Sinfield sends Leeds skywards

Warrington 12 - Leeds 44
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Three tries in five minutes on either side of half-time turned a tight match Leeds' way and further improved their prospects of topping the table at the end of the regular season for the first time since 1972.

Three tries in five minutes on either side of half-time turned a tight match Leeds' way and further improved their prospects of topping the table at the end of the regular season for the first time since 1972.

There are now only five games to go and there were no signs of the Rhinos weakening in this one as their captain, Kevin Sinfield, contributed 20 points with a try and eight goals from eight attempts.

"They dug in for each other and weren't going to let anyone stop them today,'' said their delighted coach, Tony Smith. "When they have that desire in them it's going to be tough for any opposition.''

Warrington, with play-off ambitions of their own, were level after a torrid opening half-hour in which they dominated the game territorially, but laboured to turn pressure into points.

Leeds made more of what they had, starting with Matt Diskin scoring from his own close range grubber kick after seven minutes, but Warrington were on terms five minutes later when Lee Briers kicked for the corner and Henry Fa'afili leapt to claim his first try for the club on his home debut.

An horrendous mistake by Paul Wood gifted Chev Walker the ball to put Leeds back in front, then Warrington laid siege to the Leeds line. Danny Lima was held up over it and Jon Clarke lost the ball in crossing. Eventually they got their reward when Gary Houlse sent Chris Leikvoll through a gap and Warren Stevens appeared in support.

Leeds looked happy to hang on for half-time. Instead the complexion of the game was changed with two Leeds tries in three minutes. First Barrie McDermott drove over and then some resourceful handling culminated in a Marcus Bai score.

Two minutes after the break, marvellous work from Bai and Richard Mathers set up Danny McGuire for his 31st try of the Super League season.

The loss of Matt Adamson and Diskin to the sin bin, both for hanging on in the tackle slowed Leeds' momentum a little, but some brilliant handling yielded a try for Mathers before Sinfield rounded it off, unopposed from the base of the scrum.

Warrington: Cardiss, Fa'afili, Grose, Westwood, Gaskell, Briers, N Wood, Leikvoll, Clarke, Hilton, Burns, P Wood, Wainwright. Subtitutes used: Hulse, Sibbit, Stevens, Lima.

Leeds: Mathers, Cummins, Walker, Senior, Bai, McGuire, Burrow, Ward, Diskin, McDonald, Lauiti'iti, McKenna, Sinfield. Substitutes used: McDermott, Poching, Bailey, Adamson.

Referee: R Silverwood (Muirfield).

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