Following on from the thriller between St Helens and Catalans Dragons earlier, day one of Magic Weekend kept the fun coming as Leeds Rhinos beat Hull FC by golden point in front of more than 35,000 fans at St James’ Park in another absolutely absorbing tie.
Both sides travelled to the north-east needing wins to bolster their hopes of securing a spot in the play-offs and victory has all but secured the Rhinos' spot in the top six of the Betfred Super League.
In an end-to-end first 40, Rhinos started the brightest with Rhyse Martin proving too strong for Marc Sneyd, crossing the line for the game’s first try. The Papua New Guinea international then stretched Leeds' lead to 8-0 with a penalty after a high shot from Jake Connor.
Hull hit back with a lovely kick towards the sticks by Sneyd, allowing Danny Houghton to get on the loose ball and score. Sneyd followed up by slotting the two to bring the scores level. Brett Hodgson’s side then turned the game on its head after some superb work from Jake Connor, who got up highest to meet Sneyd's kick and sent the ball back into the hands of Tuimavave, who duly touched down in the corner, with Sneyd converting from the touchline.
The scores were level once again shortly after though, with Harry Newman bursting past Sneyd to score the third try of the evening, allowing Martin to bring the scores to 14-14. The manic first half wasn’t finished there though. Sneyd, once again amongst the action, made Leeds pay for being offside, scoring the resulting penalty to ensure Hull went in at the break ahead.
After a tentative start to the second 40, Sneyd was back at it again to extend Hull’s lead after another accidental offside from the Rhinos led to another penalty. Hull’s lead improved even further when Connor scored the second-half’s first try, an absolute peach. Sneyd was once again at hand to convert.
Rhinos got themselves back into things thanks to some excellent play from Luke Briscoe, who did well to smuggle the ball to Newman, who did just as well to get it to Kruise Leeming who got it over the line. Briscoe looked to have bagged a second try of the half for Rhinos but it was ruled out as his foot hit the touchline.
Rhinos did get that try eventually, with Jack Broadbent weaving over the line from close range to level the scores once again. Martin however missed an easy conversion to take the lead.
With the scores tied at 24-24, for the second time on day one of Magic Weekend we were treated to sudden death as the game came to golden point. Leeming was the hero for Leeds, though the Rhinos faithful can be thankful top a huge Hull error in the build-up.
Magic Weekend returns for day two tomorrow with a blockbuster day of the Betfred Super League in store, starting with Huddersfield Giants vs Wakefield Trinity at 1pm, Wigan Warriors vs Warrington Wolves at 3.15pm and concluding with Leigh Centurions vs Hull KR at 5.30pm.