A spirited effort from the Wildcats wasn’t enough to prevent Leeds from continuing their excellent early season form.
There could be no questioning the Trinity effort at Headingley Carnegie but the Rhinos had simply too much quality for the Wildcats who were missing a clutch of their more impressive performers this season.
Jamie Peacock marked his 500th career appearance with a try whilst Ryan Hall scored a superb try and there were further scores for Tom Briscoe, Chris Clarkson, Liam Sutcliffe, Rob Burrow and Carl Ablett whilst Kevin Sinfield was perfect with the boot.
Richard Agar had Chris Riley available once more and selected him on the wing outside Matt Ryan with Luke Briscoe going up against brother Tom after being named at centre. Jarrod Sammut was named at full-back with Paul Sykes at stand-off and Richard Mathers missing out. Harry Siejka also earned a recall to the bench where he was joined by Andy Raleigh and Chris Annakin for the first time in 2014.
The Wildcats saw Ali Lauitiiti hobble off after just six minutes and to add insult to injury the Rhinos scored just minutes later. Sinfield hung up a high kick which was patted back to Moon by Hall and after the centre had wriggled out of the grasp of Luke Briscoe he offloaded to Sutcliffe to score.
Hall was again in aerial mode four minutes later when Burrow hung up a pinpoint kick to the corner and the England winger leapt superbly above Fox to claim the ball and touchdown.
Trinity had spent much of the opening quarter in their own half and after some brief respite briefly after the 20 minute mark, Tom Briscoe launched a counter attack from the tap on the 20 metre line and finished the set after some strong running from Mitch Achurch.
Ben Jones-Bishop was forced from the field on a stretcher but the reorganising didn’t hamper the Rhinos too much who continued to dominate proceedings. The Wildcats defensive efforts were at times desperate but consistently valiant, and it was only after Leeds had forced three successive dropouts that they cracked as Moon swatted away a tackle and put Ablett in to wrap up the first half scoring.
The second half was something of a grind as the Wildcats defended with spirit and endeavour but understandably lacked a little rhythm and cohesion when they did get their chance with the ball. It was a little harsh that Leeds’ next try came through some good fortune as Burrow’s grubber took a ricochet into the path of Peacock and few could begrudge him a try on his 500th appearance.
Trinity’s efforts were rewarded when Washbrook got out an offload to McShane who was sharp to snipe towards the line and offload to Sammut.
Burrow added a final score after a trademark scampering run through a tiring defensive line.
Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Briscoe, Ryan, Riley, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Scruton, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Replacements: Siejka, Raleigh, Moore, Annakin.
Rhinos: Jones-Bishop, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Sinfield, Sutcliffe, Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Ablett, Achurch, Kirke. Replacements: Bailey, Ward, Singleton, Clarkson.
Referee: George Stokes