A Harvey Livett inspired Warrington won a 33-22 thriller at Headingley to record their eight straight Super League win.
Kevin Brown opened the scoring early on after Harvey Livett kicked through, before Livett went over for a try of his own 10 minutes later. Bryson Goodwin kicked one of the two conversions to put the Wolves into a 10-0 lead.
After being on the back foot in the opening half an hour, Leeds finally got a foothold in the game after 32 minutes through Ashton Golidng’s first try of the season with what was their first real chance of the game. The scores remained at 4-10 after Watkins dragged his attempt at goal.
The hosts had the better of the rest of the first half but couldn’t find a way through the visitors’ strong defence.
The Wolves then made them pay when Tyrone Roberts slotted over a drop-goal with the final action of the first 40 minutes to make it 4-11 at the break.
The Rhinos came out a different team in the second half and immediately closed the gap when Joel Moon shrugged off a number of defenders to score. Watkins found the target on his second attempt to make the scoreline 10-11.
Two converted tries in as many minutes from Ryan Hall and Carl Ablett then completed the turnaround and put Leeds 11-points ahead and in charge of the game after 57 minutes.
However, the game turned again when an error from the restart gave Warrington a set close to the Leeds line. Stand-off Brown then slid a troubling kick along the ground and Ryan Atkins quickly picked up and grounded the ball to score. Ratchford added the two-points to reduce the gap to 5 points.
In-form Warrington then reasserted their dominance and proved to have too much quality in the closing stages.
Harvey Livett was on the end of two well-worked moves to complete his hat-trick and Ratchford kicked another goal as they retook the lead, before Ben Murdoch-Masila charged through the defence in the dying stages to seal a remarkable win.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Warrington Are Serious Contenders
Steve Price has now guided Warrington to nine straight wins in all competitions, and their win at Headingley showed they have the characteristics of a team capable of going on to win silverware.
They were dominant and constantly dangerous in attack, solid defensively for all but a 10-minute spell and were able to fightback from a losing position to come out on top.
Should their development continue, they will be one of the favourites for either Challenge Cup or Grand Final glory this season.
Rhinos Found Out Again
For the third time in a month, Leeds have lost to one of the teams around them in the league. Apart from the opening quarter of the second half, the Rhinos were always second best and looked inferior to Warrington in all departments and deserved to lose.
Having lost to Wigan and Hull FC recently too, doubts are now emerging regarding their ability to compete with the top sides this season.
Man Of The Match- Harvey Livett (Warrington Wolves)
Harvey Livett scored three and set up one of Warrington’s six tries on a memorable night for the 21-year old.
It was his kick through to Kevin Brown that got the scoring underway and his two second half tries effectively won the game, while he was also a thorn in the side of his opposition throughout the match.
Leeds Rhinos 22
Tries: Golding, Moon, Hall, Ablett
Goals: Watkins 3
Drop Goals: n/a
Warrington Wolves 33
Tries: Brown, Livett 3, Atkins, Murdoch-Masila
Goals: Goodwin 2, Ratchford 3
Drop Goals: Roberts
Leeds Rhinos: Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Handley, Hall, Moon, Myler, Singleton, Ferres, Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Ward, Ablett
Interchanges: Peteru, Mullally, Walters, Parcell
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford, Lineham, Goodwin, Atkins, Charnley, Brown, Roberts, Hill, Clark, Cooper, Livett, Hughes, Westwood
Interchanges: Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Akauola, Philbin
Referee: Ben Thaler