Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves in focus: opposition star man, key battle, previous meeting and verdict

It’s win or bust for Leeds Rhinos when Warrington Wolves visit Headingley on Sunday.
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Leeds are on a three-game losing run and another defeat would almost certainly end their top-six hopes, but Warrington have lost their last seven league and cup games and will be equally desperate. Here’s a scene setter.

Betfred Super League round 22

Where and when?

Richie Myler celebrates scoring the try which sealed Rhinos' win at Warrington in June. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.Richie Myler celebrates scoring the try which sealed Rhinos' win at Warrington in June. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.
Richie Myler celebrates scoring the try which sealed Rhinos' win at Warrington in June. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

Date: Sunday, August 20

Time: 3pm

Venue: Headingley

Warrington’s star man: Stand-off George Williams was a major influence on Warrington’s impressive start to the season after a strong World Cup campaign for England last autumn. He missed June’s clash with Leeds because of a hamstring injury, but tends to play well at Headingley.

Warrington's George Williams kicks past Rhyse Martin and Aidan Sezer during his side's home win over Leeds in February. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.Warrington's George Williams kicks past Rhyse Martin and Aidan Sezer during his side's home win over Leeds in February. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Warrington's George Williams kicks past Rhyse Martin and Aidan Sezer during his side's home win over Leeds in February. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
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Key battle: Jordan Crowther was a surprise mid-season signing for Warrington from Wakefield Trinity. He had a fine game at loose-forward against Catalans Dragons two weeks ago and will be up against Cameron Smith who Leeds will need to be on-song if they are to get back to winning ways.

Previous meeting: June 29, 2023. Super League round 17. Warrington 6 (Try Ashton. Goal Ratchford), Rhinos 22 (Tries Handley 2, Walters, Myler. Goals Martin 3). Referee: Chris Kendall. Attendance: 8,981.

Verdict: It is a clash of arguably the season’s two biggest under-achievers. Both have played some outstanding rugby at times, but are in a form slump and will be equally desperate to win. Previous meetings have been decided in the opening quarter (Warrington 18-0 up en-route to a 42-10 win and Leeds 16-0 ahead before winning 22-6) so it could come down to who makes the better start. Leeds’ defence is in reasonable shape, but they need to be more creative and nail their execution.