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After putting the Rhinos to the sword in round seven, you could find few people who would back against a similar scoreline at the felidae versus canidea encounter between the Wolves and the Leopards which took place on a round eight Saturday afternoon at the Halliwell-Jones.

A Wolves win by twenty-three or more points would see them back above St Helens to the top of the table, at least for a couple of hours until the Dragons played Hull KR in the south of France, while a win for ninth placed Leigh would at least give them some breathing space to the bottom of the table, but it would still leave them four points adrift of eighth placed Leeds Rhinos.

The bookies were predicting a twelve-point win for the home side but in doing so were giving some credit to a Leopards side who are improving week on week but not getting the league points that their efforts deserve.

It took just two minutes for the visitors to take a shock lead, Josh Charnley taking a Ricky Leutele pass to score in the left-hand corner. The conversion from Matt Moylan was missed from wide, but it was the best possible start for the Leopards.

Leigh showed some great early flair and went close on two further occasions over the coming minutes but as the clock advanced it was the Wolves who started to take control of the game. George Williams was held up just short of the line on twenty and on the next play a cruelly bouncing grubber was collected by Lachlan Fitzgibbon, after a juggle, and grounded to level the scores. Josh Thewlis added the conversion to put the Wolves ahead.

A confusion from Warrington saw Leigh back into the lead. A kick was missed by the defence and taken by Umyla Handley before being kicked through for Ben McNamara to collect and dive in. Moylan added the conversion, Leigh with a 10-6 lead on thirty-four minutes.

Some last-ditch defence from Leigh kept their line intact to the interval, the visitors deserving of their half time lead.

On forty-eight the Leopards extended their lead to 14-6 with Leutele on hand to take an inside pass from Charley after the winger had been thrown a miss-out pass by Moylan. Moylan was unable to add the conversion, Leigh eight points ahead and good value for it.

With seventeen minutes remaining a flying Matt Dufty too a pass five from the line and lowered his centre of gravity to hit the line and dive in for the second Wolves try of the afternoon. Thewlis added the conversion for 12-14, game on.

Inside the last ten minutes the Wolves scored the try of the game as they rolled downfield from their own thirty with Dufty, Thewlis and Matty Nicholson all involved Nicholson palming off the last tackler to dive in. Thewlis was wide with the conversion attempt, just two points in it, Leigh hearts breaking.

Brad Dwyer scooted from dummy half on the last tackle but was hauled down short of the line as he looked to grab the Leigh win but it was not to be, the Wolves defending their line and taking the two points.

This game was there for the taking for Leigh as they looked for their second league victory of the season but the Warrington Wolves bided their time, ground down the Leigh defence and took their opportunities to steal the win from under the Panthers noses. Warrington have played their ‘get out of jail free’ card as they join a host of other sides at the top of the table, Leigh condemned to another week in the doldrums.

Warrington Wolves: Dufty (T), Thewlis (2G), King, Wrench, Ashton, Williams, Hayes, Harrison, Walker, Philbin, Nicholson (T), Fitzgibbon (T), Crowther.  Subs: Powell, Bullock, Ratchford, Vaughan. 18th Man: Holroyd.

Leigh Leopards: Moylan (G), Hanley, Hardaker, Leutele (T), Charnley (T), McNamara (T), Lam, Amone, Davis, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Halton, Trout. Subs: Norman, Hughes, Holmes, Dwyer. 18th Man: Chamberlain. 

Half-Time: 6-10.

Full-Time: 16-14.

Score Progression: 0-4, 4-4, 6-4, 6-8, 6-10 : HT: 6-14, 10-14, 12-14, 16-14 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Leigh – Square - Warrington - Leigh - Warrington.

Referee: Liam Moore.  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 20th Apr 2024 4:49 PM | Views : 7008 | Replies : 5 | BACK TO STORIES