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Leeds 34-30 Wakefield

Leeds (13) 34
Tries: Hall (3), Webb, Clarkson, Buderus Goals: Sinfield (5)

Wakefield (28) 30
Tries: Jeffries, Blanch (2), Johnson, Leo-Latu. Goals: Jeffries (5)

By Ged Scott
BBC Sport at Murrayfield

Leeds' Danny Buderus
Buderus missed much of last season with a broken leg

Leeds hooker Danny Buderus produced a bit of late Murrayfield magic as the champions stunningly bounced back to beat Wakefield in Edinburgh.

After shipping five first-half tries, Leeds looked out of it, but they stormed back from 28-10 down to win.

Winger Ryan Hall ran in a hat-trick,bolstered by tries from Brent Webb, Chris Clarkson and Buderus.

Wakefield's Damien Blanch scored twice, while Ben Jeffries, Paul Johnson and Tevita Leo-Latu also crossed.

On an unseasonally freezing cold first of May, there were 26,642 in a half-full Murrayfield by the time what proved the day's most competitive match kicked off.

And, after two shock wins from Crusaders and Harlequins, and a one-sided Warrington stroll against Salford, finally they were served up with some heart-warming fare.

Wakefield were 28-18 winners against their near neighbours when they met for the first time this season at Belle Vue back in February.

And, despite the blow of losing loose forward Danny Kirmond just before the match, another Wildcats win looked in the offing when they quickly went two tries to the good.

No sooner had Leeds had an effort chalked off, for obstruction by second row Ian Kirke, than they went behind on eight minutes.

And after stand-off Jeffries had improved his own try, Wakefield doubled their lead by the quarter hour through right winger Blanch, Jeffries again adding the extras.

Back came Leeds, still reeling from last weekend's 41-20 hammering at St Helens, to run in two tries in four minutes.

Winger Hall went over in the left corner on 23 minutes before then getting away with what looked a suspiciously forward pass to play in full-back Webb.

Skipper Kevin Sinfield landed the second of his two conversion attempts to bring it back to 12-10, but the Wildcats responded with three more quickfire tries of their own in the space of just five minutes.

Second row Johnson's effort was followed four minutes later by Blanch's second try. And, although Jeffries landed the first of his two kicks, there were more points almost straight from the restart with an embarrassing string of errors as Leeds looked anything but reigning champions.

Having put the ball straight into touch, from the resulting scrum their tackling was almost non-existent as they allowed Wakefield hooker Leo-Latu to carve his way through.

Yet, crucially, it was still Leeds who had the final first-half word when Hall got in again at the left corner, Sinfield kicking a superb touchline conversion.

And Brian McLennan's men closed to within six points eight minutes into the second half when substitute Chris Clarkson came off the bench to score Leeds' fourth try, Sinfield converting.

Now truly sensing the danger, Wakefield took the option of a Jeffries penalty five minutes later to stretch them two scores clear again at 30-22.

But, by now, Leeds had the momentum. And it was no surprise when they scored a fifth try of their own, Danny McGuire feeding Hall for another try in the left corner, Sinfield again improving from the touchline.

And, with just two minutes left, veteran centre Keith Senior's break allowed Webb the chance to set up Buderus for the matchwinning score, the reliable Sinfield icing the cake with his fifth conversion.

Leeds coach Brian McClennan:

"The team showed a lot of fortitude in coming back like that. It showed a lot of character.

"The try before half-time was very important because it kept us in the hunt but we weren't a happy team at half-time.

"We felt we had let ourselves down a bit and discussed what we could do better in the second half. And we were a lot better. It was a pretty good overall effort in the second half.

"It's nice to know we've got a comeback in us. It's one we can put in the bank. It gives you something to fall back on when you need it. Can it be the catalyst to kick us on? That's up to us."

Wakefield coach John Kear:

"I feel ticked off. I feel the best side lost but they scored more points than us on the scoreboard.

"I'm very proud of the effort of the players. We faced adversity from the warm-up when Danny Kirmond had to pull out. His back went into spasm and the physio couldn't free it.

"There are a lot of positives. We keep taking steps forward and today I thought we looked a pretty sharp team."

Leeds: Webb, Smith, Delaney, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Bailey, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Kirke, Sinfield.
Replacements: Diskin, Clarkson, Burgess, Ambler.

Wakefield: Murphy, Blanch, Gleeson, Demetriou, George, Jeffries, Obst, Korkidas, Leo-Latu, King, Ferguson, Johnson, Henderson.
Replacements: Bibb, Morton, Davey, Moore.

Referee: T Alibert (Toulouse)

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see also
St Helens 41-20 Leeds
24 Apr 10 |  Rugby League
Hull 12-8 Wakefield
23 Apr 10 |  Super League
Rugby League on the BBC
15 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Rugby league commentaries
03 Apr 10 |  Rugby League

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