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HALF TIME: Warrington Wolves 18 Leeds Rhinos 0
Bridge has touched down his 100th Wolves try and gone beyond 1,000 career points in the opening half of a pulsating clash with Leeds Rhinos.
Both sides came close in the frenetic opening exchanges, Stefan Ratchford and Carl Ablett both after scores ruled out.
Ratchford was unable to connect cleanly with the ball as it bounced up from Chris Bridge’s kick after a superb break down the right from Gene Ormsby and Joel Monaghan.
Then Ablett lost possession in the act of reaching out to touch down after a short burst from first receiver.
But Warrington were the most dangerous looking team from then on, attacking Leeds around the ruck area with their fast men.
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 18th minute when Michael Monaghan darted right from dummy half and popped out a lovely pass to the left for Bridge to hare into space.
He had England full back Zak Hardaker to beat with Joel Monaghan in support and he sold the most outrageous dummy to complete the job from 30 metres with Joel punching the air in delight behind him. Bridge added the extras too.
Some moves broke down with lost possession by Ryan Atkins, James Laithwaite and Chris Hill but they continued to threaten with gusto.
Then came a stroke of genius from boss Tony Smith.
He took off prop Anthony England and brought on another speed merchant in Richie Myler in an all-out attempt to go for the Leeds jugular.
With three half backs on the field, Leeds were confused with who to mark and Myler was soon tearing up the Leeds line with Chris Hill in support for try number two after 32 minutes. Bridge’s goal took him to 1,001 career points.
Moments later a Michael Monaghan try on the zero tackle was controversially ruled out for a knock-on in back play, but referee James Child appeared to have been mistaken and had blown too early.
Furious Wolves stuck to the task though and on the next set from the scrum got over the line again.
Myler’s long pass tempted a Leeds defender out of the line to attempt an intercept and it left acres of space for Bridge to angle his way over for his 100th Wolves try. Bridge kept up his 100 percent kicking record to see Wolves finish the half 18-0 ahead.
Wolves: Matty Russell; Gene Ormsby, Joel Monaghan, Ryan Atkins, Rhys Evans; Stefan Ratchford, Chris Bridge; Chris Hill, Michael Monaghan, Anthony England, James Laithwaite, Ben Currie, Ben Harrison. Subs: Richie Myler, Micky Higham, Roy Asotasi, Ben Evans.
Rhinos: Zak Hardaker; Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Joel Moon, Ryan Hall; Danny McGuire, Kevin Sinfield; Kylie Leuluai, Robbie Ward, Jamie Peacock, Mitch Achurch, Carl Ablett, Chris Clarkson. Subs: Stevie Ward, Ian Kirke, Liam Sutcliffe, Brad Singleton.
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