Leeds Rhinos recorded their biggest ever away win over their local rivals on Friday night in a game which quickly became a procession for the six time champions thanks to an explosive opening 15 minutes.
The Rhinos set the tone for an impressive performance with an early try coming in the fifth minute through Kevin Sinfield who pounced on a deflected kick from Danny McGuire to score.
The visitors were soon further ahead after Joel Moon crossed following a fine offload from Ryan Hall, and then it was McGuire’s turn to score after some impressive footwork saw Leeds’ number six take the score to 16-0 after just 13 minutes.
Two minutes later, Ryan Hall crashed over in the corner for his first of the night after good build up play involving the ever-improving Brad Singleton, taking the Rhinos’ lead to 20 points.
Despite an ominous opening from the Rhinos, the home side soon had a try of their own on 25 minutes as Lee Gaskell picked up Zak Hardaker’s chip to dash down field and score an impressive 90 metre try, sparking ironic chants of ‘easy’ from the home support.
The effort from the former St. Helens man seemed to give the beleaguered Bulls some momentum and they began to enjoy an even share of possession which saw the tries dry up and the score remained 20-6 to the visitors at the break.
Bradford continued their resilient spell into the second half and it took the visitors another 13 minutes before their next score. Ryan Hall finished off a simple move from the base of the scrum as the Rhinos showed quick hands to switch the ball from right to left, leaving Hall with a free run to the line from ten metres out.
Five minutes later, Hall was in again. Another raking move across the pitch finished with an astonishing offload from Joel Moon which allowed the England international stroll in and complete his hat trick.
Leeds substitute Liam Sutcliffe, who spent a month on loan at Bradford earlier in the season, then scored for the fourth consecutive game, and Watkins bullied his way through the Bradford defence to cross from 40 metres. Finally, Carl Ablett found Rob Burrow who scampered over to score the final try of the game on his 400th appearance for Leeds, completing a memorable derby victory.
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