The side may have been unfamiliar but Leeds showed the spirit of champions, with Rob Burrow adding the skill, as this win put them six points clear at the top of Super League.
The competition's smallest player is in irresistible form and turned this game either side of half-time. It was a good job as Hull KR were never out of the game.
Justin Morgan's side had Leeds on the rack for much of the first half. After Brent Webb cancelled out David Mills' opener, the Rhinos struggled, two penalties from Paul Cooke re-establishing Hull KR's lead. James Webster was denied by a superb tackle by Danny McGuire and quickly went off with a dislocated shoulder that has ruled him out for the rest of the season.
In Burrow though, Leeds have a player capable of conjuring something special. With the final play of the first half, he threw a dummy that confused the home defence, leaving his path to the line clear.
Kevin Sinfield's conversion made it 12-10 to Leeds, with Kylie Leuluai's soft try two minutes after the restart compounding the blow before Burrow scurried in from 40 metres after picking up a loose ball.
It was far from game over, though, as Scott Murrell's try was followed up by a kick, which was dropped by Scott Donald, allowing Peter Fox to score. Cooke's fifth goal made it 24-22 but Keith Senior then gave Leeds breathing space. Matt Diskin sealed the win with Sinfield's sixth goal completing the scoring.
Hull K R: Briscoe, Fox, Cockayne, J. Webster, Fitzhenry, Cooke, J. Webster, Vella, Fisher, Mills, Newton, Gene, Galea. Substitutes used: Lovegrove, K. Netherton, Crossman, Murrell.
Leeds: Webb, Smith, Ablett, Senior, Donald, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Kaye, Scruton, Sinfield, Worrall, Diskin. Substitutes used: Watkins, Burgess, Peacock, Tansey.
Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury).