Wakefield Trinity were unable to do the derby-double over their close neighbours, as the Leeds Rhinos completed a tightly-contested 20-18 victory at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.
Ash Handley opened the scoring for the visitors in the eighth-minute before back-to-back Trinity tries from Lee Kershaw and Joe Westerman pulled Trinity ahead.
However, two tries just before the interval put the Rhinos in the ascendancy at the break, before Brad Dwyer’s powering try cancelled out Innes Seniors’ second-half opener to take the victory.
Despite four games in 10 days and a stunning Wakefield victory in mid-week, it was the Rhinos who started the better and christened the opening minutes with a try.
The ball played to Sutcliffe, who played it back inside to Handley, and the England international made no mistake.
Beaming with confidence after three consecutive victories, Trinity were not going to let their Yorkshire rivals run away with the victory and a quickfire leveller was just what the doctor ordered.
With Leeds holding much of the momentum, the ball was played out to the right with an ambitious looping pass. However, out of nowhere, Kershaw plucked the ball from the sky and sprinted the length of the field to touch down and almost mirror his Easter debut try against the Rhinos in 2019.
Wakefield were playing in a way only confidence can ooze and it didn’t take Chester’s men to double their advantage.
With 16 minutes on the clock, the ball was worked out expertly to the right, with Hampshire finding Westerman and the Leeds defence was no match for the big forward, who shrugged off the visitors’ defence to score.
However, just as usual, there was no let-up from pressure from Agar’s men and the Rhinos struck back almost instantly to narrow the home side’s lead at the interval.
Just four minutes after Westerman struck, the ball was overturned deep in the Trinity half and, after evading multiple attempts from Ben Jones-Bishop, Handley found Sutcliffe, who went over to make it 12-10 in the home side’s favour.
Then, just three minutes before the interval, Handley doubled his quota for the afternoon, as he touched down in the left-hand corner to give the Rhinos a 14-12 lead at the break.
With a two-point deficit at the break, the coach’s message must have been ringing in Trinity ears and with no time to spare, Wakefield took the advantage.
The winger, on loan from Huddersfield, has been in some impressive form as of late and when Hampshire’s perfectly-weighted kick went up, so did Senior, as the winger collected and touched down in the corner to give the home side a two-point cushion.
After a large number of games in a short space of time, Trinity’s fine defensive performance showed just why they have been in some fine form.
However, despite their best efforts, a final try in the last 12 minutes granted the away side with the victory.
The Rhinos pushed the Trinity line all the way and, with not much left in the tank, Dwyer was able to pick his spot and power over, breaking Trinity hearts in the process.
An arm-wrestle ensued, as Trinity pushed for a winner, but the Rhinos stayed strong and completed the victory.