Hull FC coach Lee Radford said their win over rivals Hull KR was a good sign of their resilience.
The Black and Whites edged past the Red and Whites 25-16 at the KCOM Stadium on Friday night.
Radford said: “I was over the moon that it wasn’t pretty. We already got to the Grand Final and won the Challenge Cup after last week, so I’m bouncing that it was ugly and a bit of a reality check.
“I don’t think we would have won that 12 months ago, we would have got beat out there tonight. It’s a good sign.
“We had four months to prepare for Leeds physically and mentally, we had four days to get ready for this one so I think we can accept a little bit of dip in energy levels.
“We just needed to hold onto the ball long enough to wind their engines down a little, we also had a four-day turnaround, the first four-day turnaround of the season and it was not as high tempo as last week.
“I thought we were (the better team) in the latter stages the game. Until about the 60-minute period I don’t think we were. Credit where credit’s due, I thought they played better their way than how we played ours tonight.”