Zak Hardaker has repaid his coach's faith with another impressive performance to help Leeds extend their winning run.
The former Featherstone winger, who was switched to full-back in the absence of the injured Brent Webb, kept the spot for the Stobart Super League derby against Bradford on Friday despite the New Zealander's return to fitness and responded with another dazzling display in a 34-16 win.
"He's playing with freedom at full-back and he's enjoying it," Leeds assistant coach James Lowes said. "I believe he was a full-back as a junior so he's very comfortable there and he's excelling in the position at the moment."
Hardaker scored one of his side's six tries to follow up his brace in last week's Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Wigan as the double-chasing Rhinos moved to within two points of third place in Super League.
Leeds were clinging to a tenuous 18-6 lead when skipper Kevin Sinfield was sin-binned for tackling a Bradford player without the ball 17 minutes into the second half, but his 12 team-mates defended superbly to keep the visitors at bay in his absence.
Centre Kallum Watkins scored two tries and sent hooker Shaun Lunt over for the 100th touchdown of his career as the champions made it six wins in a row.
Saints leapfrogged Catalan Dragons into third place after beating them 20-15 in a tense contest in Perpignan.
Mike Rush's men twice came from behind and survived the dismissal of Tony Puletua for a high tackle six minutes from time to earn a fifth straight win, which was sweet revenge for their agonising home defeat by the Dragons in February.
In a dramatic finale, winger Damien Cardace had two tries disallowed and forward Sebastien Raguin was also denied as the visitors clung on to condemn the French club to their first Super League defeat of the season at Stade Gilbert Brutus.
In Friday's other match Widnes pulled off their first Super League away win of the season with a resounding 46-8 triumph over Salford. Scrum-half Rhys Hanbury was the star of the show with two tries and seven goals as the Vikings avenged their 38-18 home defeat by the Reds in February.