James Segeyaro scored two tries as Leeds Rhinos earned a hard-fought 22-18 win over Hull KR in the Super 8s Qualifiers.
The Rhinos, as they so often do, have hit form at the business end of the season and Friday’s victory over their First Utility Super League rivals made it seven wins in eight games.
Rovers produced a superb performance to leave Headingley with a 30-10 victory in April and they were quickest out of the blocks as they aimed to build on last weekend's big win over Batley Bulldogs.
Leeds have made it 2 wins from 2 in the Qualifiers as 2 tries from Segeyaro inspire the home side pic.twitter.com/6wj5TAfDhm— leedsrhinos (@leedsrhinos) August 12, 2016
However, after withstanding a barrage of early attacks, Leeds took a narrow lead into the break as the in-form Kallum Watkins touched down and Liam Sutcliffe added two goals.
James Greenwood’s try and four points from the boot of Josh Mantellato brought Rovers level in the early stages of the second half, only for Sutcliffe to edge the Rhinos back in front with a penalty.
Hooker Segeyaro stood up when Leeds needed him most as last year’s treble winners edged to victory despite tries from James Donaldson and George Lawler.
Brian McDermott was critical of how Leeds handled the pressure, despite coming out victorious.
He said: “I don’t think it was the most exciting game I’ve ever seen and certainly wasn’t the most skillful one.
“We invited that to be a contest and I don’t think it should have been. But Hull KR are fighting for the same goal as we are and they had a lot of fight about them.
“We’ve got to manage how we played there. While I want to pay respect to Hull KR who were a resilient team out there, I want to hold us accountable.
“We can’t serve up that offense and hope not to have a nightmare every single game we play.
“We’d like for it not to be such a close game every time we play in this competition but this anxiety and pressure that comes with the middle eight, we’ve got to deal with it.”
Hull's James Webster added: “It was a very spirited performance, but we made it a spirited performance with a poor completion rate.
“I thought it was a close game and a very even game. Leeds play a very powerful game at the moment and I thought we were able to match them for long periods.
“We let two tries in from dummy half which we spoke about all week, which was disappointing.
“In saying that, you can’t knock the boys’ desire and commitment to win that game.”