Leeds Rhinos 20-22 Warrington Wolves: Player ratings and major talking points

Despite what was perhaps Leeds’ best performance since their Challenge Cup semi-final win over Wigan in 2020 in front of a rocking South Stand and the best atmosphere at Headingley for years, Leeds came up just short as James Bentley’s early red card cost them against a Warrington side who showed class when they needed to.

Major Talking Points:

1. It might be Valentine’s Day soon, but these cards are anything but loving

Perhaps this is the new status quo, but if it’s to protect players more then so be it. In both Sky Sports’ first game of the year and Channel 4’s we’ve seen the dreaded red card shown a long with a couple of yellows. Each was controversial in its own right this afternoon with James Bentley’s debut red potentially a yellow considering the trajectory of the player whilst Oliver Holmes’ yellow could have been seen as a red. We of course don’t want to see this in Super League but the tenacity shown by both sides – especially Leeds who spent most of the game down a man and a 10 minute period down to 11 – deserves credit. That kind of commitment is what makes our sport great and hopefully today’s topsy turvy, brutal and gutsy affair has picked up more fans on Channel 4.

2. Commend the Rhinos pack

At the end of last season, questions were again being asked of the Leeds pack after they were blown away twice in the space of a month by eventual Champions St Helens. However, they showed today that they could absolutely compete with the best pack in the league in 2022. Despite being down a man, Leeds had to back their pack when talisman Richie Myler limped off. It worked wonders with every single player down Leeds’ middle catching the eye. Matt Prior and Zane Tetevano scored deserved tries whilst Rhyse Martin was virtually flawless and receives the first ever 10/10 I’ve awarded in my player ratings.

3. Wrench the match winner

Warrington were without two key players today in Jack Hughes and Toby King but one of the players used to fill this void was the match winner in Connor Wrench. The young centre didn’t have the perfect game but he created Warrington’s superb opener and scored the match winner and all over produced a classy performance.

Player Ratings:

Leeds Rhinos

1 Jack Walker – 7
2 David Fusitu’a – 7
20 Tom Briscoe – 7
4 Liam Sutcliffe – 7
5 Ash Handley – 7
16 Richie Myler – N/A
7 Aidan Sezer – 8
10 Matt Prior – 8
9 Kruise Leeming – 9
13 Zane Tetevano – 8
11 James Bentley – N/A
12 Rhyse Martin – 10
17 Cameron Smith – 8
Substitutes
8 Mikolaj Oledzki – 8
14 Brad Dwyer – 9
21 Morgan Gannon – 8
25 James Donaldson – 7

Warrington Wolves

1 Stefan Ratchford – 7
2 Josh Charnley – 8
3 Peter Mata’utia – 8
23 Connor Wrench – 8
5 Matty Ashton – 7
6 Gareth Widdop – 7
7 George Williams – 7
19 Rob Mulhern – 7
9 Daryl Clarke – 6
10 Mike Cooper – 7
11 Ben Currie – 6
12 Oliver Holmes – 6
17 Matt Davis – 9
Substitutes
8 Joe Philbin – 7
14 Jason Clarke – 6
15 Joe Bullock – 6
16 Danny Walker – 6

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