Leeds have got off to a flying start in the Middle 8s, cruising to an emphatic 62-6 victory over Featherstone at the Big Fellas Stadium.
The Rhinos only had a slender 12-point lead going in at the interval but the greater conditioning of the Super League club shone through with eight tries in the second half.
Watkins returned the favour to Sutcliffe eight minutes later, the latter going over before converting the try to give the Rhinos a 10-0 lead.
The Rhinos responded almost instantly when Joel Moon showed great strength to bundle across despite being surrounded by three Featherstone players, following a brilliant offload by Jamie Jones-Buchanan during the build-up.
Liam Sutcliffe nailed the conversion despite an almighty bang from the crowd in the seconds leading up to the kick.
A Sutcliffe penalty ensured the Rhinos took a 12-point lead into the break.
Sutcliffe continued to have a big influence on the game sending in Watkins for his second try of the afternoon.
The Rhinos started to run away with the game, Mitch Achurch benefitting from an offload by Tom Briscoe to crash over in the 48th minute.
Karl Ablett took James Segeyaro’s pass out of dummy-half before touching down to add his name to the scoresheet.
Two tries in two minutes from Briscoe and Sutcliffe saw the Rhinos take a 44-6 lead with a quarter of the match left to play.
Jimmy Keinhorst was sent to the sin bin for holding down Ian Hardman two metres from the whitewash.
Thackeray looked to have capitalized on the advantage of an extra man by diving over but the video referee ruled out the try after Achurch was obstructed by Snitch.
Moon became the second Rhinos player to score a brace of four-pointers, receiving Rob Burrow’s pass before dodging two Featherstone players and crashing over.
Leeds continued to press home despite still being a man down, Watkins securing his hat-trick with seven minutes left to go after another Segeyaro pass out of dummy half.
Watkins added insult to injury, running the length-of-the-field before crashing over two minutes from the end.