Super League: Leeds Rhinos 28-24 Huddersfield Giants
|Leeds Rhinos (18) 28|
|Tries: Ablett, Cuthbertson, Hall, Briscoe, Aiton Goals: Sinfield 4|
|Huddersfield Giants (12) 24|
|Tries: Ellis, Wardle, Wood, Ferres Goals: Brough 4|
Paul Aiton scored a late try for Leeds to earn a dramatic victory over Huddersfield and maintain their unbeaten start to the 2015 season.
Huddersfield had hit back from 18-0 down to lead 24-22 after 70 minutes.
But Aiton, who had never previously scored a try for the Rhinos, chose a perfect time to break his duck.
Carl Ablett, Adam Cuthbertson, Ryan Hall and Stevie Ward also touched down for Leeds with Jamie Ellis, Joe Wardle, Kyle Wood and Brett Ferres replying.
Huddersfield had become a bogey side for Leeds and were unbeaten in their previous seven meetings with them - and looked set to continue that run after their determined second-half comeback.
It was a different story early on. The 60th try of Ablett's career in the sixth minute and two more scores in three minutes midway through the half from Cuthbertson and Hall - all converted by Kevin Sinfield - put the unbeaten Rhinos seemingly in total control.
|Danny Brough's landmark|
|When Huddersfield's Danny Brough kicked his fourth conversion of the match, he passed the milestone of 3,000 points in his career. He began his career with York and has played for Hull, Castleford and Wakefield, joining the Giants in 2010. The half-back has scored more than a third of his points for Huddersfield.|
But two needlessly-conceded penalties gave the Giants a lifeline, which they took as Ellis and Wardle both went over in the closing minutes of the first half with Danny Brough adding the extras.
Ward scored his try 54 seconds after the break with Sinfield this time missing his attempt at goal.
But the Giants ignored that setback and worked their way back into the contest, as tries by Wood and Ferres brought them level at 22-22.
Brough then kicked his fourth successful conversion of the match in the 70th minute to put the visitors ahead and also pass 3,000 career points.
But just as they were anticipating their first win of the campaign, Aiton forced his way over the line, and Sinfield this time found his range to earn Leeds their third straight victory.
Leeds coach Brian McDermott:
"This is not for now but Huddersfield obviously came in the second half with a method of slowing us down. I don't blame them for that and I am not having a crack at one individual referee or Huddersfield but nobody wants to watch that.
"That was an incredibly slow game to watch but credit to them for coming back and making it a contest. They are in better shape than their league position suggests.
"I wouldn't say we are firing on all cylinders yet but I am happy with the win, although it was a frustrating game to be involved with."
Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson:
"I said at half-time there were a lot of technical things to talk about but I congratulated them on the character they showed to get back in a position to win the game.
"One or two little errors cost us at the end. We didn't let the scoreboard affect us. We were low on confidence coming into the game and we played a good team and we looked like a good team as well."
Leeds: Hardaker; T. Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Cuthbertson, Aiton, Peacock, Ablett, S. Ward, Jones-Buchanan.
Replacements: Achurch, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Leuluai.
Huddersfield: Connor; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Brough, Ellis; Huby, Lunt, Mullally, Ferres, Hughes, Ta'ai.
Replacements: Crabtree, Lawrence, Wood, Kopczak.
Referee: Phil Bentham.