With both the Rhinos and the Centurions already guaranteed Super League places for next season all that was to play for at Headingley was the pride of finishing at the top of the Super 8s Qualifiers table.
As an added incentive, the Bev Risman Trophy would be competed for for the first time in honour of the Leeds and Leigh legend.
Leigh brought a five month long unbeaten record to Headingley and we're taking on a Rhinos side who lost at Huddersfield last weekend and who were without a handful of regular first-teamers including McGuire, Burrow, and Garbutt.
Three minutes into the game and Jamie Jones-Buchanan, the Rhinos skipper, was sent to the sin-bin for 'dangerous contact' in the tackle. Numerically disadvantaged the Rhinos held out, and a minute before Jones-Buchanan came back out of the bin, Brett Ferres took a James Segeyaro pass to throw a dummy, step right, and round to score. Kallum Watkins stepped up to take the kick but slid the ball in-front of the sticks.
On twenty-five the Rhinos doubled their lead when Jimmy Keinhorst crashed onto a Joel Moon pass to bounce off his tackler, push past the winger, and ground five in from the left touchline. Watkins was again short with the kick and the Rhinos were good value if for their 8-0 lead.
With the Rhinos starting to dominate Keinhorst got his second in four minutes when he found a big gap off a Stevie Ward pass to go over unopposed. Watkins was wide with the kick.
On thirty-three, and after a superhuman effort from Brett Ferres to stop a Leigh try, Segeyaro picked up a Drinkwater grubber on his own ten and went the length of the field to outpace Lee Smith and score in the right corner. Kallum Watkins converted his first of the night, and of his career, for 18-0 to the home side.
Four minutes from the interval and Leigh opened their account when Sam Hopkins took a Mickey Higham pass to go over under the sticks and when Martyn Ridyard added the extras it was 18-6.
Thirty seconds from time and Travis Burns interfered at the play the ball but Watkins hit the right upright with the penalty attempt leaving his side 18-6 ahead at the break.
The second half was ten minutes old when Ash Golding ducked under a swinging arms to ground under the sticks before appearing to take a knee to the head from Lee Smith. Watkins added the extras for 24-6.
On fifty-three Golding and Segeyaro both made thirty metre breaks before the Leeds hooker was hauled down just short of the line. A fast play the ball saw Joel Moon zig-zag through a scrambling Leigh defence for the Rhinos sixth try of the night. Watkins kicked his third of the night for 30-6.
Leigh hit back on fifty-seven when Matty Dawson was at the end if a passing line to take a pass from Willie Tonga to score wide left. Ridyard converted brilliantly for 30-12.
After absorbing Leigh pressure the Rhinos struck again on sixty-seven when Tom Briscoe picked up a pinpoint Joel Moon grubber kick to stumble to the line and score. Watkins added the extra two for 36-12 and the Rhinos were out of sight and had both hands on the Bev Risman Trophy.
Seven minutes from time and Leigh's Lee Smith was shown the yellow card for dissent by Gareth Hewer whose patience with backchat finally ran out.
It was an untidy end to the game as both sides put the ball to ground. Neither side could find their way to the whitewash and it was the Rhinos who comfortably took the spoils, after a last second Joel Moon drop goal, to jump ahead of Leigh on points difference and finish the Qualifiers campaign at the top of the table. The Rhinos will look back on this as a season of survival where their end of season form belied their early season troubles. Leigh have had a sensational season and will be looking forward to next seasons Super League campaign.
Rhinos: Golding (T), Briscoe (T), Watkins (4G), Keinhorst (2T), Hall, Sutcliffe, Moon (T, DG), Singleton, Segayaro (T), Jones-Buchanan (SB), Ferres (T), Ward, Cuthbertson. Subs: Handley, Hallas, Smith, Jordan-Roberts.
Centurions: Smith (SB), Brown, Worthington, Tonga, Dawson (T), Ridyard (2G), Drinkwater, Moimoi, Higham, Weston, Maitua, Dixon, Hock. Subs: Paterson, Burns, Dixon, Hopkins (T).
Referee: Gareth Hewer.