Warrington piled on the agony for Leeds as the luckless Yorkshiremen lost their star full-back as well as their 100 per cent Super League record on Friday the 13th.
The Rhinos left out England international Zak Hardaker after it emerged that he was the subject of a police investigation into an assault case, forcing Leeds to throw teenager Ashton Golding in for his full debut.
Golding performed admirably but little else went right for Leeds as they fell from the top of the table and suffered a fifth consecutive defeat at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in going down 18-6 to a Warrington side starting to find their groove.
The Rhinos trailed 18-0 until scoring what proved to be a consolation try through winger Tom Briscoe and skipper Kevin Sinfield’s goal took him to within three points of the 4,000 mark.
St Helens are now two points clear at the top of the table but needed a supercharged second half show to maintain their 100 per cent Super League record with a 30-20 win at Widnes.
Both sides were without several key players but Widnes deserved their 14-6 interval lead before the champions ran in 24 second half points.
Lance Hohaia crossed for two of the visitors’ five tries, with others from the outstanding Atelea Vea, Luke Thompson and Jordan Turner. Travis Burns kicked five goals.
Widnes led at the break thanks to tries from Eamon O’Carroll and Patrick Ah Van in front of 7,772 fans.
In last night’s other game, Wigan ended a run of two straight defeats with a 13-12 win over Hull at the DW Stadium.
Tries from Joel Tomkins and Dan Sarginson put Wigan 12-0 up in the first half before Lee Radford’s side launched a spirited fightback.Reuse content