COMETH the hour, cometh the man!

And that man was heralded new signing George Williams, summoning up enough strength and energy at the end of his first game for 10 weeks to bang over the winning drop goal against Leeds Rhinos at Headingley with 40 seconds left on the clock.

For the former Wigan Warriors and Canberra Raider star, it was just the second one-pointer of his top-flight career, taking on a duty we have come to expect from Blake Austin.

"That was my moment to step up. Blake wanted it, but I thought I've got to have this," said Williams.

"I'm just glad it went over. I was happy with how that finished – it couldn't have gone any better.

"I was pretty rusty as I haven't played for a long time so I was just happy to get on the field and knock 80 minutes out."

All eyes were on the England international on his return from the NRL and although he was understandably quiet for most of the game, he still found a way to steal the headlines and it whets the appetite for the games to come.

An aspect of Williams' selection was Stefan Ratchford's return to full-back and he was the real star of the show, tidying up a lot of what Leeds threw at Wire's defence and making a nuisance of himself with his ball carries too not to mention striking five goals from as many attempts.

There would have been no chance for Williams' last-act dramatics if Danny Walker had not used his vision and fresh legs off the bench to score a match-levelling converted try four minutes from time.

That was achieved while skipper Jack Hughes was in the sin-bin for a needless late challenge on Leeds playmaker Luke Gale and he will be relieved his punishment did not cost the side.

His teammates dug in for him and he had earned that respect, having joined hooker Daryl Clark in making more than 50 tackles in a game that neither side was able to take by the scruff of the neck.

The Wire lost too much possession in the first period and spent much of it on the back foot, yet on two rare forays deep into Leeds' half they crossed for tries through Mike Cooper and Austin to only trail 18-12 at the break.

Josh Charnley's try, which looked a dubious decision on replays for having not been grounded, gave The Wire the steadier platform they needed in the second half.


- Only the second drop goal of George Williams' top-flight career, his first since 2017

- Chris Hill's 250th Super League appearance, 249 for The Wire and one for Leigh

- Sitaleki Akauola's 100th career game

- Wolves' first win at Leeds since 2018


Super League, Round 17, Sunday, August 1, 2021

Leeds Rhinos...26

Warrington Wolves...27

Rhinos: Richie Myler; Tom Briscoe, Konrad Hurrell, Harry Newman, Ash Handley; Liam Sutcliffe, Luke Gale; Matt Prior, Brad Dwyer, Mikolaj Oledzki, Rhyse Martin, James Donaldson, Zane Tetevano. Subs: Luke Briscoe, Tom Holroyd, Cameron Smith. Sub not used: King Vuniyayawa

Wolves: Stef Ratchford; Josh Charnley, Jake Mamo, Toby King, Tom Lineham; Blake Austin, George Williams; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Matt Davis. Subs: Robbie Mulhern, Sitaleki Akauola, Danny Walker, Ellis Longstaff

Scoring: Newman try, 8mins, Martin goal, 6-0; Cooper try, 11mins, Ratchford goal, 6-6; Oledzki try, 15mins, Martin goal; Austin try, 18mins, Ratchford goal, 12-12; Dwyer try, 27mins, Martin goal, 18-12; Charnley try, 51mins, Ratchford goal, 18-18; Ratchford penalty, 60mins, 18-20; Martin penalty, 67mins, 20-20; Newman try, 70mins, Martin goal, 26-20; Walker try, 76mins, Ratchford goal, 26-26; Williams drop goal, 79mins, 26-27

Penalties: Rhinos 7 Wolves 6

Sin bin: Hughes, 67mins, late tackle

Referee: Chris Kendall

Attendance: TBC

Top man (readers' poll): Stefan Ratchford