ONCE again, there is another Warrington Wolves defeat to unpick as their slump in form continues.

Leeds Rhinos rode away from The Halliwell Jones Stadium with two points on Thursday night as a flying start proved enough for them to secure a well-earned victory.

For Warrington, their alarming slide continues as they put themselves in more danger of being reeled in by the chasing pack.

Here, our Wire reporter Matt Turner looks at some of the game's key talking points...

Warrington Guardian:

Fans make their feelings clear

If it was not abundantly clear that discontent among the Warrington Wolves fanbase was growing, it certainly will be now.

At both half-time and full-time, boos rang out around The Halliwell Jones Stadium to greet another tame defeat, with barely anyone left inside the ground as the disheartened players lapped the field.

From the outside looking in, that may seem strange given Wire’s lofty position in the league table in comparison to their dire struggles last year.

To many who watch week in, week out, however, the displays over the past month – and perhaps even beyond that – are displaying concerning flashbacks.

The goodwill built up over their eight-game winning run to start the season is at best eroding, and at worst it has completely disappeared.

It seemed a clear message from sections of the fanbase that they have had enough.

> WIRE SOCIAL: Angry supporters flood social media after Wire are booed off the field

Another first half to forget

Once again, Wire’s problems lay in a nightmare start to the game in which they gave themselves a mountain to climb.

After a competitive opening, Sam Walters’ eighth-minute try completely derailed them and within six minutes, Ash Handley had crossed twice more to leave the hosts 16-0 down.

And when Sam Kasiano was sent to the sin bin for a shoulder charge shortly afterwards, a real hammering looked to be in store.

They deserve some semblance of credit for limiting the damage, but any attempts to get back into the game were once again foiled by needless errors and a general lack of precision with the ball.

Moving Matt Dufty into the halves was worth a try, but it did not pay off as Leeds continually hammered away at a right edge that had once again completely changed from the previous week.

By the time, some signs of life were shown, it was way too late.

Warrington Guardian: Sam Walters' opening try was the first of three in six minutes for Leeds in the opening quarterSam Walters' opening try was the first of three in six minutes for Leeds in the opening quarter (Image: SWPix.com)

Too easy for Leeds to roll upfield

Building pressure with the ball was an issue for the hosts, but doing so without it was made to be impossible.

It was all too easy for Leeds to roll up the field – they routinely found themselves in good attacking position without seemingly having to work too hard.

It is difficult to remember too many times Wire were able to pin Leeds inside their own half in defence, with the Rhinos’ large outside backs getting them on the front foot.

Not that they needed the helping hand they were often given by the home side’s indiscipline, with more than one penalty being given away for dissent to compound the situation.

Warrington Guardian: Leeds found metres easy to come byLeeds found metres easy to come by (Image: Mike Boden)

Ghosts of Wire’s past continue to haunt them

Last week, it was Gareth Widdop’s composure and leadership that got the better of Warrington.

The week before, it was Toby King - still technically a Wolves player who will in all likelihood be back next season - who made the crucial difference against them.

This week, the trend of Wire being haunted by former players continued as Blake Austin ran the show.

He delivered a display reminiscent of his first season in a Wolves shirt back in 2019, tormenting his old club’s right edge time and again.

The Australian has his own future to play for given he is in the last year of his contract at Headingley, but on this evidence there will be no shortage of suitors.

Warrington Guardian: Blake Austin enjoyed his return to his old stomping groundBlake Austin enjoyed his return to his old stomping ground (Image: PA)

No easy way back

Just how do Warrington go about changing things? What is it going to take?

To those questions, there are no easy answers and given what is on the horizon, it is little wonder there is trepidation among The Wire’s followers.

St Helens next week, Wigan the week after – things are certainly not getting any easier and Daryl Powell will have to figure out a solution with pretty much the same group of players.

Said group may even be smaller still should the Match Review Panel take a dim view of the shoulder charge that saw Sam Kasiano sin-binned – one of a number of transgressions in an ill-disciplined display from the big prop.

Despite everything that is going on, they remain in a strong position to finish in the all-important top six, but a continuation of these kinds of performances will put even that in jeopardy.

Warrington Guardian: Sam Kasiano is shown the yellow card by Chris KendallSam Kasiano is shown the yellow card by Chris Kendall (Image: Mike Boden)