Leeds weather Warrington storm

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The Independent Online

Daryl Powell, the Leeds coach, was a relieved man after watching the Super League leaders cling on to beat Warrington 30-20 at Headingley yesterday.

Up 20 points at one stage, Leeds looked on course for a comfortable victory in front of a crowd of 13,498, but a second-half fightback, inspired by two tries in three minutes by Lee Briers, left the home side hanging on nervously. "It got a bit frightening towards the end," Powell said. "We had some good parts of play but we lacked the composure to finish them off."

Two tries from Willie Poching and further touchdowns from Francis Cummins, Dave Furner, who also kicked five goals, and Chris McKenna proved enough as Leeds recovered from last week's loss at Widnes.

The Warrington coach, Paul Cullen, felt his side were outstanding as they fought their way back into the game and was unhappy with the refereeing performance of Ronnie Laughton, who struggled to keep control in the second half as play was halted by three minor scuffles.

"It didn't help that we lost Mark Hilton in the third minute," he said, "and the way we responded as an avalanche of decisions went against us speaks volumes for the character of the side."

Castleford weathered a spirited fightback from the basement side, Halifax, to secure a 38-12 win at The Jungle and end a run of four successive losses.

"Not to be disrespectful to our opponents, but we felt it was a great opportunity to improve our points for and against figures," Graham Steadman, the Castleford coach, said. "However, at half-time the game was in the balance. To their credit the players listened to what I had to say at the break and turned it around."

Halifax were 10-0 down after 10 minutes, but struck back to snatch a 12-10 lead and were still very much in the hunt when the sides were level early in the second half, but the home side cut loose in the last half-hour, scoring five tries including two by the scrum-half Johnny Hepworth.

Bradford got back on track after two consecutive defeats with an efficient if unspectacular 30-18 win over Wakefield at Belle Vue. With the score 14-12 at half-time, tries immediately after the break by Daniel Gartner and James Lowes, both converted by Paul Deacon, killed the game off.