Leeds 28-6 Celtic

Leeds Rhinos kicked off the defence of their Super League crown with a 28-6 win over newboys Celtic Crusaders at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Friday night.nnA brace from young winger Lee Smith and scores from Scott Donald, Ryan Hall and Carl Ablett secured the two points for the champions.nnThe Welsh outfit, who played their first ever match just three years ago, made the worst possible start by letting the kick-off trickle behind the in-goal area, but managed to get through the next ten minutes unscathed.nnThe champions soon hit the front, though, with a fine move finished off by wingman Smith on the left. Centre Keith Senior sold Luke Dyer a good dummy, before passing inside to Jamie Jones-Buchanan who slipped in Smith for the opening try. Captain Kevin Sinfield duly converted to make it 6-0.nnLeeds’ other winger Donald soon grabbed his first try of Super League XIV on 16 minutes after slick handling on the right. A fantastic offload by 18-year-old centre Callum Watkins was finished off by Leeds’ top try-scorer of last season, before Sinfield’s kick just sailed the wrong side of the posts.nnCrusaders full-back Tony Duggan then gifted Ryan Hall one of the easiest tries of his career. An ambitious Duggan pass was intercepted by Hall, who cruised for a cheap four-pointer. Sinfield’s conversion put the Rhinos 16-0 up. nnThe Bridgend club went close to grabbing their first Super League try on 32 minutes, but Darren Mapp‘s touchdown was chalked off by the video referee after Jordan James‘ obstruction on Danny McGuire in the build-up.nnThree minutes later the visitors were further behind. A high McGuire switchkick was well caught and offloaded by Hall to 19-year-old hooker Paul McShane, whose pass inside played Smith into space for his second try of the match. Sinfield’s conversion just knocked off the right side of the post to give the home side a 22-0 half-time lead.nnAfter 15 minutes of fairly mundane play, Dyer grabbed Crusaders’ first ever Super League try. Following neat interchange in the midfield, skipper Jace Van Dijk put in an inch-perfect kick for Dyer to reclaim on next to the touchline and finish off under the posts. Centre Josh Hannay added the extras from in front of the sticks to pull it back to 22-6.nnLeeds went close to extending their lead with a superb break from Jones-Buchanan on the end of which McGuire was brilliantly ankle-tapped by Peter Lupton. Adam Peek was then sent to the sin bin after igniting a wild melee which resulted in Great Britain forward Jamie Peacock landing several punches on him.nnExperienced centre Keith Senior thought he had scored his first try of the season but had it ruled out due an obstruction in the build-up, before second-rower Carl Ablett finally got Leeds on the scoresheet in the second half. Sinfield added his fourth conversion of the game.nnThe Crusaders can take heart in being only seconds away from keeping the reigning champions scoreless in the second half, and the quality of Dyer’s try gave a glimpse of the potential of the new side.nnJohn Dixon’s side are on the road again next Saturday with a trip to Super League‘s other new side Salford (live on SkySports), while Brian McLennan’s Leeds face West Yorkshire rivals Wakefield on Friday night.nnLeeds – 28nnT: Smith (10, 34); Donald (16); Hall (21); Ablett (80)nG: Sinfield (11, 22, 35, 80)nnCeltic – 6nnT: Dyer (55)nG: Hannay (56)nnHT: 22-0nnRef: B ThalernnAtt: 14,827

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