• Leeds Rhinos
  • 24 - 22

  • Warrington Wolves
  • Leeds Rhinos
  • Warrington Wolves
1st August 2009 | KO 18:30 | Emerald Headingley | Super League

Leeds Rhinos 24 Warrington Wolves 22

A Kevin Sinfield goal from the right hand touchline with the final kick of a titanic struggle saw the Rhinos engineer their latest come-from-behind triumph.

The Rhinos skipper, who had served the long ball that allowed Scott Donald to go over in the corner for his second try to level the scores had missed with three of his previous attempts but – with the South Stand behind him – nailed the one that mattered to see his side regain second spot. It was a fitting climax to a dramatic clash as Tony Smith returned to Headingley Carnegie Stadium and the first time that the blue and amber had led throughout the match.

Thankfully the day’s incessant rain relented in the run up to kick off, with both sides welcoming back key men. Brent Webb returned at full back for the hosts, Lee Smith dropping into centre and Michael Ratu the bench while Jon Clarke was back among the replacements for the Wolves, who contained three former Rhinos. 

One of them, Richie Mathers was hero and villain in the space of five minutes. He opened the scoring when effective scrum half turned hooker Michael Monaghan set Ben Westwood free and he turned the ball inside for the trailing Mathers to go between the posts, Chris Bridge converting. Five minutes later, a Kevin Sinfield kick out of dummy half eluded the visiting custodian, Ryan Hall pouncing to extend his lead at the top of the try charts. 

Brian Carney went off with a suspected broken arm but his replacement Vinnie Anderson scored with his first touch, again off a Monaghan pass, Bridge making it 12-4. Chris Hicks was adjudged to have spilt the re-start, Danny McGuire’s clever grubber to corner holding on the surface for Scott Donald to touchdown just inside the dead ball area, Kevin Sinfield missing with the touchline conversion attempt. Both sides had tries ruled out, somewhat controversially, by video referee Ben Thaler, Lee Smith ruled to have impeded Scott Grix from a Rob Burrow kick as Brent Webb pounced on the rebound and Ben Harrison’s effort ruled out for Clarke obstructing Matt Diskin. Warrington ended the half on the attack, eschewing a shot at goal but Burrow and Hall got across to deny impressive Chris Hicks to leave it 8-12 at the break.

Knock’s on dominated the opening ten minutes of the second half, Hall going close from the base of a scrum kick but the Wolves extended their lead when, following a typical Adrian Morley plunging run, Clarke sent in Louie Anderson. Donald’s burst set the position for Leeds’ reply, Danny McGuire showing finger tip control to get the ball down after good work by eighty-minute titan Matt Diskin and Lee Smith.

The sides were level in the 64th minute, Smith powering away from Paul Johnson after a majestic off load from Jamie Peacock who was his usual colossal self. He was on hand to charge down a Lee Briers drop goal – a scenario that has haunted Leeds fans twice in recent seasons – but on the next opportunity, the visitors ran the ball, youngster Mike Cooper ploughing over for what he thought was the winning try with barely five minutes remaining. Bridge had kicked impeccably but took an age to line up his effort and pushed it wide leaving the door ajar for the most dramatic finale.

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Leeds Rhinos 24 Warrington Wolves 22

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Leeds Rhinos 24 Warrington Wolves 22

A Kevin Sinfield goal from the right hand touchline with the final kick of a titanic struggle saw the Rhinos engineer their latest come-from-behind triumph.

The Rhinos skipper, who had served the long ball that allowed Scott Donald to go over in the corner for his second try to level the scores had missed with three of his previous attempts but – with the South Stand behind him – nailed the one that mattered to see his side regain second spot. It was a fitting climax to a dramatic clash as Tony Smith returned to Headingley Carnegie Stadium and the first time that the blue and amber had led throughout the match.

Thankfully the day’s incessant rain relented in the run up to kick off, with both sides welcoming back key men. Brent Webb returned at full back for the hosts, Lee Smith dropping into centre and Michael Ratu the bench while Jon Clarke was back among the replacements for the Wolves, who contained three former Rhinos. 

One of them, Richie Mathers was hero and villain in the space of five minutes. He opened the scoring when effective scrum half turned hooker Michael Monaghan set Ben Westwood free and he turned the ball inside for the trailing Mathers to go between the posts, Chris Bridge converting. Five minutes later, a Kevin Sinfield kick out of dummy half eluded the visiting custodian, Ryan Hall pouncing to extend his lead at the top of the try charts. 

Brian Carney went off with a suspected broken arm but his replacement Vinnie Anderson scored with his first touch, again off a Monaghan pass, Bridge making it 12-4. Chris Hicks was adjudged to have spilt the re-start, Danny McGuire’s clever grubber to corner holding on the surface for Scott Donald to touchdown just inside the dead ball area, Kevin Sinfield missing with the touchline conversion attempt. Both sides had tries ruled out, somewhat controversially, by video referee Ben Thaler, Lee Smith ruled to have impeded Scott Grix from a Rob Burrow kick as Brent Webb pounced on the rebound and Ben Harrison’s effort ruled out for Clarke obstructing Matt Diskin. Warrington ended the half on the attack, eschewing a shot at goal but Burrow and Hall got across to deny impressive Chris Hicks to leave it 8-12 at the break.

Knock’s on dominated the opening ten minutes of the second half, Hall going close from the base of a scrum kick but the Wolves extended their lead when, following a typical Adrian Morley plunging run, Clarke sent in Louie Anderson. Donald’s burst set the position for Leeds’ reply, Danny McGuire showing finger tip control to get the ball down after good work by eighty-minute titan Matt Diskin and Lee Smith.

The sides were level in the 64th minute, Smith powering away from Paul Johnson after a majestic off load from Jamie Peacock who was his usual colossal self. He was on hand to charge down a Lee Briers drop goal – a scenario that has haunted Leeds fans twice in recent seasons – but on the next opportunity, the visitors ran the ball, youngster Mike Cooper ploughing over for what he thought was the winning try with barely five minutes remaining. Bridge had kicked impeccably but took an age to line up his effort and pushed it wide leaving the door ajar for the most dramatic finale.

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Team Performance

Goals

2

3

Tries

5

4

Player Performance

PlayerTRGLDGYCRCI+I-
Brent Webb0000000
Scott Donald2000000
Lee Smith1000000
Keith Senior0000000
Ryan Hall1000000
Danny McGuire1000000
Rob Burrow MBE0000000
Kylie Leuluai0000000
Matt Diskin0000000
Jamie Peacock MBE0000000
Jamie Jones-Buchanan0000000
Carl Ablett0000000
Kevin Sinfield MBE0200000
Interchanges
Luke Burgess0000000
Ali Lauitiiti0000000
Simon Worrall0000000
Mike Ratu0000000

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PlayerTRGLDGYCRCI+I-
Interchanges
Stats Key
  • TR: Tries
  • RD: Red Cards
  • GL: Goals
  • I+: Interchange On
  • DG: Drop Goals
  • I-: Interchange Off
  • YC: Yellow Cards