10-try Rhinos coast past London

Leeds cruised to a 10-try victory over struggling London Broncos to hit the top of the Super League table.

Ryan Hall celebrated his new five-year deal at Headingley with a first half hat-trick as the Rhinos comfortably maintained their unbeaten start to the season.

Brian McDermott could even afford to rest Kevin Sinfield, Joel Moon and Jamie Peacock, amongst others, and still have more than enough to see off the capital club, who are a favourite for relegation at the end of the season.

What was predicted to be a difficult night for the Broncos got off to the worst possible start, as Ben Farrar misjudged the kick-off, allowing it to bounce dead and forcing them to drop-out from underneath their own posts.

It allowed Leeds to get over for the game’s first try before the Broncos had even got ball in hand, Brad Singleton getting on the end of Danny McGuire‘s neat grubber kick to score his first try in Rhinos colours.

Their lead was doubled to 12-0 inside the first 10 minutes, Hall showing strength against his opposite number to score a trademark try in the left corner, and he had a second six minutes later as Leeds went along at a point a minute.

London rallied briefly, and had a try for Mike McMeeken chalked off by the video referee, Zak Hardaker getting under him when grounding the ball to prevent the try.

The video referee was called upon again shortly before the half hour mark, awarding a try to Mitch Achurch after he had taken Paul Aiton‘s short ball and shrugged off a couple of defenders to ground.

Leeds, with four wins and a draw from their previous five games, ended the half with two tries in as many minutes before the hooter.

First, Hall claimed a hat-trick, outjumping Jamie O’Callaghan to snare Rob Burrow‘s high kick, the tackle after McGuire had dribbled through, collected himself and galloped 20 yards to build a platform.

From the kick-off return, Leeds went virtually the length of the field, Ben Jones-Bishop finishing on the right, giving Leeds a 34-0 half-time lead.

Within a minute of the restart, the Rhinos were in the tries again, Hardaker dummying through for his first try.

London at least gave their fans something to shout about, Mason Caton-Brown finding a gap off a short pass to score, but it was a mere blip in the Rhinos dominance.

Kallum Watkins dummied and burst through a gap to score a fine solo try, minutes after he had bombed a sitter on the right hand side, and a second for Jones-Bishop followed.

It was perhaps fitting that Rob Burrow, captain for the night, marked his 350th appearance with a try, coasting through a gap and sliding over to complete the 54-6 victory.

Leeds: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Ward, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Kirke, Ablett, Jones-Buchanan, Singleton. Interchanges: Minchella, Mulhern, Achurch, Clarkson.

London: Macani, O’Callaghan, Minns, Solomona, Caton-Brown, Farrar, Drinkwater, Slyney, Moore, Krasniqi, McMeeken, Cook, Foster. Interchanges: Cunningham, Greenwood, Vea, Griffin.

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