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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Warrington Wolves 28 Leeds Rhinos 50

22nd March 2002

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds finally shook off the challenge of Warrington to get their Super League campaign back on track in a bone-crunching encounter at Wilderspool.The Rhinos’ victory was anything but straightforward in a tough-tackling end-to-end encounter which had referee Steve Ganson and his video official working overtime.

In the end a late break from winger Marcus St Hilaire finally killed off the Wolves' challenge in a game which saw the lead change hands four times.The Wolves had twice led through a third minute Rob Smyth try and quickfire Dave Alstead and Sid Domic efforts after the break but Leeds, with Keith Senior also scoring twice, ultimately proved too strong.

WP – Home MPU

Both sides went into their third game of the new season with a win and a loss to their name but it was the Wolves who enjoyed the better start.Winger Smyth opened the scoring with just three minutes on the clock after a high Lee Briers bomb allowed the Wolves possession in dangerous territory.Briers converted from the touchline but the Rhinos were quick to respond as they forced a drop out and then hit back with Andy Hay sending Senior over.

The video official was then called into action to rule out a try for either side as the game continued to flow from end to end.Wolves' Steve Maden was the first to fall foul of the gadget man before Chev Walker was disappointed at the other end.But the Rhinos did not have long to wait before a replay decision went in their favour as Senior was adjudged to have correctly grounded a high Ben Walker kick.

By now the action was ceaseless as both sides quickly exchanged tries.  Briers first intercepted Ben Walker to dart through and convert to level at 12-12 before the Wolves sat back and allowed Ryan Sheridan to waltz through.Leeds then added another for good measure before the break when a length-of-the-field break by forward Wayne McDonald set up Francis Cummins.

Warrington turned the game back on its head with two tries soon after the restart.Alstead forced the Wolves back into contention when he charged through a melee of players but it was no surprise that Ganson referred the decision upstairs before awarding the try.

Ganson's tough night then continued as in trying to keep pace with the game he prevented Rob Burrow getting in a tackle on Domic allowing the utility man to run under the posts.Briers converted to level the scores but in keeping with the game, Leeds responded by returning the ball to the other end and scoring.

A long Ben Walker pass allowed Hay to continue his fine try scoring start to the season and Burrow then gave Leeds a decisive edge when he jinked his way through for a superb individual four-pointer.But Warrington were not done and were again denied by slow motion review as Paul Marquet was ruled to have been stopped inches short of the line. Seconds later it was all over as St Hilaire galloped down an open touchline to score and set up another simple Walker kick. St Hilaire then added another when he twisted his way in for second moments later.

Briers then grabbed a consolation but Leeds rubbed salt into the wound by bringing up the half-century when Adrian Vowles' drop goal attempt from the halfway line in the last minute rebounded off an upright and Willie Poching gathered to score.

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