A thrilling evening unfolded at Leigh Sports Village as Leeds Rhinos staged a remarkable comeback to overcome a 16-0 halftime deficit and secure a 22-16 victory against Leigh Leopards. This triumph was fueled by the outstanding performance of Ash Handley, who bagged two tries for the second consecutive week.

The first-half horror show witnessed the Leopards scoring three times to establish a comfortable lead. However, the Rhinos clawed their way back into contention with two tries from the Man of the Match, Handley, along with scores from Rhyse Martin and Matt Frawley, who notched up his first try for Leeds.

Rohan Smith made strategic changes to his lineup, with Mikolaj Oledzki returning to the team after missing games against Catalans and Hull KR. Oledzki started at prop, while James McDonnell joined the starting 13 due to James Bentley’s one-match ban.

Winger Ash Handley, entering the match with five tries in his first three games of the season, including two against the Dragons, continued his impressive form. Hooker Andy Ackers marked his 250th career game in blue and amber.

Leeds’ bench featured Justin Sangare alongside Leon Ruan, Jarrod O’Connor, and Tom Holroyd, following the previous week’s start for the French international.

Injuries to Tom Briscoe and John Asiata for the Leopards meant Umyla Hanley and Tom Amone were called in to play. Notably, Zak Hardaker, Brad Dwyer, and Owen Trout faced their former club as Leopards players.

The match kicked off with both teams swiftly advancing up the field, creating chances on each other’s try line. A Leigh penalty assisted the Rhinos in maintaining possession, resulting in a well-executed play involving Brodie Croft, Paul Momirovski, and Ash Handley. Despite the Leopards’ retaliation, the first half ended with a 16-0 lead for the home side.

The second half saw Leeds making a comeback, initiated by Rhyse Martin’s try, fueled by a penalty from Dan Norman. Leigh’s Gareth O’Brien was sent to the sin bin, giving Leeds an advantage, but they couldn’t capitalize on the extra man. Nevertheless, back-to-back tries from Frawley and Handley turned the game in Leeds’ favour.

With 15 minutes left, Handley sealed the victory with another team try, and Martin’s conversion extended the lead to 22-16. Despite high shots resulting in a sin bin for Leeds, resilient defence in the closing stages secured back-to-back wins for Smith’s side. The grandstand finish showcased Leeds’ determination and ability to turn the tide in their favour.