FRIDAY night was widely acknowledged as the toughest test of The Wire’s newfound resilience and mental fortitude.

So it proved, and they passed with flying colours.

Leeds may have led with time ticking down after hitting a second-half purple patch, but in truth a Rhinos victory would have been extremely harsh on The Wire.

With the defending champions on a roll backed by a raucous home crowd, it would have been easy for Warrington to succumb to defeat.

However, this Wire team is different. They are made of more.

Even with 11 points to make up and with time running out, there was a calmness about their play. They did not appear flustered or rattled.

The foundations of that came from a first half which saw Wolves produce 30 minutes of almost complete dominance.

It will have been to their frustration that they could only post 10 points during this spell, and the fact Leeds scored from their first attack which stemmed from a questionable penalty given against Ben Murdoch-Masila would have only increased that.

Two more eyebrow-raising decisions against The Wire from referee Ben Thaler after the break – both times for moving off the mark – helped the hosts gain momentum and they took their chance.

They managed to get the offload game Wolves had done so well to suppress going again and it allowed the likes of Matt Parcell and Richie Myler to create chaos.

The majority of the 11,000 people inside Headingley thought their 20-minute spell of razzle-dazzle rugby would be enough to send The Wire home pointless.

That may have been the case for a few other teams in Super League, but not this one.

The leader of the fightback, and the man at the forefront of most good things The Wire did on Friday, was Harvey Livett.

A little over a year since he burst onto the scene by ripping St Helens apart in the halves, he did the same to the Rhinos from both the back row and the centres.

Three tries and one assist sent another message that, although Ben Currie may be injured, The Wire’s left edge is as dangerous as ever while he is in it.

The scenes of euphoria after Ben Murdoch-Masila’s try, both on the pitch and in the stands, showed just how much this win meant.

In a month containing four of the biggest tests they are likely to face for differing reasons, they have come through the first of them admirably.


. Josh Charnley makes his 200th career appearance in rugby league.

. Tyrone Roberts kicks The Wire’s first drop goal of the season.

. Highest number of points Warrington have scored away from home in 2018.


Super League, Round 14

Friday, May 4, 2018

Leeds Rhinos…22 Warrington Wolves…33

Rhinos: Ashton Golding; Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Ash Handley, Ryan Hall; Joel Moon, Richie Myler; Brad Singleton, Brett Ferres, Adam Cuthbertson, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Stevie Ward, Carl Ablett. Subs: Nathaniel Peteru, Anthony Mullally, Josh Walters, Matt Parcell.

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Josh Charnley, Ryan Atkins, Bryson Goodwin, Tom Lineham; Kevin Brown, Tyrone Roberts; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Harvey Livett, Ben Westwood. Subs: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Sitaleki Akauola, Joe Philbin. Subs not used: Dec Patton

Scoring: Brown try, 6mins, Goodwin goal, 0-6; Livett try, 18mins, 0-10; Golding try, 34mins, 4-10; Roberts drop goal, 40mins, 4-11; Moon try, 46mins, Watkins goal, 10-11; Hall try, 57mins, Watkins goal, 16-11; Ablett try, 60mins, Watkins goal, 22-11; Atkins try, 63mins, Ratchford goal, 22-17; Livett try, 69mins, Ratchford goal, 22-23; Livett try, 71mins, 22-27; Murdoch-Masila try, 79mins, Ratchford goal, 22-33.

Penalties: Rhinos 7 Wolves 4

Referee: Ben Thaler

Attendance: 11,749

Top man (Guardian reader’s vote): Harvey Livett