Last minute blunder costs Warrington Wolves against Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves met in a huge game in the play-off race today as Leeds looked to close the gap on the top six as the pair fight with Hull FC, Hull KR, Salford Red Devils and Huddersfield Giants for the final two spots in the play-offs.

The game wrapped up a massive round of Super League action which saw another big game in West Yorkshire as Castleford Tigers defeated Wakefield Trinity to take a decisive step towards safety.

It was the worst possible start for Leeds as they went down inside the first two minutes after Matt Dufty stabbed a kick behind the Leeds defence which he darted through to ground himself in the corner. After the try was awarded by the video referee Stefan Ratchford’s missed conversion meant they led 4-0 after just three minutes.

Warrington nearly doubled their money when they stripped Leeds for numbers down the right edge with Josh Thewlis trying to squeeze in at the corner but a great tackle from Cameron Smith pulled his foot into touch as confirmed by the video referee. A warning for Leeds.

Leeds began to turn the screw after a sluggish start to proceedings but a lovely inside ball saw them carved up by Matt Dufty. They would cover well but yet another warning for Rohan Smith’s side.

The Rhinos thought they had scored themselves when Rhyse Martin cut inside found Sam Walters in support who juggled the ball batting it backwards to Cameron Smith who touched down but Walters was adjudged to have been taken without the ball and the penalty had been given already.

A moment later though and Leeds were over after a short ball put Sam Walters through, now playing at backrow with James McDonnell off.

Rhyse Martin made it 6-4 but their lead didn’t last long as Matt Dufty carved them open on a kick return and found Matty Ashton who finished off a length of the field try.

It should have been two tries in two minutes as Warrington tore down their left edge with Stefan Ratchford breaking clear. It was a certain try as they found Danny Walker inside but he dropped the ball.

It was another close call for Warrington when a chip kick from George Williams was taken by Ben Currie but it was too deep and he was out of the field as he landed.

Leeds looked dangerous at the other end but frequent miscommunication undid the Rhinos’ attacks again and again.

Just like in the first half, Leeds were slow out of the blocks and Warrington punished them this time earning a penalty which made it 12-6.

However, the scores were soon level when a floated kick to the corner by Aidan Sezer was taken by David Fusitu’a who grounded. The try was looked at for a long period by the video referee and then given.

But Leeds couldn’t capitalise on their momentum and an error allowed Warrington to roll down field where a lovely George Williams ball saw Stefan Ratchford ease through a gap to score. He missed the conversion attempt leaving it at 16-12.

Warrington did cross the whitewash again but it was disallowed by official Ben Thaler for obstruction on James Bentley.

Leeds then went down the other end of the field where a series of offloads allowed Aidan Sezer to waltz through where he found Luke Hooley in support to score his first try for Leeds. Rhyse Martin’s goal made it 18-16.

Leeds then struck a crucial blow after an offload allowed Cameron Smith to storm through and find Hooley. This time he was tackled but on the next tackle an insane Nene MacDonald offload gave the ball to Bentley to score in the corner. Rhyse Martin nailed the conversion to crucially make it 24-16.

However, it was well and truly game on when Warrington hit back instantly with a lovely grubber by Josh Drinkwater was taken and scored by Matty Nicholson.

Warrington looked set to score when Matt Dufty weaved through the Rhinos’ left edge but his pass went to a Leeds player and the Wolves were denied.

Dufty had a chance to win it again when a Ratchford kick was hit back inside but he knocked on as he went to catch the ball and Leeds held on to claim a 24-22 win.