Rhinos hoping opening day run will return

Rob Burrow races through against Bradford Bulls at the Millennium Stadium back in 2011.

Leeds Rhinos will kick off the new Betfred Super League season on Saturday at Emerald Headingley against Wakefield Trinity as they look to get back to winning ways on opening night.

Leeds have one of the best opening day records in Super League having only lost six of 25. Here we take a look back at ten of the best.

1999

The Rhinos opened their Super League campaign in 1999 with a trip to the North East to face Gateshead Thunder in their inaugural game. The Rhinos side included teenager Kevin Sinfield and Leeds ran out 24-14 winners on a wet night at the Thunderdome.

2001

Mark Calderwood made his debut at The Valley against London Broncos and Leeds found themselves 18-0 down early on only to score 50 unanswered points including a hat trick for Keith Senior and two each for Chev Walker and Karl Pratt.

2004

Tony Smith’s first game in charge was a signal of intent for the Rhinos. Marcus Bai announced his arrival at the club with a hat trick in the 58-14 demolition of the London Broncos at the start of a remarkable year.

2008

The Rhinos had trailed 12-4 after two tries from Hull KR’s new signing Jake Webster had cancelled out Scott Donald’s effort and looked like it had set up an opening day shock. However, Leeds dominated the last quarter of the game and Smith’s double along with a last gasp effort by McGuire gave Brian McClennan a perfect start to his career as Leeds coach in front of nearly 19,000 fans.

2010

The Rhinos showed their quality by coming through in the end to seal a 34-6 win after being level at 6-6 after an hour. Leeds arrived at a snow covered sold out Racecourse Ground in Wrexham to kick off the new Super League against Brian Noble’s Crusaders RL side with Brett Delaney marking his debut with a try.

2011

A remarkable fightback from 28-10 down and a hat trick from Ben Jones-Bishop saw the Rhinos beat Bradford 32-28 at the Millennium Stadium in Brian McDermott’s first game in charge.
The Rhinos other tries came from Kylie Leuluai, Ryan Hall and Rob Burrow in a high scoring affair to kick off the new campaign.

2013

Leeds Rhinos began their defence of the Super League title with a hard-fought win against Hull FC, who lost captain Gareth Ellis in the warm-up.

Six tries, including five in the second period, overpowered a Hull side who were level 6-6 at half-time.

2014

A stunning second-half show saw Leeds thrash Hull KR in their season opener.

Joel Moon and Kris Keating exchanged converted first-half scores to leave the game poised at 6-6.

But the visitors ran riot after the break, scoring six unanswered tries from Danny McGuire, Zak Hardaker, Kallum Watkins and a hat-trick from England international Tom Briscoe.

2015

Leeds had to come from behind at Craven Park before finally winning a 12-try Super League opening weekend classic.

Rovers responded to Leeds winger Tom Briscoe’s first-minute try with three of their own, including two from debutant Albert Kelly, to lead 18-4, going in still 24-16 up at the break.

But scrum-half Danny McGuire’s second try of the afternoon was one of four second-half tries for the Rhinos.

Kevin Sinfield, who kicked six out of seven conversions, also crossed.

2018

Leeds Rhinos kicked off the 2018 Super League season with a clinical victory at Warrington Wolves.

Leeds were 12-6 up at the break, Bryson Goodwin’s debut try keeping Warrington in the contest after early scores from Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Ryan Hall.

Having weathered a spell of heavy Wire pressure at the start of the second half, winger Hall’s brilliant breakaway touchdown extended the visitors’ lead.

Tom Lineham’s try gave Leeds a brief late scare, but they held on to win.