They promised an #NRL premiership raid, but delivered well below what was predicted.
Sam Bourke loo...
6 hours ago
Leeds shrugged off the loss of skipper Kevin Sinfield to stage a thrilling comeback in a classic re-run of the 2005 Challenge Cup final to get past Hull 34-26.
Hull, without a coach following the sudden departure of John Kear, played superbly to establish a 20-12 interval lead but were unable to withstand a terrific onslaught from the visitors after the break.
Leeds did not take the lead until the 65th minute and were forced to stage their rally without Sinfield, who twisted awkwardly while attempting to make a tackle on Hull full-back Motu Tony midway through the first half.
After treatment to his right leg, Sinfield was carried off on a stretcher and with him seemingly went Leeds? hopes.
Hull, out of the top six after losing four of their last five Super League matches, were a side rejuvenated as they began life after Kear.
They had their own captain, Richard Swain, returning after a four-match absence with a torn bicep and they looked dangerous from the kick-off.
The home side went ahead after only two minutes when Great Britain winger Gareth Raynor gathered a long cut-out pass from Paul Cooke on the bounce and dived over virtually unopposed at the corner.
Cooke added the touchline conversion but Leeds drew level when McGuire finished superbly for his first try after threequarters Scott Donald and Chev Walker had combined to create the slightest of openings.
Left centre Kirk Yeaman edged Hull back in front on 14 minutes with a solo try directly from a scrum and right centre Sid Domic added a third try nine minutes later after loose forward Chris Chester handled twice in another lively Hull raid.
But Hull were full of invention and flair and it was no surprise when they scored again.
Yeaman was denied by a magnificent try-saving tackle from Leeds full-back Richard Mathers four minutes before the break, but there was no stopping Raynor when slick handling created another overlap.
Leeds twice pulled the score to within two points as the game continued at a frantic pace in the second half.
Second rower Willie Poching and Walker both demonstrated their considerable strength by forcing their way to the line and grounding the ball despite the attention of a host of defenders.
Burrow, proving an adept second-choice marksman, added both conversions to keep the game on a knife-edge.
In between the Leeds tries, Hull scrum-half Richard Horne, showing that he can match anything that the magical McGuire can do, darted over for a solo try converted by substitute Danny Brough.
But Leeds grew in confidence and they hit the lead for the first time when substitute Shane Millard scooped up a lucky rebound from McGuire?s grubber kick and touched down by the posts.
Keith Senior was then thrown back from the line but the Rhinos? pressure finally told when second rower Ali Lauitiiti tore through a tiring defence for his side?s sixth try.
Hull still had their moments, with Jamie Thackray and Brough both denied tries by the video referee, but Leeds just about deserved their victory.
Tries: Raynor 2, Domic, Yeaman, R Horne
Goals: Cooke 2, Brough
Tries: Poching, McGuire 2, Walker, Millard, Lauitiiti
Goals: Burrow 4, Sinfield
Hull: Tony, Dixon, Domic, Yeaman, Raynor, Cooke, R. Horne, Dowes, Swain, Carvell, Radford, Hill, Chester. Replacements: Brough, Wheeldon, Thackray, Whiting.
Leeds: Mathers, Donald, Walker, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Peacock, Diskin, Feather, Poching, Ellis, Sinfield. Replacements: Millard, Lauitiiti, Bailey, Scruton.
Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington)