IT was an ultimately dominant scoreline, and the stats reflect the overall superiority Warrington Wolves had over Leeds Rhinos at Headingley.

The Wire ran out 34-8 winners despite being without several key players, with their front row particularly depleted as Paul Vaughan, Zane Musgrove and Joe Philbin were all unavailable.

However, those that were left combined to produce what was arguably the best result and performance of the Sam Burgess era to date.

We’ve combed through the player stats on the Super League website and picked out some things we noticed…

Dominance shows on the scoreboard

Last week against Catalans, Warrington spent large portions of the game on the attack either side of the nightmare starts to both halves that ultimately proved costly.

They couldn’t make it pay on that occasion but at Headingley, their general dominance eventually showed in the scoreline.

There will be those that say Wire took advantage of a dispirited Leeds side late on to run up a bigger score and while there may be some truth to that, what happened in the 65 minutes before Danny Walker’s pivotal try was key to them cutting loose in the 15 after it.

The visitors had nearly four times as many play-the-balls in the opposition 20 as their hosts (40 to 12), were more adept at building pressure and made more inroads with the ball.

They made twice as many tackle busts (36 to 18) and dominated in terms of post-contact metres (812 to 550), so it cannot be said the scoreline flattered them.

Warrington Guardian: Danny Walker's try proved pivotal in breaking Leeds' spiritDanny Walker's try proved pivotal in breaking Leeds' spirit (Image: PA Wire)

Harrison leads massive pack effort

Was this the night James Harrison emerged as a true leader in the Wire pack?

The England international often goes in the “quietly effective” bracket with usual front-row colleague Vaughan picking up most of the praise.

As the only front-line prop still available from last week, though, the onus was on him to be the anchor of a reshuffled middle unit and he certainly picked up the baton.

On both sides of the ball, he was superb – 123 metres gained from 15 carries and 25 completed tackles without missing a single one capped an excellent night for the England international.

Having been moved into the front row, Jordy Crowther also ended up with 123 metres while Joe Bullock was impactful – he had the highest average gain per carry (9.16m) of any front-rower on show at Headingley.

Let’s not forget the back row, too – Lachlan Fitzgibbon again reached three figures for metres gained (101) and was a big threat on the left edge while Matty Nicholson topped Wire’s tackle charts with 29 without a miss.

Warrington Guardian: James Harrison and Jordy Crowther formed an effective front-row partnershipJames Harrison and Jordy Crowther formed an effective front-row partnership (Image:

Is Williams clicking into gear?

During the week, George Williams told the Warrington Guardian the ankle injury that has plagued his season thus far is now completely behind him.

On Friday night, he backed up those words with a typically influential display.

Big players step up in big moments – towards the end of the first half with the game settling into something of a lull, he came up with an outrageous reverse pass to send Connor Wrench through the line for a break that really should have led to a try.

From the position it set up, however, the England skipper crossed himself to give Wire a lead they would never lose.

Nobody on the field made more than his 22 carries and it wasn’t just on the ball where he stepped up, either – off it, his 21 tackles without a miss puts him close to the top of Wire’s defensive charts.

Warrington Guardian: George Williams touches downGeorge Williams touches down (Image:

Thewlis stars among the backs

Top of the metre-making charts for the game was Josh Thewlis, who ran for 166 metres from 12 carries at an average of just under 14 each including his late interception try.

He also broke six tackles in some effective clearing runs off his own line – an area in which the Wire backs excelled.

Combined, the back five ran for 550m at an average of 8.87m per carry. Leeds can mitigate in that they lost their main metre-man in Ash Handley, who had already made a length-of-the-field break, to injury in the first half, but those that remained struggled to make the same impact.

Including Rhyse Martin, who moved into the centres to cover Handley’s withdrawal, the Rhinos backs combined for 518m, averaging just over 8m per carry.

Warrington Guardian: Josh Thewlis dives over to complete the scoringJosh Thewlis dives over to complete the scoring (Image: