Chris Clarkson was drafted in to play on the wing outside Keith Senior whilst Michael Coady made his debut on the opposite wing. The final debutant was Kyle Amor who came in for Bailey on the bench.
However, despite those set backs before kick off the Rhinos made a perfect start when Jamie Jones-Buchanan blocked Mick Dobson's attempted clearance and then collected the loose ball before going over next to the posts. Burrow added the conversion to make it 6-0 after two minutes.
It could have been even better six minutes later when Danny McGuire broke through 40 metres out but just as he drew the last man in Briscoe his final pass was dropped by Jamie Peacock and the chance went begging.
Leeds continued to enjoy the majority of possession but were unable to break down the resolute Rovers defence and they paid the price just in to the second quarter when Jamie Jones-Buchanan knocked on in his own half. The visitors moved the ball down the short side and winger Liam Colbon was able to get away from the tackle of McGuire and scored in the corner. Dobson missed the conversion so the Rhinos held onto a narrow lead.
However, that lead evaporated three minutes later when Clint Newton produced a great offload to release Jake Webster down the North Stand touchline. Brent Webb got back to cover him however he throw a hanging pass back inside to Peter Fox, who ducked under the tackle of Senior to score against his former club. Dobson added the conversion to make it 10-6.
Leeds pressed hard for an equalising score and again enjoyed possession in the Hull KR half. However, Senior knocked down a crossfield kick into the path of Dobson and he set off on an eighty metre dash to the tryline. The Australian looked certain to score however an incredible chase back from Rob Burrow saw him tackled 20 metres short and he knocked on as he fell to the ground.
However, with four minutes remaining in the half the visitors did get their third try when Ali Lauitiiti failed to deal with Dobson's reverse kick and Briscoe was on hand to get to the loose ball although a replay would have been necessary in a televised game as both reached for the initial bouncing ball. Dobson added the conversion to make it 16-6 at half time.
The Rhinos came out determined after the break as the rain continued to pour down at Headingley Carnegie. Rovers centre Kris Welham was lucky to get away with a telling off from referee Steve Ganson after he hit Burrow late. But from the ensuing penalty, the home side gained their own justice with a score from Keith Senior out wide near the South Stand. Burrow was unable to add the conversion but the lead was cut to 16-10 after 48 minutes.
Both teams were guilty of poor handling in the conditions with numerous knocks on leading to a patchy game. Hull KR looked to stretch their lead after 53 minutes but Dobson pulled his penalty attempt wide after Leeds were caught offside.
Leeds battled hard but on more than one occasion the bounce of the ball went against them at crucial times. They were also masters in their own undoing with a number of knock ons and players being caught near the touchline and dragged out of play. The home fans were incensed by a number of decisions by referee Steve Ganson and more importantly his touch judges, who they felt had missed several off the ball challenges on the Rhinos.
The final blow in the game came with three minutes remaining when Dobson kicked a drop goal from 15 metres out to give Rovers an unassailable 17-10 lead and booked Rovers first win at Headingley Carnegie since November 1985.
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|Leeds Rhinos Score Card|
|Hull Kingston Rovers Score Card|