Text us your news! Start your message Warrington News and send any photos or videos to 80360
GUARDIAN VERDICT: Leeds Rhinos 26 Warrington Wolves 18
Lee Briers is first to congratulate Chris Hill on his first Warrington Wolves try that got his team back into the game at 12-12. Pictures by Mike Boden
WOLVES’ energy levels took a hit for a third successive week in their first defeat of the season at Leeds Rhinos.
Just like against Hull KR and Bradford Bulls, Tony Smith’s side spent too much time tackling and although they got away with it in previous weeks the World Club Champions and 2011 Grand Final winners were a tougher proposition and it took its toll.
Because when Leeds marched 26-18 ahead with a controversial Liam Hood try in the 65th minute, Wolves’ weary legs never looked like providing a score in response.
All the defending resulting from handling mistakes and ruck infringements which were missed by referee Richard Silverwood – had taken too much out of them.
The courage and commitment to one another in defence cannot be faulted.
When they managed to get out of their own half and maintain a period of pressure, such as when they fought back to 12-12 in the final nine minutes of the first half, Leeds had difficulty handling them.
Tries were swapped in the opening eight minutes of the second half and although Kevin Sinfield booted Leeds into a 20-18 lead it was looking like the next try could settle the tense affair.
Wolves thought they had edged in front when Richie Myler was in the right place to regather Lee Briers’ knock back after a high kick had been allowed to bounce, only for the try to be ruled out because non-interfering Micky Higham had run into the 10m area after being in front of the kicker.
It was a correct call by the rules but nevertheless tough, especially as Leeds’ decisive score should never have materialised due to offside.
Brent Webb ran from in front of Sinfield to tidy up a dropped catch just one tackle before Myler made a hash of clearing the Danny McGuire kick which Hood pounced on for the killer try.
Wolves’ run of 15 Super League matches without defeat came to an end at Leeds. It was their first league loss since Salford at home on June 12, 2011.
Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield has now scored points in 15 consecutive games against Warrington, a streak which started on September 1, 2006 when Rhinos defeated Wolves 54-16 at Headingley.
Micky Higham made his 250th career Super League appearance in Wolves’ loss to Leeds. His total is made up of 99 games for St Helens, 89 for Wigan and 62 for Warrington.
After his three conversions against Leeds, Lee Briers now needs seven points to rack up a 2,500pt haul for Wolves.
The attendance of 17,120 for Wolves’ visit to Headingley is the biggest Super League crowd so far this season.
Round 6: March 9, 2012
Leeds Rhinos 26 Warrington Wolves 18
Brent Webb; Ben Jones-Bishop, Kallum Watkins, Zak Hardaker, Ryan Hall, Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire, Kylie Leuluai, Rob Burrow, Jamie Peacock, Jay Pitts, Brett Delaney, Carl Ablett. Subs: Chris Clarkson, Liam Hood, Ryan Bailey, Darrell Griffin.
Stefan Ratchford, Joel Monaghan, Matty Blythe, Ryan Atkins, Chris Riley, Lee Briers, Richie Myler, Adrian Morley, Micky Higham, Garreth Carvell, Trent Waterhouse, Ben Westwood, Paul Wood. Subs: Simon Grix, Chris Hill, Mike Cooper, Tyrone McCarthy.
McGuire try, 23mins, Sinfield goal, 6-0; Hardaker try, 29mins, Sinfield goal, 12-0; Blythe try, 31mins, Briers goal, 12-6; Hill try, 39mins, Briers goal, 12-12; Watkins try, 44mins, Sinfield goal, 18-12; Westwood try, 48mins, Briers goal, 18-18; Sinfield penalty, 55mins, 20-18; Hood try, 65mins, Sinfield goal, 26-18.
Rhinos 6 Wolves 7