Jimmy Keinhorst made the most of his late call-up by scoring a hat-trick of tries to help Leeds Rhinos salvage a 20-11 victory over promoted Hull KR at a rain-soaked Elland Road.
The Betfred Super League champions will fly out to Australia on Friday for their Dacia World Club Challenge clash against Melbourne Storm with a 100 per cent record from their opening two games.
Keinhorst, who did not make the Rhinos’ Grand Final team and was left out of their opening match, only played because of an injury to Joel Moon which forced Brian McDermott into a late reshuffle.
The home side were second best for long periods of the game to a side inspired by Super League debutant Chris Atkin, who formed an exciting half-back partnership with former Rhinos captain Danny McGuire, who also had his moments on his return to Leeds.
Tries from Ryan Shaw and Adam Quinlan put Rovers in control and they retook the lead through Atkin's drop goal after Adam Cuthbertson and Keinhorst had crossed to make it 10-10 at the break.
The Robins remained a point ahead approaching the final 10 minutes but Keinhorst scored twice to complete his hat-trick and leave Leeds in good spirits ahead of their long journey Down Under.
Leeds head coach McDermott said: "I thought it was a convincing win. I thought we showed some class, as we did at Warrington last week, but this time for different reasons.
"We were obviously disjointed – the weather knocked us about and we lost a couple of players before kick-off – and we were up against a really enthusiastic Hull KR team.
"We had to show some different traits which is equally important. We’re not going to be great every week, we’re going to have to show something other than just skill and I think that was epitomised tonight."
McDermott proud of players after well earned win https://t.co/JYJcPrK0Bb— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) February 8, 2018
Hull KR coach Tim Sheens said: "We took a huge step forward tonight, from where we were last year, let alone last week, but we still didn’t get the points.
"I thought our defence was pretty good and I’m very proud of the effort.
"But at the end of the day, they had that little bit of class to finish us."