Sinfield's masterclass keeps Leeds climbing the ladder

Leeds 21 Hull 6

Headingley Carnegie

Leeds will go into next Saturday's Challenge Cup semi-final with Wigan in good heart after continuing their climb up the Super League table with a fourth consecutive win at a rain-soaked Headingley last night.

The reigning champions, who were outside the top eight a month ago, are now up to fifth, the position from which they went on to win the Grand Final, and gaining confidence by the week under the inspired leadership of Kevin Sinfield.

Sinfield's tactical awareness and kicking proved to be the big difference but both teams deserve praise for coping with dreadful conditions after almost two inches of rain fell on the pitch.

Hull battled to the end despite an injury crisis that forced coach Peter Gentle to give a debut to Ryan McGoldrick, signed earlier in the day from Castleford, and to ask assistant coach Lee Radford to once more come out of retirement. Leeds played with enterprise but it was appropriate that the opening score came from an error. Ryan Bailey charged down Brett Seymour's kick and set up the position for centre Carl Ablett to score the game's first try.

Second rower Brett Delaney then made the most of the difficult conditions to extend his side's lead, taking Sinfield's pass before sliding over the line.

The score came after a contentious decision by referee Tim Roby to penalise winger Ben Crooks for passing off the ground, but Hull got a decision in their favour when video referee Ian Smith disallowed a try by Sinfield after spotting a knock-on.

Lunt was twice held up over the line as Leeds piled on the pressure but Hull's defence held firm to restrict their opponents to a penalty from Sinfield.

Leeds extended their lead three minutes into the second half when Ablett, fresh from his England appearance on Wednesday night, got his winger Ryan Hall over for their third try and Sinfield's fourth goal made it 20-0.

Hull threatened a fightback when stand-off Richard Horne touched down his own kick and Joe Westerman added the conversion. The score gave the visitors renewed confidence but they had given themselves too much to do and the conditions worked against them as they attempted to chase the game.

The only score in the last 27 minutes was a drop goal from Sinfield, who had done more than anybody to keep the champions on course for a possible double.

Leeds Hardaker; Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Ablett, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Peacock, Lunt, Griffin, Ward, Delaney, Bailey. Substitutes used Moore, Clarkson, Kirke, Burrow.

Hull McGoldrick; Crooks, Turner, Yeaman, T Briscoe; Horne, Seymour; Lynch, Heremaia, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Pitts. Substitutes used Aspinwall, Manu, Nicklas, Radford.

Referee T Roby (RFL).

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible