Rhinos survive late Leigh onslaught


Leeds Rhinos survived a late onslaught to edge Leigh Centurions 17-14 in Friday's Super League contest.

Newly-promoted Leigh, playing a home match in Super League for the first time since 2005, were 8-0 up after just seven minutes of the contest at Leigh Sports Village.

But Rhinos, who welcomed back skipper Danny McGuire after he injured his quad in pre-season and missed their narrow opening defeat to St Helens, roared back to lead by seven points at the break.

Leigh refused to lie down and Ben Crooks' try with 13 minutes remaining set up a grandstand finish, but the hosts' valiant effort was in vain.

Leigh shipped 44 points in losing their opening game at Castleford Tigers, but started strongly and Josh Drinkwater played in Matty Dawson in the left corner, before Mitch Brown took Ben Reynolds' great offload for their second try despite Rhinos' claims for obstruction.

Rhinos soon awoke from their slumber, though, and - after a quick turnover - Adam Cuthbertson bulldozed his way over the line from Matt Parcell's short offload.

Parcell was influential again two minutes later, making the quick break before finding Carl Ablett, who in turn fed Ryan Hall for a second try.

Now in full flow, Rhinos peppered the Leigh line and Rob Burrows picked out James Keinhorst, who split the defence to touch down with the try eventually awarded by the video referee.

Liam Sutcliffe added a buzzer-beating drop goal and kicked a penalty to extend the lead on the hour.

However, Leigh were not done and Crooks brilliantly took a ball in the air before stepping inside the defence to stretch over the line.

Leigh poured forward in numbers in the last 10 minutes in search of a winning try, but the Rhinos defence held firm in the face of relentless pressure to get themselves up and running for the season.