Jamie Peacock marked his 500th career appearance with a rare try as Leeds inflicted more pain on Wakefield with a 42-6 victory in their First Utility Super League clash at Headingley.
The 36-year-old’s trophy-laden career fittingly began as a Bradford Bulls player against Wakefield exactly 15 years ago and he will have enjoyed the way the Rhinos tore the men from Belle Vue apart for the second time in a week.
Leeds progressed to the fifth round of the Challenge Cup with a 60-6 win and it was a case of deja vu for the Wildcats on Friday night.
Liam Sutcliffe, Ryan Hall, Tom Briscoe and Carl Ablett all crossed in the first half as the home side all but secured the two competition points before the break.
The biggest cheer of the evening came when Peacock collected Rob Burrow’s dab through to score before Chris Clarkson and Burrow himself went over either side of a Jarrod Sammut try to complete another big victory for the Rhinos.
There was an early blow for the Wildcats when former Rhinos favourite Ali Lauitiiti left the field with a leg injury following a trademark offload.
Wakefield found themselves behind soon after as Sutcliffe went over on the back of good work by Hall and Joel Moon from a Kevin Sinfield kick.
Leeds did not have to wait long for their second try of the evening, Burrow this time kicking and finding Hall who leapt brilliantly to touch down.
The Rhinos were playing with confidence and Wakefield were struggling to shut down their offloading game, which was exhibited in the home side’s next score on 24 minutes.
Neat interplay between Sinfield and Kallum Watkins created the space Mitch Achurch needed to dummy and pass back inside to Briscoe for the simplest of tries.
The Wildcats rarely tested the Leeds line in the first half and when they did they struggled to make the most of good field position, with on-loan Rhinos youngster Luke Briscoe bombing their best chance after juggling the ball.
Leeds forced three goal-line drop outs as half-time approached and the pressure finally told as Ablett crashed over after Leeds had switched the ball from right to left.
Sinfield made it four from four with the boot to give the Rhinos a 24-0 lead at the break.
The match was more even in the first 15 minutes of the second half as Wakefield tried to claw their way back into the contest.
It was Leeds who struck next, though, through the man of the moment, Peacock reacting quickest to Burrow’s short kick for a popular four-pointer.
Sinfield converted and laid on his side’s next try with a nice inside ball which was well finished by Clarkson.
Wakefield full-back Sammut gave the travelling fans something to cheer after a break by Paul McShane but Burrow scampered over as Leeds celebrated Peacock’s milestone in style.
Hero Peacock revealed he was keeping a promise when he scored a try on his 500th career appearance.
The former England captain’s second half score brought the house down at Headingley Carnegie and Peacock wore a huge smile after the game.
He said: “I was at an activity camp (during the day) and I said to the kids I am going to score today. I thought I had better not let them down.”
Rhinos made yesterday “JP day” to mark his 500 games and he said: “I am really grateful to everyone at the club for all the effort they’ve put in and for making it feel like a special achievement.
“The players and Mac (coach Brian McDermott) have been great as well and the fans were fantastic. They helped make it a special occasion.”
Head coach McDermott – a former Bradford team-mate – was delighted to see Peacock celebrate his milestone day with a touchdown.
He said: “He has had an outstanding career – I am envious and pleased for him as well. It hasn’t been easy for him and he has got to where he is through sheer determination and hard work. He should be very proud of what he is done, but he’s grounded and I know he won’t get carried away.”
Leeds Rhinos: Jones-Bishop, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Sinfield, Sutcliffe, Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Achurch, Ablett, Kirke. Substitutes: Ward, Bailey, Clarkson, Singleton.
Wakefield Trinity: Sammut, Fox, Briscoe, Ryan, Riley, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Scruton, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Substitutes: Siejka, Raleigh, Moore, Annakin.
Referee: G Stokes (Wigan).