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Super League: Leeds Rhinos break down Hull KR to win at Headingley
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After a scoreless hour of play at Headingley, Leeds Rhinos finished strongly to beat Hull KR 30-6 to get back to winning ways in Super League.
Defence was the winner for almost an hour at Headingley, as Rovers and the Rhinos both failed to find a way to get across the whitewash.
Leeds welcomed back Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow and Carl Ablett from injury, and all three proved vital for Brian McDermott’s men.
Burrow broke the deadlock with the first of his two tries on 59 minutes, while Ablett, Danny McGuire and Liam Sutcliffe also touched down and Sinfield slotted a perfect five-from-five on his conversion attempts.
After three defeats in five including a loss in their last outing, it was a welcome win for second-placed Leeds against a stubborn Rovers side, who got their only try through Josh Hodgson.
Neither side could find a breakthrough in the first 40 minutes, with Headingley’s loudest cheer reserved for Burrow, making his comeback after a lengthy lay-off, as he was introduced into the action.
Errors crept in as the half progressed and one by Watkins, a forward pass to Burrow, forced referee Phil Bentham to rule out Tom Briscoe's try on the stroke of the break.
Given the nature of the match it was a brave call by Kevin Sinfield to turn down the opportunity to kick at goal when the Robins were caught offside, but his decision was vindicated.
The Rhinos skipper kicked for touch and his side moved to within 10 metres of the Rovers line before Burrow darted over from dummy half.
That was all the encouragement the hosts needed and they were quickly celebrating their second try as Briscoe set Watkins free down the right and the England man passed inside for Sutcliffe to finish.
Ablett was first to McGuire's kick to stretch Leeds' lead further but the Robins quickly responded when Hodgson threw a dummy to go over from acting half.
Rhinos' nerves were heightened when Neville Costigan found himself the right side of the whitewash but he was adjudged to have been held up.
McGuire settled them with a trademark support try after a break by Sinfield before Burrow broke through to round off the scoring.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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