Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 26 - 58 Leeds Rhinos (half-time 10-24)
Wakefield's chances of finding any solace this season in the #Super League continue to look remote, after another thrashing at home to local rivals Leeds. The resounding victory for the Rhinos hoisted them back to the summit, whereas the Wildcats remain rock bottom and well adrift of the rest of the league sides. In a hugely enjoyable encounter at Belle Vue, the two sides shared a colossal 16 tries between them, but it was Leeds who took the honours claiming 11 of the scores on offer.
Opening score for Wildcats
After title rivals St Helens' home success against Salford had knocked Leeds temporarily from their pole position, Brian McDermott's side knew that the two points were essential to keep pace. They got off to the worst possible start though, as the home side started strongly and took the lead through a Tom Johnstone try.
Rhinos charge back
Initially stunned, Leeds shook themselves out of their stupor to charge back with three tries on the bounce. Deputy full-back Liam Sutcliffe was on the end of a classy Leeds' move for their first score, before the ever-reliable Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow chipped in with tries of their own.
Solid lead at the break
Wakefield reduced their arrears when Samoan international Pita Godinet crossed the Rhino's line, following a powerful surge from Johnstone, but were soon on the back foot once more. Carl Ablett's try ensured that Leeds led 24-10 at the break.
The margin was extended
The heavy scoring continued after the interval, but sadly for the home fans it was the visitors recording the bulk of the points. Sutcliffe completed his hat-trick with two further scores, which were matched by a brace from teenage sensation Ash Handley and also from Brad Singleton. Jimmy Keinhorst completed Leeds' list of try scorers.
Too little, too late
The Wildcats did restore some pride with scores of their own from Danny Kirmond, Nick Scruton and another for the impressive Johnstone, but in truth were well beaten.
Work to do for Smith
New coach Brian Smith was watching on from the side-lines and must now fully realise that he has a tough job on his hands at Wakefield. He has joined the club from Australia, with his role not officially starting until after the Leeds' match. Their initial effort was encouraging but once the floodgates started to open, there seemed little chance of the hosts being able to close them.
Right man for the job
McDermott believes that Smith, his former boss during his playing days at Bradford, is a shrewd appointment for the Wildcats. Whether he has time to save them this season remains to be seen though, given their extremely perilous position 7 points behind eleventh place side Salford. #Rugby