The wait goes on for Rhinos as Wolves pack a punch

Leeds Rhinos 18 Warrington Wolves 35: Warrington veteran Hodgson points the way as Challenge Cup glory eludes Leeds yet again

wembley

Three tries in the space of ten second half minutes ensured a third Challenge Cup in four years for Warrington, while Leeds' wait for the trophy they want most of all goes on. A game too tight to call at half-time was blown open in a way that owed much to the deceptive toughness of the stick-thin, 34-year-old veteran Warrington full-back, Brett Hodgson.

Four minutes into the second half, Hodgson was laid out by a tackle from Kylie Leuluai that would have signalled the end of the match for more obviously durable players. "I was trying to get out of his way," Hodgson said. "Kylie's a champion bloke and there was absolutely nothing wrong with the tackle."

He lost the ball and the Wolves could have lost the match if Brett Delaney's touch-down had been allowed. Instead, the video referee, Phil Bentham, after interminable replays, ruled no try, no foul, but a knock-on in each direction. Warrington soon had possession back and then never looked back.

"I thought that was a big, big part of the second half," said the Leeds coach, Brian McDermott. "We conceded three tries in a short time and we have to be better."

Within three minutes, Hodgson had dusted himself off and provided the pass to Ryan Atkins that opened the way for Chris Riley to score in the corner.

There was little chance to recover from that before Hodgson put Atkins away and when Ben Westwood got a pass away as he went to ground, for the lavishly-bearded Tyrone McCarthy to score, Leeds were clearly on their way to their sixth Cup final defeat since they last won it in 1999.

To their credit, after Lee Briers' drop-goal, they finished defiantly with two tries in the last ten minutes from Kallum Watkins. Even those were split by a celebratory try from Hodgson. "He's not the biggest, quickest or strongest full-back, or even the best-looking, but he knows how to play footy," said the Warrington coach, Tony Smith. "He was terrific for us. He copped a pounding today."

Not surprisingly, the Australian won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match. On another day, it could have gone to Richie Myler, who had an outstanding game at scrum-half.

"It is very humbling to receive such an honour," said Hodgson. "It is going to be something I look back on with great admiration and I am very excited and honoured to accept it."

As they had hoped, Leeds were able to field the elusive Rob Burrow, after an injury scare. They sprang a surprise, however, by also naming Jimmy Keinhorst, a second year student at Leeds Met and the first German to appear in a Challenge Cup final. With just three substitute appearances behind him, Keinhorst became one of the least experienced Wembley finalists ever.

Warrington raised a few eyebrows by starting with their captain, Adrian Morley, on the bench, but that was merely proof that rugby league these days truly is a 17-man game.

The opening stages were mainly notable for a couple of driving runs from Jamie Peacock and for Garreth Carvell's late tackle on Kevin Sinfield, after he had got his kick away. The first time Warrington attacked, however, they scored. Chris Hill, starting ahead of Morley, created the threat with a neat offload to Richie Myler.

Myler is not one of the Wolves' more regular kicking options, but the sight of Joel Monaghan unmarked on the right wing was enough to encourage him to launch one in that direction, safely received for the game's first try. Warrington conceded too many early penalties and were punished when Ian Kirke went over from close range for the equalising score. When Paul Wood was identified throwing a punch amid a fracas, Sinfield kicked the Rhinos ahead.

When Warrington grabbed back the initiative, it was again Myler, left out of the final two years ago, who was again at the heart of it, running at the defence and releasing Trent Waterhouse.

When Lee Briers was penalised for tackling Ryan Hall in the air, Sinfield opted to kick another penalty to cut the half-time deficit to two points. The game looked delicately poised, but second-half events meant that the current Cup specialists were destined to triumph with something to spare. Leeds' consolations were all long-term. "Warrington were the better team on the day," McDermott had to admit. "But we had a lot of young fellows Out there who will get valuable experience from that."

The Trouble is that Leeds now have a generation of young players with experience of losing Challenge Cup finals and don't really need any more.

Leeds Hardaker; Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Ablett, Hall; Ward, Sinfield; Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Delaney, Bailey. Subs used Kirke, Griffin, Lunt, Keinhorst.

Warrington Hodgson; J.Monaghan, Ratchford, Atkins, Riley; Briers, Myler; Hill, Higham, Carvell, Waterhouse, Westwood, Harrison. Subs used Morley, M Monaghan, Wood, McCarthy.

Referee R.Silverwood (Mirfield).

Attendance 79,180.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
newsJohn Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
News
i100
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
News
Bey can do it: Beyoncé re-enacts Rosie the Riveter's pose
newsRosie the Riveter started out as an American wartime poster girl and has become a feminist pin-up. With Beyoncé channeling her look, Gillian Orr tells her story
Life and Style
Donna and Paul Wheatley at their wedding
healthShould emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?

Some couples are allowed emergency hospital weddings, others are denied the right. Kate Hilpern reports on the growing case for a compassionate cutting of the red tape
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit