20th July 2018, 22:00 | super_league
Kevin Sinfield won his first game since returning to Leeds Rhinos as the champions ended a nine-match winless streak to condemn bottom side Widnes Vikings to a 15th straight Betfred Super League defeat.
Sinfield, who led the Rhinos to seven Grand Final wins as captain, was appointed director of rugby at Headingley earlier this month following the sacking of long-serving head coach Brian McDermott.
His first match in charge was a heavy defeat at Castleford Tigers – a club record-extending eighth Super League loss – before a draw at home to Wakefield Trinity last week stopped the rot.
Leeds get back to winning ways as they hold the Vikings scoreless at Emerald Headingley with seven tries to the home side pic.twitter.com/6VQCyLLsJP— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) July 20, 2018
This success was sorely needed and gives the Rhinos a fighting chance of avoiding a bottom-four finish and subsequent relegation fight.
First-half tries from Brad Dwyer, Luke Briscoe, Richie Myler and Matt Parcell laid the platform and efforts from Joel Moon, Tom Briscoe and Jack Walker completed a comfortable success.
LATEST— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) July 20, 2018
📈 @Giantsrl guarantee Top 8 finish whilst @leedsrhinos keep SL #Super8s hopes alive after tonight
Wins for @DragonsOfficiel & @WTrinityRL on Sat & Sun would see them secure their SL #Super8s spots and condemn Rhinos to the Qualifiers pic.twitter.com/fddK8uC5PB
Sinfield said: “It feels good and everybody needed it because the last two weeks have been a challenge for all of us.
“I’m delighted for the players and staff because they have really been committed and got the rewards of their efforts tonight.
“The focus for me is next Friday at Salford – control what we can control. What’s the point in looking at the table? We’re ninth for a reason and that’s because we’ve not been good enough."
Widnes interim head coach Francis Cummins said: “This was the worst performance while I’ve been in charge and to a man, we’ve embarrassed ourselves tonight.
“Leeds played well but we allowed them to because we didn’t show enough energy in what we were trying to do."