Leeds 32 Warrington 12: Below-par Leeds grateful for Donald's double strike

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Leeds kept their noses in front at the top of Super League, largely thanks to two tries from Scott Donald that lit up a performance that was, for a long time, far below their best.

Warrington spurned chances to take command of this game in the first half. Having failed to do so, they slipped to a third successive defeat that dents their own ambitions.

Already without the injured Lee Briers, Warrington also lost Paul Johnson in the warm-up. Despite that, the Wolves took an eighth-minute lead when Michael Monaghan produced a crisp short pass to send Louis Anderson over.

Lee Smith was close to scoring a try in reply from Kevin Sinfield's kick after some jinking running from Rob Burrow. But Warrington could have been further ahead if Matt King had not misdirected his pass to Vinnie Anderson. Leeds were then lifted by Ryan Bailey's ferocious tackle on Adrian Morley. It was no coincidence that they scored almost immediately after, with Donald taking his tally to 11 for the season with a spectacular solo effort.

Sinfield's equalising conversion balanced out the earlier one from Chris Hicks. Warrington continued to enjoy plenty of promising openings, but mistakes by Monaghan and Louis Anderson cost them their chance of going in ahead at half-time. Instead, the Rhinos edged unconvincingly in front through Sinfield's offside penalty.

A couple more penalties helped Leeds upfield at the start of the second half and the Warrington substitute, Chris Riley, just on the field, came charging miles out of position to give Donald a clear run to the line for his second. Sinfield's conversion and a penalty when John Clarke went high on Matt Diskin made it a flattering lead for the Rhinos.

A difficult task for Warrington became impossible when Clarke was sent to the sin-bin soon after for persistent offside and Leeds moved the ball quickly from the penalty for Carl Ablett to score out wide.

Warrington got one back through Hicks, but Burrows' wonderful run and Jordan Tansey's return pass saw the Rhinos remain well in control. Luke Burgess went over from close range as the Rhinos finished strongly against opponents who knew they had missed their chance.

Leeds: Webb, Smith, Ablett, Senior, Donald, Sinfield, Burrow, Leuluai, Diskin, Bailey, Peacock, Ellis, Tansey. Substitutes: Scruton, Burgess, Kaye, Williams.

Warrington: Reardon, Hicks, Martin Gleeson, King, Penny, V Anderson, Monaghan, Morley, Clarke, Rauhihi, L Anderson, Parker, Bracek. Substitutes: Mark Gleeson, Mitchell, Riley, Harrison.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

Comments