Tries: Ablett, Cuthbertson, Hall, Briscoe, Aiton. Goals: Sinfield (4).
Tries: Ellis, Wardle, Wood, Ferres. Goals: Brough (4).
Paul Aiton scored a late try for Leeds to claim a dramatic victory over Huddersfield and maintain their winning start to the ‘New Era’.
Carl Ablett, Adam Cuthbertson and Ryan Hall all went over in an impressive opening quarter for the home side, but Huddersfield hit back through Jamie Ellis and Joe Wardle to make it 18-12 to the Rhinos at the break.
Tom Briscoe kicked off the scoring in the second 40 but the Giants found some momentum and went ahead on 70 minutes after further tries from Kyle Wood and Brett Ferres but Aiton, who had never previously scored for the Rhinos, chose a perfect time to notch his first ever try as the clock ticked down.
Huddersfield had become somewhat of a bogey side for Leeds and were unbeaten in their previous seven meetings with their West Yorkshire rivals, but the Rhinos looked determined to end that barren run from the off.
Ablett cut through the visiting defence for his 60th career try early on before Cuthbertson rolled in and Ryan Hall bundled his way over. Kevin Sinfield converted all three tries and his side were in complete control.
However, the visitors were handed a lifeline as two needless penalties handed the Giants some crucial field position and they took advantage with Ellis and Wardle going over during the final few minutes of the half. Danny Brough matched Sinfield with a perfect first half record with the boot and Fartown suddenly had a fighting chance.
However, Leeds started the brighter of the two sides in the second period, with Briscoe strolling in on the right following a superb break and unorthodox, but successful, offload from the impressive Stevie Ward.
But the Giants continued to battle and clawed their way back into the tie through Wood, who got on the end of a superb angled kick from Leroy Cudjoe before Brett Ferres dived over to level the scores at 22-all with a quarter of the game to go.
Brough then kicked his fourth successful goal of the match in the 70th minute to put the visitors ahead for the first time – passing a personal milestone of 3,000 career points in the process – but that was to be the last time Brough celebrated as Aiton took advantage of some poor marker defence to dive over from close range to deny the Giants their first win of the season.
NothingButLeague Man of the Match: Stevie Ward.
Attendance: 12, 878.