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Leeds have shown they are ready to go one step further in 2004, running out comprehensive winners against the London Broncos 58 ? 14 at Headingley in front of over 15,000 people.
The star of the ten-try victory was PNG international, Marcus Bai, who collected a hat-trick on his Super League debut after moving to the Rhinos from Melbourne. Still despite the final result going Leeds? way, London opened the scoring with a Paul Sykes penalty in the seventh minute.
Rob Burrow however, keen to impressed put Leeds in a commanding position when he scored his double in just 10 minutes, first taking advantage of a Paul Sykes mistake, and then supporting Dave Furner after the second rower made a break.
London half back, Dennis Moran, tried to keep London in the hunt when he took an intercept try to open his trying scoring for the season, but Great Britain and Ireland centre, Keith Senior crushed the Broncos? hopes when he crossed for his first of two tries.
Bai crossed for his first of his hat-trick on the 31st minute, whilst London tried to keep the score respectable with Andrew Brocklehurst crossing.
The second half started much the same as the first, with Leeds scoring tries easily. Chev Walker opened his scoring account for the season, whilst Senior collected his second, whilst London?s only positive was Radney Bowker?s try.
Mark Calderwood scored soon after, Walker crossed for his second, and Bai crossed for his remaining two tries in the final quarter of the match.
LEEDS RHINOS 58 Tries: Bai 3, Walker 2, Senior 2, Burrow 2, Calderwood Goals: Sinfield 9 Team: Gary Connolly, Mark Calderwood, Chev Walker, Keith Senior, Marcus Bai, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Ryan Bailey, Matt Diskin, Barrie McDermott, Dave Furner, Matt Adamson, Kevin Sinfield. Subs: Andrew Dunemann, Willie Poching, Wayne McDonald, Danny Ward. defeated LONDON BRONCOS 14 Tries: Bowker, Brocklehurst, Moran Goals: Sykes Team: Paul Sykes, Jon Wells, Rob Jackson, Mark O'Halloran, Nigel Roy, Radney Bowker, Dennis Moran, Steve Trindall, Neil Budworth, Steele Retchless, Joe Mbu, Andrew Hart, Jim Dymock. Subs: Tom Haughey, Andrew Brocklehurst, Mitchell Stringer, Francis Stephenson. Venue: Headingley Stadium (Leeds) Crowd: 15,119 Date: Sun Feb 22 3.00pm Referee: Robert Connolly (Wigan) Half time: Leeds 24-10