Super League: Leeds Rhinos 24-6 Wakefield Trinity

James Bentley
James Bentley scored a first-half double to break his duck for the Rhinos
Betfred Super League
Leeds (12) 24
Tries: Bentley 2, Austin, Fusitu'a Goals: Martin 4
Wakefield (6) 6
Try: Whitbread Goal: Lino

James Bentley's try double helped Leeds beat Wakefield at Headingley to give head coach Rohan Smith his first win.

Bentley crossed twice to put Leeds 12-0 up, but was then sin-binned and Wakefield responded through Jai Whitbread to trail 12-6 at half-time.

The visitors improved in a tight second half, but Rhyse Martin's penalty nudged the Rhinos further ahead.

Blake Austin then crossed before David Fusitu'a's last-gasp try capped a third win in four matches for Leeds.

A comfortable third straight victory at Headingley moved the 10th-placed Rhinos closer to mid-table, but Trinity remain just two points above bottom side Toulouse after a sixth straight Super League defeat.

Both traded errors in a scruffy opening before Leeds were rewarded for some quick play when Bentley met Kruise Leeming's pass for a simple finish and his first Rhinos try.

Wakefield's defence performed well, but they were put under pressure by their own attack which consistently struggled to complete their sets without coughing up possession.

Cameron Smith created an opening for Austin to send Bentley in for his second score, but the back-rower capped an eventful first half when he was sin-binned for a high tackle on Thomas Minns.

Trinity took advantage of their extra man four minutes later when Whitbread muscled his way over, yet it would be as good as it got for a disjointed and nervous Wakefield side.

The visitors duly improved after the break without seriously troubling the Rhinos line and have averaged less then nine points a game in their last seven outings.

Yet the game remained in the balance at 14-6 until Austin put the seal on a fourth Leeds win of the season with 11 minutes left and Fusitu'a added late gloss.

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith told BBC Radio Leeds:

"It's been a good two weeks of prep to get that performance with a little mishap in between.

"As a combination there's plenty of work to be done, as individuals I thought they all contributed really well.

"I'm excited for the next opportunity to get win number two - that's pretty much how I'm wired. I feel happy and glad to be part of it and [it's] a real privilege to be at this club.

"It took a little while to secure the result, but there's nothing wrong with a grinding win."

Wakefield head coach Willie Poching told BBC Radio Leeds:

"I thought we made some inroads and improvements defensively and then it became a situation where we just had to defend too much on the back of some of our errors.

"I think we made 15 errors in the game and nine of those were down our end of the field, and regardless of who you play, it's too inviting and takes a toll on you, that defensive load.

"If we can improve our ball retention and some of our ball control, and give ourselves some opportunities to score and put some pressure on the opposition, we'll turn the corner.

"I'm still of a big belief that we'll do it. It's coming, it's on its way and we did a big part of that today."

Leeds: Oledzki, Leeming, Tetevano, Bentley, Donaldson, Smith, Myler, Austin, Handley, Sutcliffe, Martin, Fusitu'a, Hardaker.

Interchanges: Dwyer, Thompson, Gannon, O'Connor.

Sin-bin: Bentley (30).

Wakefield: Gaskell, Minns, Lyne, Hall, Lineham, Miller, Lino, Tanginoa, Hood, Whitbread, Ashurst, Pitts, Batchelor.

Interchanges: Kay, Fifita, Butler, Crowther.

Referee: Chris Kendall

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