|Leigh Centurions (8) 14
|Tries: Dawson, Brown, Crooks Goals: Reynolds
|Leeds Rhinos (15) 17
|Tries: Cuthbertson, Hall, Keinhorst Goals: Sutcliffe 2 Drop-goal: Sutcliffe
Leeds Rhinos edged to their first win of the season by overcoming Leigh in the Centurions’ first Super League home game for almost 12 years.
The visitors led 15-8 at the break, with Liam Sutcliffe kicking a drop goal after Adam Cuthbertson, Ryan Hall and Jimmy Keinhorst went over for tries.
Leigh’s first-half tries came from Matty Dawson and Mitch Brown.
Ben Crooks got a third Centurions try after the break, but a Sutcliff penalty proved enough to seal victory.
Winger Dawson got Leigh’s Super League homecoming off to an ideal start, opening the scoring after four minutes, with full-back Brown adding a second try soon after.
Prop Cuthbertson was the catalyst for the Rhinos’ response, crashing through for a try within a minute of coming off the bench, while hooker Matt Parcell was instrumental in allowing second rower Carl Ablett to get winger Hall over for a second try.
Keinhorst forced his way over for Leeds’ third try on 32 minutes, with Sutcliffe edging the visitors further ahead with a drop-goal from 40 metres.
After the interval both sides had chances before Leeds eventually added to the lead after Leigh had Jamie Acton sin-binned for a foul on winger Tom Briscoe.
Despite playing against 12 men, Leeds could only add two points from the boot of Sutcliffe, and Crooks set up a pulsating finish with a try 13 minutes from the end, with Keinhorst then making a try-saving tackle on Atelea Vea to ensure the win.
Leigh Centurions coach Neil Jukes:
“It was a big improvement but I’m really disappointed with the result.
“We hung in there for long enough and I thought there were two big moments at the end on our right edge, where we needed to pass the ball.
“They are fine margins and we’ve got to make sure we take them. We’re going to have to win some tight games and to do that we’ve got to nail the plays when they are presented to us.”
Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott:
“I’m pretty pleased and proud of the defensive effort we showed in the second half but disappointed with what we did with the ball and how many times we turned it over, probably in the most cheapest fashion I’ve seen.
“There was error after error which is clearly not going to get us too far this year.
“But I know from experience that you can correct those things within a matter of days. What you can’t put into a team is the toughness and steel you need to be to go through those tough periods.”
Leigh Centurions: Brown, Higson, Crooks, Tonga, Dawson, Reynolds, Drinkwater, Hock, Pelissier, Maria, Paterson, Vea, Hansen.
Replacements: Hampshire, Hopkins, Acton, Tickle.
Leeds Rhinos: Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Keinhorst, Hall, Sutcliffe, Burrow, Mullally, Parcell, Singleton, Ward, Ablett, Jones-Buchanan.
Replacements: Cuthbertson, Walters, Ormondroyd, McGuire.
Referee: Jack Smith (RFL)