Leeds coach Richard Agar praised his players’ desire after they completed the double over Wakefield with a golden-point 15-13 victory in the final Super League match to be played behind closed doors.
A drop goal from Trinity scrum-half Mason Lino two minutes from the end of normal time locked the scores at 13-13 and Leeds second rower Rhyse Martin won it with a penalty in the first period of extra time.
Agar, who was without 12 players through injury or suspension, felt a sense of relief as his team ended a run of five defeats without being anywhere near their best.
Agar said: “I thought it had elements of craziness to it. There were way, way too many errors and brain explosions.
“Every time we felt we had an opportunity to pull away from them we did something ridiculous.
“The positive is that defensively we looked pretty good most of the night.
“We shot ourselves in the foot multiple times with penalties and dumb, crazy errors.
“But I always felt we had a strong desire to win the game.
“We’ve still got a fair few kids out there and I thought Morgan Gannon, for a 17-year-old kid in his third game in first grade was a shining light for us. And Jarrod’s (O’Connor) second stint was much better.”
Wakefield led 8-0 after scoring two tries in five minutes through Liam Kay and Lino but there were echoes of their defeat by the Rhinos in March, when they let slip a 16-4 lead to go down 28-22.
Leeds scored tries either side of half-time through Martin and Konrad Hurrell to edge in front but Lino kicked a penalty to draw his side level and Leeds captain Luke Gale – back in the side after a four-match injury absence – traded drop goals with Lino as the game ended 13-13 after 80 minutes.
The crucial moment came in the third minute of extra time when Wakefield forward Jay Pitts was pulled up for a ball steal and Martin stepped up to kick the match-winning penalty.
Agar said: “I think it was a penalty – he’s tackled him when he’s on the floor – but it’s debatable what that rule brings to the sport, it’s really messy.
“I think we were in a good position to land a drop goal in any case.”