Hood on hand to help champions put down Wolves' rising

Leeds 26 Warrington 18

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The Independent Online

A second try in his second senior appearance from the highly rated young hooker Liam Hood pointed Leeds to a victory that maintained their Super League momentum. The champions were hanging on to a two-point lead when Hood, who scored on his debut at Castleford last week, struck again.

"He is pretty dangerous in that area," said the Leeds coach, Brian McDermott of the 20-year-old. "That's his game and it is no surprise that he got on to a loose ball."

Allied with the perfect goal-kicking of Kevin Sinfield, it was enough to account for Warrington, who were previously unbeaten.

Neither side could hold the greasy ball in the early stages so it was more of less inevitable that points would be the result of handling errors. After 21 minutes, Paul Wood knocked on near his own line. The Rhinos capitalised, Danny McGuire selling a huge dummy to score.

Four minutes later Wood was implicated again, this time on the end of Garreth Carvell's low pass. Again Leeds cashed in, Ryan Hall sending Zak Hardaker to the line. Sinfield's conversions made for a comfortable lead, but in the minutes before half-time it disappeared.

Lee Briers and Richie Myler sent Matty Blythe over and five minutes before the interval the Wolves were level, benefiting from a penalty after Ben Westwood tangled with Brent Webb. Briers pointed Chris Hill to the line before kicking his second goal. Leeds regained the lead when Kallum Watkins got over in the corner but lost it again when Westwood used his raw strength to force the ball over their line.

Myler and Ben Jones-Bishop had what would have been spectacular tries disallowed, leaving the game in the balance until Hood's score 12 minutes from time. Carvell made the initial mistake and Myler failed to deal with McGuire's kick, giving Hood his chance to pounce.

* In last night's other match, Hull beat St Helens 22-10 at Langtree Park.

Leeds: Webb; Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Pitts, Delaney, Ablett. Substitutes used: Clarkson, Hood, Bailey, Griffin.

Warrington: Ratchford; Riley, Blythe, Atkins, J Monaghan; Briers, Myler; Morley, Higham, Carvell, Waterhouse, Westwood, Wood. Substitutes used: Grix, Hill, Cooper, McCarthy.

Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury).