Opposition Profile – Warrington Wolves
This Friday night, the 2019 Betfred Super League regular season ends how it started with Leeds facing off against Warrington Wolves.
The match will mark the final appearances of Leeds legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who will retire after Friday night’s game, while it will also be a final Headingley appearance for Warrington’s Ben Westwood, who has also announced his retirement from the game.
To find out more ahead of Friday’s clash, read more here:
The play off bound Wolves have had a mixed season. The arrival of Blake Austin set the bar high but Steve Prices’ side matched the expectation, winning eight out of their opening ten games to stay close to the league leaders St Helens.
Recent results have seen them fall off out of the top two; last weeks win over Wakefield stopped a six match losing streak in the league. The result has also boosted the Wolves’ hopes of a home tie in the first week of the play offs should they win on Friday night and Wigan lose to Castleford on Thursday.
Despite their recent form, Warrington claimed the first silverware of the season, beating St Helens in the Coral Challenge Cup final 18-4. Hooker and try scorer Daryl Clark walked away with the Lance Todd trophy as the Wolves took the Cup back to the Halliwell Jones for the ninth time in the club’s history.
Over the last 24 years, both Leeds and Warrington have taken part in some memorable Super League clashes at Emerald Headingley. Despite the Wolves winning the first Super League clash between the two sides at Headingley 28-22 in 1996, Leeds held a six match unbeaten run against Warrington at home between 1997 and 2001.
That run was broken by Lee Briers in 2002 when he kicked a late drop goal to seal a 23-22 win but Leeds would make Headingley a fortress once again; the Wolves unable to win away in the league for the next eight years. In 2006, a hat trick from centre Keith Senior was a highlight as the home side walked away with a 54-16 victory but three years later, the scoreline was closer as Kevin Sinfield kicked the winning conversion in a 24–22 victory.
More recently, Leeds put the Wolves to the sword in 2017, nilling Warrington for the first time in the Super League. There were five different scorers, with Matt Parcell scoring a hat trick, as the Rhinos won 40-0 to remain in second spot.
Last ten meetings at Emerald Headingley
Watch more classic clashes against the Wolves here
Record Against the Rhinos
Like most sides that travel to Emerald Headingley, Leeds have been ruthless and Warrington are no exception. Since 1996, Leeds have won 20 games against the visitors on home turf; the largest of those coming in 1997 when Leeds won their first Super League game against the Wolves.
Warrington have six wins at Emerald Headingley, three of which have come in the last four years. In the Rhinos’ 2015 treble season, Tony Smith’s side inflicted the first home loss of the season on Leeds in Kevin Sinfield’s 500th game; the visitors winning 29-10.
There has only ever been one draw, which came in 2001. After Warrington had claimed a 36-6 win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium at the start of the season, both sides couldn’t be split at Headingley; Rob Burrow, Mark Calderwood, Tonie Carroll and Robbie Mears scoring tries for the home side.
In the News
Club icon Ben Westwood announced that he will be retiring at the end of the season. Since moving to the club from Wakefield in 2002, Westwood has scored 112 tries and kicked 64 goals in primrose and blue.
Winger Tom Lineham and forward Joe Philbin could reach milestone career appearances tonight. England Knights and former Hull FC winger Lineham is set for his 200th appearance whilst youngster Philbin will make his 100th.
Position: Half Back
Clean Breaks: 27
Attacking kicks: 96
Tackle Busts: 112
Runs from Dummy Half: 194
Tackle Busts: 119
Try Assists: 19
Steve Price has made two changes to last week’s squad that beat Wakefield at the Halliwell Jones. The retiring Ben Westwood and Jack Hughes are both included in place of Harvey Livett and Lama Tasi.
Matty Smith makes his fifth appearance since signing for the club in August. He is joined by joint Man of Steel leader Blake Austin in the halves, who will look to add to his tally having not scored in his last six games.
Last Time Out
When the two sides met in 2018, a hat trick from Harvey Livett saw Warrington continue their success under Steve Price. Ashton Golding, Ryan Hall, Joel Moon and Carl Ablett saw Leeds put up a fight but Warrington dominated the last 20 minutes to overturn a 22-10 scoreline and win 33-22.
Buy your tickets for Friday nights clash and help celebrate Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Carl Ablett’s final game at Emerald Headingley.