Leeds Rhinos 28 Huddersfield Giants 24 (Half-time 18-12)

Leeds Rhinos left it late before securing their third successive victory at the start of the new Super League campaign on Thursday, temporarily hoisting themselves into the top spot in the league as a result (St Helens have subsequently regained that distinction). They must have thought that their hoodoo against their local rivals, Huddersfield Giants was about to continue when they trailed by two points with just twelve minutes remaining, but a late try by Paul Aiton sent the Headingley crowd home in happy spirits with a 28-24 triumph.

The Giants have had the measure of Leeds in recent seasons, with this defeat being their first against the current Challenge Cup holders in eight matches. Oddly, they have seen most of their success at Leeds' home ground, with the previous four matches all seeing the Giants taking the points.

The confident Rhinos started far the better of the two sides, establishing an 18-0 advantage. Carl Ablett got their first try on five minutes as he easily brushed off the defence, with Kevin Sinfield adding the extras. As the away side paid for poor discipline, Adam Cuthbertson and Ryan Hall added further tries in the first period, with the conversions from Sinfield ensuring what looked like a commanding position.

With their possession percentage increasing, Huddersfield began to get a foothold in the match, scoring their opening points from Jamie Ellis' try on 29 minutes. They had reduced the deficit to just six points by the interval, after Joe Wardle had crashed over, with Danny Brough converting both of their tries.

International winger Tom Briscoe settled the home nerves somewhat just a minute after the break, when his superb 40-metre try stretched the Rhinos' lead once more.

Sinfield missed his first kick of the night, but with his side still enjoying a healthy 22-12 lead all seemed well set for them to take the points.

The visitors have had a torrid start to their season, losing all of their matches so far, but found resolve from somewhere to peg the lead back. Brough was by now beginning to pull the strings for the guest side and his teammates responded to his prompting.

Kyle Wood ran on to a grubber kick from Leroy Cudjoe for the next score and the game was all-square five minutes later, as Brett Ferres beat off Zak Hardaker's attempted tackle to go over for another try. Brough's kicking continued to impress as he put his team ahead for the first time in the match, moving them into a 24-22 lead as the game entered the final stages.

With time running out for the home side, it proved to be an unlikely source who secured the late try to put them back in front, as Leeds' hooker Paul Aiton bagged his first try for the club, following the awarding of a fortunate scrum after Cudjoe inadvertently caused the ball to go into touch. Leeds held on to win 28-24.

Defeat will have been hard for the Giants to take against their West Yorkshire rivals, as it leaves them still searching for their first points of the 2015 season, although they will at least have gained some hope from their second-half fight back, even if ultimately it was all in vain.