GRAND FINAL glory beckons again for Leeds, who will aim to add to their record seven Super League titles when they meet Castleford at Old Trafford next Saturday.
The Rhinos endured the indignity of a fight against relegation during a nightmare 2016 campaign but they have showed signs of their old selves this season and another title would complete their resurrection.
Hull retained the Challenge Cup last month but have not won at Headingley for a decade.
Legendary Leeds duo Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow made their final appearances at home but will now have a chance to make it a fairy-tale farewell at Old Trafford.
Captain McGuire was making his 450th career outing ahead of an end-of-season move to Hull KR, while Burrow is retiring and joining the Rhinos backroom staff. The pair have contributed more than most in making Leeds the dominant force of the Super League era and were given a guard of honour before kick-off.
There was the added sub-plot of Hull’s Gareth Ellis, who won two Grand Finals with Leeds in 2007 and 2008, preparing to bring down the curtain on his own distinguished career.
McGuire is normally the epitome of calm but he reacted furiously when Hull prop Liam Watts clattered him with a late challenge.
From the subsequent penalty, homegrown second-rower Stevie Ward drove through the heart of the Hull defence and stretched out an arm to score.
Kallum Watkins converted and Castleford coach Daryl Powell watched on with intrigue from the commentary box as his team prepared to face the winners in seven days’ time.
Leeds continued to dominate field position and Hull could barely escape their own half, so it came as no surprise when McGuire produced some of his old magic to dart past a visiting defender and usher prop Anthony Mullally over.
After Albert Kelly was denied by Watkins’ superb saving tackle, Hull got off the mark when Ellis took Danny
GRAND DESIGNS: Stevie Ward goes over for Leeds early on