Rob Burrow marked his return with two tries as Leeds Rhinos consolidated second place in the First Utility Super League with a 30-6 victory over Hull KR in a match which burst into life in the final quarter.
- Related Content
The two teams went into the contest on the back of contrasting results - Rovers buoyed by their thrashing of leaders St Helens and the Rhinos smarting from a late defeat at Wakefield.
There was nothing to separate them during a scoreless first half which began brightly before fading badly.
The quality of rugby league on show belied the perfect conditions and it took almost an hour for the opening try, Burrow going over from close range to the relief of the majority of onlookers.
As is often the case, the floodgates opened with Liam Sutcliffe and Carl Ablett both touching down within minutes of Burrow's effort.
Josh Hodgson responded for Rovers but Danny McGuire and Burrow scored to complete what turned out to be a resounding win.
Leeds set the tone for an exciting opening quarter, a gang tackle taking Omari Caro back 15 metres.
There was concern for both sides soon after as Rhys Lovegrove collided with Ben Jones-Bishop going for a high kick, resulting in a lengthy delay and the Hull KR man being helped from the field.
Kallum Watkins showed why he is one of the most feared centres in Super League with a break into the Rovers half from a scrum play before Jones-Bishop denied Liam Salter what looked like a certain try in the corner.
The frenetic pace continued as McGuire carved through the Hull KR line near halfway, only to turn around and find no Leeds team-mates in support.
Jones-Bishop was forced off after 20 minutes to be replaced by Sutcliffe and Burrow, making his comeback after a lengthy lay-off, was then introduced to the delight of the Headingley Carnegie faithful.
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.
Another chance came and went six minutes into the second period as Ryan Hall dropped a pass from Joel Moon after the Rhinos had shifted the ball nicely from right to left.
Hall made amends by stopping Caro in his tracks on his way to the Leeds line and the scoreline remained 0-0.
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.