Leigh Centurions 12-60 Leeds Rhinos
Sinfield leads by example
Captain Kevin Sinfield scored 28 points as Super League champions Leeds safely negotiated a smooth passage into the semi-finals of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a 60-12 victory over plucky part-timers Leigh.
Sinfield was one of eight different tryscorers to demonstrate impressive teamwork as the Rhinos, runners-up for the last two years, moved to within 80 minutes of a third consecutive Wembley appearance.
Inspired perhaps by clips of the club's 1971 Cup final win over Leeds shown on the big screen and the appearance on the pitch before kick-off of Alex Murphy, architect of that famous victory, the Centurions matched their illustrious visitors for the opening quarter.
The tie looked to be going according to the script when Leeds scored the first of their 10 tries after eight minutes, stand-off Danny McGuire touching down after centre Lee Smith had collected Sinfield's kick over the defence.
Sinfield kicked the first of his 10 goals but the 5,290 crowd sensed an upset when Leigh drew level four minutes later, the influential Bob Beswick handling twice before sending second rower Tommy Goulden over for a try, converted by Martyn Ridyard.
But that was as good as it got for Paul Rowley's men as the champions showed their class.
Another pinpoint kick from Sinfield created a try for full-back Brent Webb midway through the first half but the part-timers were still in contention until the Rhinos hit them with a twin strike in a decisive four-minute spell just before half-time.
Leigh were caught out by cut-out passes from Webb and McGuire which enabled wingmen Ben Jones-Bishop and Ryan Hall to both cross unmarked and Sinfield converted both touchdowns to stretch his side's lead to 24-6.
Had full-back Gregg McNally managed to touch down on the stroke of half-time following a superb break, Leigh would have gained renewed hope but referee Ben Thaler ruled a knock-on and that signalled the end of the tie as a contest.
The never-say-die Centurions still had their moments but the pace and skill of the world club champions gradually began to tell on the scoreboard.
Rob Burrow marked his return from a four-match absence with a trademark solo try six minutes into the second half and then combined with McGuire to get substitute Shaun Lunt racing over for his third try in four appearances of his loan spell from Huddersfield.
Sinfield took McGuire's pass and sidestepped McNally to score his first try but Leigh gained some reward for their persistence when McNally won the race to his own kick to score his side's second try, with Ridyard adding the goal.
Jones-Bishop was denied a second try by a forward pass from Webb before substitute Weller Hauraki provided the final passes for Smith and Sinfield to add further scores.
Leigh were still pressing for a consolation score when Hall picked off a stray pass to race 95 metres for his second try and Sinfield maintained his 100% record with the boot.