Sam Walters (17), David Fusitu’a (49), Luke Hooley (62) and James Bentley (69) scored tries as Leeds Rhinos picked up a big Super League victory over Warrington Wolves on Sunday; The comeback win reignited the Rhinos’ Super League play-off push
Last Updated: 20/08/23 8:07pm
Highlights of the Super League match between Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves
Leeds reignited their Super League play-off ambitions after fighting back from behind to edge out free-falling Warrington in a dramatic finish at Headingley.
James Bentley’s late try just about sealed a 24-22 win for the Rhinos, who had been unconvincing for long periods and were fortunate to trail by only four points at half-time.
But the hosts were forced to cling on after Stefan Ratchford’s late try reduced the deficit before Matt Dufty found himself a fingertip away from reaching Ratchford’s kick on the hooter.
While the win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Rhinos, Warrington could count themselves a little unfortunate to see their own losing streak extend to seven league games, leaving their own play-off hopes in the balance.
For long periods it looked like Wire, still operating under interim head coach Gary Chambers, were set to breathe new life into their campaign as they carved the flat-footed Rhinos open at will.
Dufty raced onto his own kick to touch down within two minutes then Josh Thewlis was only denied a second for the visitors when his foot strayed into touch after good scrambling by Cameron Smith.
Sam Walters fumbled Leeds’ first opening but they capitalised on a series of penalties to nudge in front when Smith, the Rhinos’ standout performer, sent Walters scooting over before Martin added the extras.
But within two minutes Leeds proved to be their own worst enemies once again as Dufty gathered a high ball and left Bentley for dead, surging 60 metres through the Rhinos line before laying off to Matty Ashton to grab Warrington’s second.
The visitors should have extended their advantage after cutting open the Leeds line again only for Danny Walker to fumble a golden opportunity with the try line at his mercy.
The Leeds blunders continued either side of the break, first Harry Newman passing a potentially try-scoring chance to Ash Handley into touch, then Handley’s shocking error at the play-the-ball giving Ratchford the chance to kick Warrington further in front at 12-6.
Leeds hauled level when David Fusitu’a grounded Aidan Sezer’s clever kick and Martin’s conversion pulled Leeds level, but five minutes later Warrington were back in front when Ratchford found it too easy to throw a dummy and score Wire’s third try.
But the veteran’s conversion strayed across the face of the posts and Leeds snatched their improbable opportunity, Sezer offloading for full-back Luke Hooley to scamper in under the posts.
Leeds looked to have sealed victory when Smith’s surge through the middle ended in Bentley crossing in the corner, but Matty Nicholson’s late effort made it a nervy final few minutes and Dufty came agonisingly close to giving a topsy-turvy contest one final twist.