Rugby League: Cummings in command

Warrington Wolves 10 Leeds Rhinos 28
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The Independent Online
LEEDS JOINED the cluster of clubs chasing St Helens and Bradford at the top of Super League with their best performance since Wembley, Francis Cummins spearheading some ruthless finishing with a hat-trick of tries.

Forced by injuries into fielding a rare all-British line up, the Challenge Cup winners looked strong and purposeful from the start, especially within sight of the Warrington line. They made their breakthrough after nine minutes, Iestyn Harris taking Daryl Powell's pass and tearing the ball back inside for Cummins to go over. Five minutes later, Jason Roach's knock-on put Warrington under pressure and Ryan Sheridan's pass allowed Marvin Golden to touch down.

Harris, back at his first club, took Powell's pass in the 27th minute he ghosted straight through Scot Wilson's attempted tackle for Leeds' third try. With the addition of two goals from Harris, Warrington had been given an object lesson in how to accumulate points.

Although Toa Kohe-Love and Alan Hunte hinted at finding gaps in the centre on occasion, their only real chance to get on the scoreboard in the first half came when Lee Jackson was penalised for a late challenge on Lee Briers, but Briers missed with the place kick.

In the first minute of the second half, the classy Kohe-Love converted his threat into a magnificent solo try, breaking Cummings' tackle, going inside Harris and taking Kevin Sinfield over the line with him.

Briers added the goal, but Harris's penalty after Danny Farrar had gone high on Andy Hay kept Leeds two converted tries ahead. Warrington had their chances, when Lee Penny put down Wilson's pass with the line open and Briers collected his own chip kick only for the attack to break down when Mark Forster was tackled.

It was time for Leeds to deliver another seminar in clinical finishing. Anthony Farrell and Barrie McDermott kept the ball alive and Sheridan's pass gave Cummings his second point, then Harris took the extravagant liberty of presenting Cummins with his third by passing to him after crossing the try line. It was a permissible indulgence under the circumstances; even then Kohe-Love capped his own fine display with a second try.

Warrington Wolves: Penny; Roach, Kohe-Love, Hunte, Forster; Wilson, Briers; Chambers, Farrar, Nutley, Gillies, Knott, Wainwright. Substitutes used: Duffy, Hanger, Busby, Leathem.

Leeds Rhinos: Harris; Rivett, Golden, Cummins, Sterling; Powell, Sheridan; Fleary, Newton, McDermott, Hay, Farrell, Sinfield. Substitutes used: St Hilaire, Morley, Jackson, Wrench.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).