half for the next try to arrive when Danny McGuire, only on the field a matter of seconds, put Handley in with a fine cut-out pass.
Yates crashed over from close range for his first Leeds try and Watkins grabbed his second of the match after intercepting Sammut's pass.
Dan Smith showed good strength to get the ball down and give Wakefield the last word, but the afternoon belonged to the Rhinos as they made it 10 successive home wins over their neighbours.
Leeds coach Brian McDermott:
"There is a fair way to go and a fair few hurdles that we've got to overcome.
"It's a good position to be in but we're not getting really excited about it.
"We're just mindful that there are a fair few challenging sides out there that we're going to meet in the coming weeks.
"We've got to stay focused on what we do rather than look at the league."
Wakefield coach James Webster:
"We had a real good go. It was an improvement from Thursday night. I've got some beat-up blokes in that changing room but it's a good experience for us again.
"While we're not looking overly competitive on the scoreboard at the moment, as a club we're gaining some valuable experience.
"We're fielding a team worth £700,000 versus a team probably worth £1.8m, but we're learning a lot.
"Our focus is the back end of the year - round 23 and onwards - and how we prepare for that. Our goal this year is to stay up."
Leeds: Hardaker; Handley, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sutcliffe, Burrow; Cuthbertson, Aiton, Singleton, Ablett, Delaney, Sinfield.
Replacements: McGuire, S Ward, Yates, Achurch.
Wakefield: Sammut; Riley, Hall, Arundel, Owen; Miller, T Smith; Scruton, McShane, Griffin, Kirmond, Washbrook, D Smith.
Replacements: Lauitiiti, Ryan, Godinet, Hand.
Referee: Matthew Thomason (RFL).