With the Leeds Rhinos languishing in second bottom spot and the Huddersfield Giants having a fantastic start to the season, there was only one possible winner as the two West Yorkshire sides came together for the Rivals round at the start of the Easter weekend.
With Wigan and St Helens meeting tomorrow the Giants had a chance of enduing round eight in second position but the Rhinos knew that should Toulouse spring a surprise and put one over the Catalans Dragons in the first ever Super League French derby, then Jamie Jones-Buchanan´s side could go into the weekend at the bottom of the pile with a game against Castleford to look forward to on Monday afternoon.
The bookies were, however, a little nervous and only gave the Rhinos a two-point start on the handicap coupon, they were expecting it to be closer than many Leeds fans dared hope.
Tui Lolohea squandered the opportunity for an early penalty as he slid the ball wide of the posts. But within a few seconds Lolohea redeemed himself as he passed to Jermaine McGillvary who used Leroy Cudjoe as a foil and crossed for the opening points. Lolohea again failed with the kick, the visitors 4-0 ahead.
The Rhinos replied on fifteen when Liam Sutcliffe found his way between two defenders to stretch for the line and ground. Rhyse Martin added the conversion, and the Rhinos had a 6-4 lead.
The Rhinos were starting to look in control and the Giants making handling errors and showing poor discipline. The Rhinos were in for their second on twenty-nine when the Giants defence opened up and allowed Martin to go through the gap to score a simple try. Martin hit the post with the conversion attempt for 10-4 to the Rhinos.
The Rhinos added a forty-metre penalty from the boot of Martin on the stroke of half time to take an eight-point lead into the interval.
The second half started as the first ended with a Rhinos penalty goal from the boot of Martin.
After a penalty and set restart Ricky Leutele went in for the Giants off a Cogger pass down the left-hand side. Lolohea added the conversion, the ball just creeping over the crossbar, for a 14-10 scoreline with fifty-six on the clock.
Great strength from Morgan Gannon, pushing through a cluster of Giants defenders to force the ball onto the ground for the Rhinos third try of the night. Martin added the conversion and the Rhinos had daylight again at 20-10.
With two minutes remaining Luke Yates grabbed the Giants a lifeline when Bentley was unable to gather the ball and he picked it up to go over. Lolohea added the conversion to reduce the arrears to four points.
Sensationally Innes Senior went over in the corner with seconds remaining on the clock to level the scores. Tui Lolohea had a chance to win the game with a touchline conversion, but he missed to send the game into golden point.
The Rhinos kicked off the first period but it was Theo Fages who had first punt at a drop goal with the ball dropping short. Fages was tackled after making the kick attempt and it took a while for the physio´s to get him back to his feet, and as the Rhinos went downfield Blake Austin attempted a drop goal which was also off target.
Leeds received the kick in the second period and Kruise Leeming had a long range drop goal attempt soon after the restart, again unable to find the target and as the clock ran down Austin attempted a final drop goal which was again wide and the two sides would have to settle for a point each with a 20-20 finish.
The Rhinos were in total control of the game almost from the offset until three minutes from the full tme hooter, but some sensational play from the Giants got them into golden point and the total lottery of the drop goal attempts. Neither side could make their kick count, and the spoils were shared with a point each leaving neither coach satisfied at the outcome.
Leeds Rhinos: Walker, Tindall, Briscoe, Mellor, Handley, Sutcliffe (T), Austin, Oledzki, Leeming, Prior, Bentley, Martin (T, 4G), Smith. Subs: Dwyer, Gannon (T), Tetevano, Donaldson.
Huddersfield Giants: Lolohea (2G), McGillvary (T), Cudjoe, Leutele (T), Senior I (T), Cogger, Fages, Hill, Levi, Trout, McQueen, Jones, Yates (T). Subs: English, Greenwood, Wilson, Goulding.
Full-Time: 20-20. After Golden Point: 20-20.
Score Progression: 0-4, 4-4, 6-4, 10-4, 12-4 : HT : 14-4, 14-8, 14-10, 18-10, 20-10, 20-14, 20-16, 20-20 : FT: 20-20 : Golden Point .
Referee: Marcus Griffiths.