Leeds Rhinos 15 Wakefield Trinity 13: Chris Chester "proud" but it's extra-time heartache for winless Wakefield

When you are winless and joint-bottom of Betfred Super League, you need any luck you can get.

Wakefield Trinity got none last night as they suffered a seventh consecutive defeat in the cruellest of circumstances.

Desperate Leeds Rhinos, on a five-game losing run themselves, secured victory with a penalty in the second minute of Golden Point extra-time after Konrad Hurrell’s mountainous charge got them in position.

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As Leeds advanced closer via King Vuniyayawa, Jay Pitts, the Trinity second-row, ripped possession from the Rhinos player but the tackle was controversially deemed to have already been completed.

Referee Robert Hicks gave a penalty which Rhyse Martin simply converted.

There had already been drama in the final stages of this West Yorkshire derby.

Mason Lino’s 75th minute penalty had levelled the game at 12-12 but team-mate Tini Arona threw an awful pass from the restart to concede possession and gifted Luke Gale - on his return from a fractured thumb - the chance to immediately slot a drop-goal.

Nevertheless, Wakefield, who had defended magnificently for most of the match, found enough energy to gain position for Lino to equalise with his own one-pointer but they still needed Max Jowitt to charge down another Gale attempt with the final play.

Leeds Rhinos' Konrad Hurrell celebrates his try (BRUCE ROLLINSON)

Defeat was hard on Chris Chester, the Trinity coach who this week admitted he did not know if his contract would be extended in 2022.

His players clearly showed here they are fighting for him, especially given the situation they found themselves in tonight.

They lost hooker Jordan Crowther to injury in the opening exchanges and then saw prop David Fifita trudge off with a rib issue not long after he had come on in the first period.

Add in the fact that Trinity saw their first-choice hooker Kyle Wood pull up with a calf injury in Thursday’s final training session and you could understand why Chester must have feared the worst.

Wakefield's Olly Ashall-Bott is well met by Leeds Rhinos defenders. (BRUCE ROLLINSON)

Admittedly, they led 10-6 at half-time, the first time they had been in front at the interval this season.

However, they had spent the majority of the first period defending, Leeds having most of the better field position.

Fortunately for Trinity, Richard Agar’s side were badly off-cue with their execution and resembled a side that had spluttered so much this term.

The return of England scrum-half Gale brought some order to their play but there still wasn’t enough precision.

Leeds Rhinos' Liam Sutcliffe on the attack. (BRUCE ROLLINSON)

Every time Luke Sutcliffe looked to attack Wakefield’s left edge,, his side seemed to err, Hurrell coughing up one of his passes and Martin soon doing likewise.

They turned down an early penalty shot only to see the usually reliable Matt Prior spill at the play-the-ball and when Brad Dwyer - starting at hooker instead of Kruise Leeming - burrowed for the line he, too, lost control.

In fairness, Wakefield defended their own line admirably in the opening exchanges, showing remarkable resilience as they held out for four successive sets, and then scored with their first attack of the night in the 19th minute.

Where Leeds lacked crispness, Chester’s side showed plenty as the excellent Joe Westerman, Lino and, with the final pass, Max Jowitt, linked to put Liam Kay over in the left corner for the winger’s first try of the campaign.

Lino could not convert and then sent a forward pass to Westerman in the restart set, the sort of rudimentary error that has been hurting Chester’s side so much.

Nevertheless, Leeds failed to capitalise - Hurrell spilled - and, instead, Trinity added a second try.

Leeds Rhinos' Rhyse Martin barges over for his try. (BRUCE ROLLINSON)

Reece Lyne looked out of options when the England centre dabbed in a grubber but the usually infallible Ash Handley failed to mop up the kick and Lino kicked on to score.

Once more the Samoan could not improve, though, and Leeds responded when Prior produced a ball steal on Kelepi Tanginona, Sutcliffe this time sensibly running at the line and Martin eventually muscling over.

By his high standards, Tanginoa had a difficult night; earlier, the prop sent a forward pass under no pressure and, in the second period, he conceded a penalty in possession on his own 20m after taking offence to something Alex Mellor did in the tackle.

It was the sort of ill-discipline his side - who had extended their lead with a Lino penalty - could ill-afford to muster.

Yes, his side were so spirited in defence - they bundled Sutcliffe into touch from that penalty - and, in the first period, had held up both Morgan Gannon and Jack Broadbent with some magnificent efforts.

In the second period, they also managed to hold Hurrell up after Eddie Battye failed to play the ball correctly but it was inevitable all the energy spent in that aspect of their game would eventually could come back to haunt them.

Jack Broadbent did weave over but the Leeds full-back saw his effort ruled out as he ran behind Prior.

Nevertheless, Hurrell did score with his first try of the season in the 55th minute, Alex Mellor starting the move in motion with a midfield offload which Jarrod O’Connor did well to continue and expose the space.

Martin converted and Luke Briscoe looked to have added their third try just after the hour mark only for Liam Moore to rightly rule it out after the video spotted the winger lose rip when enacting his spectacular finish.

However, all the real drama was still to come.

Leeds Rhinos: Broadbent; L Briscoe, Hurrell, T Briscoe, Handley; L Sutcliffe, Gale; Oledzki, Dwyer, Prior, Mellor, Martin, O’Connor. Substitutes: Leeming, Vuniyayawa, Walters, Gannon.

Wakefield Trinity: Ashall-Bott; Kershaw, Lyne, Arundel, Kay; Jowitt, Lino; Arona, Crowther, Tanginoa, Ashurst, Pitts, Westerman. Substitutes: Fifita, Eaves, Battye, Green.

Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham)