Mac’s all smiles as Leeds Rhinos defeat Warrington Wolves

ZAK'S THE WAY TO DO IT: Rhinos' Zak Hardaker dives past Warrington's Stefan Ratchford to score. PIC: Steve Riding

ZAK'S THE WAY TO DO IT: Rhinos' Zak Hardaker dives past Warrington's Stefan Ratchford to score. PIC: Steve Riding

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A gutsy 26-18 win over Stobart Super League leaders Warrington Wolves put a smile on Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott’s face.

Rhinos’ ended Warrington’s unbeaten run and moved to within a point of top spot on the table.

It was Leeds’ third successive Super League victory and McDermott said: “We are still at an early stage in the season, but I think that was a good one.”

He added: “It wasn’t the most cohesive game from either team.

“We lacked a bit of cohesion towards the end of the first half and I thought we were scrappy in the second – that’s just with the ball.

“The thing we are really pleased with is some of the defence we are showing and some of that resilience, that we didn’t have at this stage last year.

“I am really, really pleased.”

Leeds led 12-0 after around half an hour, but Warrington struck twice to go into the break all square.

Character

The final 40 minutes was nip and tuck, but the defending champions finished the stronger and McDermott said: “They showed some character.

“Both teams had spells of pressure, but neither team ran away with it. It was a to-and-fro type of game.”

Rhinos’ official man of the match, Rob Burrow, said: “Warrington are a quality side and we knew we needed to be at our best because they never give in.

“Last year we did not beat a team above us in the league right until the end and it is good we have got that off our back early on, so hopefully we can kick on.”

Rhinos’ medical staff will check on skipper Kevin Sinfield who played on despite suffering a leg injury early in the game.

Sinfield kicked five goals from as many attempts and is now just 15 points short of equalling Lewis Jones’ club record which has stood for 48 years.

Mitch Garbutt presses forward

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