LEEDS director of rugby Kevin Sinfield says his side were not desperate enough after they went down 38-36 to Hull KR in the third round of the Super 8s Qualifiers at Headingley.

The reigning Super League champions began their campaign with back-to-back victories over Championship opponents but still have work to do to maintain their top-flight status after failing to overcome their first Super League opposition.

The Rhinos led 22-16 at half-time and were 36-26 in front when winger Tom Briscoe scored his second try in the 54 minute but Hull KR, inspired by former Leeds captain Danny McGuire, produced a late scoring burst to take the spoils.

"When you concede 38 points at home, you get what you deserve," Sinfield said. "We conceded too many line breaks, too many times we got opened up down the middle.

"It was always going to be a tight, close game. We twice got eight or 10 points in front but we weren't prepared to be ruthless enough to kill the game off.

"While ever we lacked a killer instinct, we were always open for Hull KR to have a crack back at us and they did.

"They were desperate and so were we. At crucial moments we probably weren't desperate enough."

Leeds' misery was compounded by the loss of acting captain Carl Ablett with a knee injury midway through the first half.

"He doesn't look too good," Sinfield said. "He's been going really for us and we missed him out there."

A second successive away win has helped to make up for Hull KR's opening home defeat by Salford and boosts their hopes of avoiding relegation.

Winger Craig Hall scored a hat-trick of tries, taking his tally to seven in four appearances since he rejoined the Robins, and kicked five goals from six attempts to claim a 22-point haul.

Former Leeds prop Robbie Mulhern was also among the tries for the visitors but McGuire, who ended a 20-year association with his home-town club in leading them to Grand-Final glory last October, failed to add the finishing touches to a famous victory when he lost the ball going for the line in the last minute.

"I was disappointed for Danny," said Hull KR coach Tim Sheens. "He really wanted to score and I would have loved him to score it too so I could breathe a sight of relief.

"Two wins from three is outstanding. We still can't afford a lapse with four games to go but to beat a top-notch Super League side at Headingley is a big one for us.

"The lead changed hands a number of times, I lost count after three, but we kept staying in the game.

"You don't beat a side like that easy away. It was always going to be nip and tuck, I don't think one side was better than the other.

"It came down to who got the bounce at the back end and fortunately it went to us."