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Leeds edge out Hull KR
Champions trailed 18-6 at the break
Kevin Sinfield's drop goal eight minutes from time secured a dramatic win for Leeds over Hull KR at Craven Park.
Leeds looked down and out at half-time, trailing 18-6, but three tries in seven minutes at the start of the second half put the Rhinos in the driving seat as they put Monday's defeat to Wakefield behind them.
The hosts set the tone for an entertaining game right from the opening kick-off with a high-tempo opening.
Graeme Horne's fifth-minute try came on the back of a great break from young full-back Louis Sheriff. Michael Dobson's touchline conversion gave the hosts a 6-0 lead.
It was the worst possible start for the defending champions who were coming off a 38-18 defeat at Wakefield six days earlier, but they got back on level terms five minutes later as they opened the Rovers defence up with a mix of the future and the past.
Highly-regarded Stevie Ward danced past Sheriff before offloading to the supporting veteran Danny McGuire to touch down close to the posts. Sinfield's conversion levelled the scores.
The fixture threatened to boil over with Brett Delaney and Dobson being put on report after Delaney up-ended Dave Petersen, bringing a reaction from Dobson.
Rovers were awarded the penalty, the first of two in quick succession which gave Rovers the perfect position to launch another attack. Josh Hodgson scored to move level with Kris Welham in the try-scoring charts and Dobson added the extras for a 12-6 lead.
Dobson took the lead out to 12 points with a virtuoso try in the 33rd minute. From 40 metres out, he broke through a tackle to score leaving Delaney, Ryan Bailey, Ward and Zak Hardaker in his wake and added the extras with the boot.
Leeds looked stung but responded well in the second half, and within 10 minutes had gone from 12 points down to four in front with three quickfire tries.
Sinfield and Hall, who combined to deadly effect against Wakefield, were at it again five minutes after the interval as a long over-the-top pass from Sinfield was grounded with ease by Hall.
Sinfield added the extras but he was off-target with his next conversion which seemed easier after McGuire crossed following Kallum Watkins' pass.
Leeds' third try in seven minutes came courtesy of Carl Ablett as Rovers struggled to contain their rampant opponents.
After 15 minutes of Leeds dominance, Rovers finally made it into Rhinos territory and more importantly they made it count.
Rovers built up pressure by forcing a goal-line drop-out and drew level through Sheriff following Scott Murrell's clever reverse kick, before Dobson's fourth goal from four edged the Robins in front.
With 18 minutes left to play, the points were there for the taking.
Dobson's error close to the Leeds line let the Rhinos off the hook, and Sinfield levelled the scores at 24-24 after Murrell was penalised for a ball steal.
Now it was down to a drop-goal lottery and Sinfield, as he has done so often in his career, dropped the goal to seal a narrow win for the Rhinos with eight minutes to go.
The closest Rovers got to scoring was when Scott Taylor got to the line but knocked on trying to ground the ball.
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First Utility Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||3||2|
|10||Salford Red Devils||3||2|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield Wildcats vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th March|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Hull K R|
|Thursday 12th March|
|20:00||Huddersfield vs Castleford|
|Friday 13th March|
|20:00||Warrington vs Leeds|
|20:00||Wigan vs Hull|
|20:00||Widnes Vikings vs St Helens|
|First Utility Super League|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Widnes Vikings 16 - 58 Wakefield Wildcats|
|Hull K R 22 - 20 Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Salford Red Devils 32 - 28 Hull FC|
|Catalans Dragons 38 - 18 Warrington Wolves|
|Friday 27th February|
|St Helens 21 - 14 Castleford Tigers|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
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