Leeds (18) 28
Tries: McGuire, Jones-Buchanan, Donald, Buderus Goals: Sinfield 6
Wakefield (14) 22
Tries: Morrison, Obst, Murphy, Demetriou Goals: Cooke 3
Morrison joined Wakefield from Bradford at the end of the 2009 season
Leeds took advantage of a late yellow card for Wakefield forward Glenn Morrison to record their fourth consecutive Super League win.
At 18-18 with eight minutes left, Kevin Sinfield's kick put Leeds ahead after Morrison had caught Lee Smith late.
Danny Buderus crossed the line to put the result beyond doubt moments later.
The Rhinos had earlier fought back from 12-0 down to lead 18-14 at half-time only for Aaron Murphy's try to level it up before Morrison's indiscretion.
Morrison was the scorer of the Wildcats first try, taking Paul Cooke's fine offload and evading Danny McGuire to cross the line, before Sam Obst gathered his own grubber kick for the visitors' second.
Leeds got back in the game when McGuire weaved through from close range and drew level when Carl Ablett fed James Jones-Buchanan, who went over from close range.
A penalty from Cooke restored Wakefield's lead but wing Scott McDonald dived over in the corner to give Leeds the half-time advantage after fine handling from Smith, Sinfield, McGuire and Brent Webb.
Wakefield survived some early scares in the second half but drew level when Murphy squeezed over in the corner from close range.
Morrison's foul on Smith gave Sinfield the chance to kick Leeds into the lead before Buderus benefitted from the numerical advantage to saunter clear.
Jason Demetriou went over to provide the Wildcats with some solace, but Leeds had the final say when Sinfield capped a fine individual performance with his sixth goal.
Leeds coach Brian McClennan:
"An ugly win is better than a pretty loss. The lads showed character and I believe they always do.
"The heavens opened and although we did try to play some footie, we coughed up some ball.
"It's frustrating for the players to try and get playing and I think it's the same for every team. It's not an enjoyable game when it's like that."
Wakefield coach John Kear:
"I'm not going to use the sin-binning as a reason or as an excuse.
"We set out to gain control of the game and went 12-0 up and completed five sets out of five.
"However, I can't fault the effort or the application of the players because I thought they showed some great resolve and character.
"Over the 80 minutes it was a manful effort and a courageous effort."
Leeds: Webb, Donald, Delaney, Smith, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Leuluai, Buderus, Kirke, Ablett, Pitts, Jones-Buchanan.
Replacements: Diskin, Senior, Eastwood, Peacock.
Wakefield: Murphy, Blanch, Gleeson, Demetriou, George, Cooke, Obst, Moore, Leo-Latu, King, Johnson, Morrison, Kirmond.
Replacements: Blaymire, Jeffries, Korkidas, Henderson.
Referee: Ian Smith (Oldham)