Preview of tonight's Challenge Cup... LeagueUnlimited.com - NRL & Rugby League A View From The Hill ...
3 days ago
Sports Minister Richard Caborn officially opened Headingley?s ?7million Carnegie Stand prior to kick-off but Senior?s second-half hat-trick ensured he took centre stage.
The Great Britain Test centre?s finishing skills illuminated a powerful display from Leeds and his hat-trick try saw him race from deep inside his own half to cross the line in the final minute.
However, it was Jamie Thackray who claimed the historic opening score in front of Leeds? new stand after eight minutes.
The 26-year-old forward, who joined Rhinos from Hull FC earlier this season, crossed the line to become the first player to score in front of the new stand.
The stand is the first major rugby development at Headingley for 70 years and Thackray?s opener had 4,200 Leeds supporters housed in the two-tier construction in raptures.
It was the prop?s first try in Leeds colours and in the 16th minute he capped a lung-bursting run from inside his own half with a spectacular score to complete his brace and put Leeds on the road to a comfortable victory.
The result keeps alive Leeds? outside hopes of pipping Hull to second spot but it sentenced Warrington to a ninth defeat in 12 games.
Yet despite the romp, Leeds had survived an early scare when Warrington?s inspirational skipper Lee Briers sent Ben Westwood over the line.
But the try was disallowed for a double movement and Leeds breathed a sigh of relief before opening the scoring after eight minutes when Thackray shrugged off Logan Swann to cross in the left corner.
But the visitors soon hit back when Chris Leikvoll sent Michael Sullivan over for a try converted by Briers.
Leeds produced a moment of magic on 16 minutes, though, when the excellent Lauitiiti found Thackray to his left and he raced clear from inside his own half to cross the line.
Three minutes later, Donald grabbed Rhinos? third try and although Richie Barnett took Chris Bridges? pass to touch down in the left corner after 24 minutes, a Sinfield penalty and further tries from Lauitiiti and Gibson secured Leeds a commanding interval 30-10 lead.
Warrington came out strongly after the break and were rewarded on 45 minutes when Briers sent Swann racing through a gap in the Leeds rearguard.
Briers landed his second goal from three attempts but the pendulum soon swung back towards Leeds as they began to batter the Warrington line.
The pressure finally told shortly after the hour mark as Senior crossed twice in the space of three minutes from the left hand side before Donald usurped Thackray by racing 70 metres to claim the try of the match.
Yet there was still time for Senior to outdo both Thackray and Donald as he broke clear from around 70 metres to cross the line for a brilliant hat-trick try.
Sinfield, typically influential throughout, converted eight of his side?s nine tries while his first-half penalty ensured he ended the game with a personal 18-point haul.
Leeds Rhinos: Tansey, Donald, Toopi, Senior, Gibson, Sinfield, Burrow, Thackray, Diskin, Jones-Buchanan, Lauitiiti, Peacock, Ellis. Replacements: Millard, Walker, Kirke, Bailey.
Warrington Wolves: Reardon, Fa'afili, M. Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Barnett, Briers, Bridge, Leikvoll, Sullivan, Wood, Wainwright, Swann, Westwood. Replacements: M. Gleeson, Bracek, Parker, Riley.
Leeds Rhinos: (30) 54. Tries: Thackray 2, Donald 2, Lauitiiti, Gibson, Senior 3. Goals: Sinfield 8, Burrow.
Warrington Wolves: (10) 16. Tries: Sullivan, Barnett, Swann. Goals: Briers 2.
Referee: B Thaler