Rhinos began the defence of their Super League crown with a comfortable win over newcomers Celtic Crusaders at Headingley, full marks to the ground staff for producing a good surface. Leeds had 22-0 lead by half time thanks to scores by Lee Smith (2), Scott Donald and Ryan Hall. The second half was a much tighter affair as the Crusaders started to get the message of Super league Rugby and they were rewarded with a try by Luke Dyer on 55 minutes. But Leeds scored the last points with a try from Carl Ablett. To produce the final score of:
Leeds 28-6 Celtic Crusaders
Tries: Smith 2, Donald, Hall, Ablett Goals: Sinfield 4
Tries: Dyer Goals: Hannay
Leeds: Smith, Donald, Watkins, Senior, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Lauitiiti, Ablett. Replacements: Kirke, Burgess, Allan, Mcshane.
Celtic Crusaders: Duggan, Dyer, Hannay, Dalle Cort, Blackwood, Smith, Van Dijk, O’Hara, Budworth, Bryant, Peek, Mapp, Lupton. Replacements: Quinn, Flower, J. James, Beasley.
Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield)