Leeds (12) 18
Lauitiiti, Jones-Buchanan, Kirke
Smith 2, Gibson
Wakefield (2) 4
Lauitiiti scored Leeds' first try after only two minutes
An under-strength Leeds made it two wins from two Super League matches with a battling victory over injury-ravaged Wakefield at Headingley.
Ali Lauitiiti dummied his way over for the first try for Leeds before Tony Martin replied with a penalty.
Jamie Jones-Buchanan capitalised on a mistake by Matt Blaymire to score a second try for the home side.
Martin added a second penalty before Ian Kirke collected a Danny Buderus pass to crash over the third Leeds try.
The Rhinos were without Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow, Brent Webb and Keith Senior through injury but gave a debut to new signing Danny Buderus from the bench.
Wakefield's extensive injury list, which includes Danny Brough, Jamie Rooney and Danny Sculthorpe, was extended by the loss of Sam Obst in the warm-up.
The Rhinos made a dream start, with second-rower Lauitiiti dummying his way over after only two minutes but, fresh from their shock 12-6 win at Wigan, the visitors were in no mood to roll over.
Centre Sean Gleeson crossed the Leeds line midway through the first half only to be brought back for a forward pass.
They did get on the score sheet shortly after via a penalty from makeshift scrum-half Martin.
With Leeds holding on, the Wildcats shot themselves in the foot when full-back Blaymire fumbled Lee Smith's restart to present the Rhinos second-rower with a clear run to the line.
Smith added the conversion to put his side into a 10-point lead, which was harsh on Wakefield, whose misfortune was compounded when centre Ryan Atkins was sin-binned for fighting just before the interval.
Wakefield managed comfortably while down to 12 men and actually cut the deficit by two points when Martin landed a long-range penalty.
The Rhinos should have extended their lead when Danny Allan, a third-choice stand-off, broke clear but ran out of steam as he got to the try-line.
The home side were forced to defend desperately when Brad Drew pushed from close range but was ruled to have been held up short.
Smith thought he had sealed the game for Leeds when he went over in the corner but the touch judge signalled he had gone into touch first.
Kirke did secure the victory shortly after when he collected a short pass from Buderus and crashed over with substitute Ashley Gibson adding the conversion.
Leeds coach Brian McClennan:
"Lee was crook at half-time so it was a brave effort by him and we would have got him off if we could."
"I'm really pleased with the efforts of the boys, it was a really physical game and they competed hard.
"It was a bit of a frustrating game but we held it together really well.
Wakefield coach John Kear:
"I thought Leeds' goal-line defence was absolutely exceptional.
"They defended pretty well throughout and I am pleased with my team's performance.
"To say we had only five days to prepare, I've got to give the players a big rap. We can still improve but there are lots of plus points."
Smith, Donald, Ablett, Watkins, Hall, Allan, McGuire, Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Lauitiiti, Kirke, Jones-Buchanan.
Bailey, Burgess, Buderus, Gibson.
Blaymire, Blanch, Gleeson, Atkins, Halley, Grix, Wilkes, Martin, Drew, Stosic, Henderson, Ferguson, Demetriou.
Bibey, Bibb, Pitts, Blake.