Leeds Rhinos 48 - 16 Huddersfield Giants (Half-time 22-4)

Reigning Challenge Cup holders Leeds Rhinos remain on course to retain their trophy this year, after a comprehensive display against local rivals Huddersfield Giants yesterday. The Rhinos made an explosive start as their much-lauded backs clicked through the gears and the result was never in doubt, the home side ending as deserved 48-16 winners.

Enter the 'big guns'

The Challenge Cup's sixth round is Rugby league's equivalent to football's FA Cup third round. All of the big Super League sides enter the competition at that stage.

The pairing of Leeds and Huddersfield was expected to provide the current Super League leaders with a tough challenge. Their form has been patchy of late in the league as their advantage at the top has been trimmed by Wigan and St Helens. Yet they returned to their early season all-conquering form to outclass the visitors for much of the match.

Sinfield's return to the team

The restoration of skipper Kevin Sinfield to the side may have had a part to play in their improved display, with his handling skills and eight successful kicks proving to be a major factor. It was centre Kallum Watkins who scored their opening try though on 7 minutes, as Leeds swiftly turned defence into attack as the ball was turned over near their own goal line.

Watkins latched on to the loose ball and ran almost the length of the pitch for a scintillating score. That seemed to settle the home side down and Sinfield's clever flick pass out of the back of his hand presented Watkins with his second try just five minutes later.

Rhinos running away with the match

The Rhinos were threatening to run amok and scored another try out wide through winger Ryan Hall just after the quarter-hour mark.

Their fourth try extended their advantage as Paul Aiton added his name to the scorers, following a scramble near the Giants' line. Huddersfield did at least get on the scoreboard before half-time when Kyle Wood went over for a try.

More tries for Leeds after the break

After the break there was a new man in charge of the game, with original referee Phil Bentham having pulled his hamstring.

There was little let up from Leeds though as they continued to pile on the points. Danny McGuire was on hand to benefit from Hall's power, as his neat offload provided the supreme try poacher with a close-range score. The tables were reversed later on, as McGuire drew the tackle after a quick Leeds' break out of defence, allowing Hall to saunter over for his second try of the match. Adam Cuthbertson had scored a try in between the McGuire and Hall scores.

Consolation for Giants

Huddersfield did add two late tries through Brett Ferres and Scott Grix to bring some much-needed respectability to the final score line. However, the final word went to Leeds, as Carl Ablett intercepted a Danny Brough pass to score on his 250th career appearance.