By Ian Laybourn, Press Association Sport
Wildcats head coach John Kear (pictured) was clearly disappointed with the outcome of the game, especially after coming so close to a famous victory over the Rhinos.
“I feel ticked off,” he said, “especially when the best team lost, although the Rhinos did out more points on the scoreboard.
“I’m very proud of the effort by the players.
“We faced adversity from the warm-up when Danny Kirmond’s back went in spasm.
“Our physio Simon Wray tried his best to unfree it.
“There are a lot of positivesfrom the game for us..
“We keep taking steps forward and today I thought we looked a pretty sharp team.”
But even taking that positive approach there was no disguising the disappointment for the Wildcat camp after conceding the agme in the last three minutes of the match after a blistering first-half display.
Leeds coach Brian McClennan praised the character of his side who came from 28-10 down to gain a thrilling 34-30 win in the last match on the opening day of the Magic Weekend at Murrayfield.
A try from hooker Danny Buderus three minutes from the end gave the Rhinos the lead for the first time in the match in the 77th minute and clinched a victory that lifted the champions back into the top eight.
The Rhinos lost scrum half Rob Burrow with a knee injury in the first half but England winger Ryan Hall scored the first of his three tries just before the interval to spark the fightback.
“The team showed a lot of fortitude in coming back like that,” said McClennan. “It showed a lot of character.
“The try before half-time was very important because it kept us in the hunt but we weren’t a happy team at half-time.
“We felt we had let ourselves down a bit and discussed what we could do better in the second half. And we were a lot better. It was a pretty good overall effort in the second half.
“It’s nice to know we’ve got a comeback in us. It’s one we can put in the bank. It gives you something to fall back on when you need it. Can it be the catalyst to kick us on? That’s up to us.”
Wakefield were well on course to completing the double over the champions when tries from Damien Blanch (2), Ben Jeffries, Tevita Leo-Latu and Paul Johnson gave them a commanding lead.