Peter Smith's Leeds Rhinos match report and ratings as 2 players get 9s for 22-6 win at Warrington Wolves

A blistering start and outstanding defensive display earned Leeds Rhinos a precious and thoroughly-deserved victory at Warrington Wolves on Thursday.

For once, Leeds backed up from a good performance in their previous game, picking up from where they left off in the 54-0 rout of Huddersfield Giants.

All the first half scoring was done by Leeds in a blistering spell from the seventh minute to the 17th, when they were utterly clinical.

There wasn’t much between the teams after that and Leeds were under pressure at times, but their will to protect their line was impressive. That showed after the final hooter when they scrambled superbly to shut out a last-ditch Warrington attack.

Former Warrington stand-off Blake Austin got Rhinos rolling, making a lovely break with support from Aidan Sezer who put Sam Walters over for his third try in two games.

Leeds survived a knock on from the restart by David Fusitu’a, in a mixup with Sezer and counter-attacked in some style to increase their lead when the outstanding Richie Myler’s pass was finished by Ash Handley.

The same player was in again soon afterwards; Cameron Smith’s long pass finding Rhyse Martin who gave his winger a walk-in.

Martin converted the first and third and Warrington were reduced to 12 men when Sam Kasiano was sin-binned for a shoulder charge on Handley.

The giant substitute was fortunate not to be binned again early in the second half after being penalised twice inside a minute for dissent.

Leeds couldn’t take advantage of the extra man, but should have been at least 20-0 up when Austin crawled over on 25 minutes.

Referee Chris Kendall said try, but was overruled by video official Tom Grant who awarded Warrington a penalty for obstruction, when it looked like a poor defensive read.

The second period was evenly-fought, neither side doing much with ball in hand, until the 63rd minute when Matty Ashton scored from a pass by Stafan Ratchford, who converted.

There was at least a suspicion of a knock-on - and forward pass - but Grant confirmed Kendall’s original decision. He pressed the button before remembering to check the grounding, so had to have another look.

Crucially, James Bentley and Myler held Paul Vaughan up over the line as Warrington scented a comeback, but - having been under the pump - Leeds again countered impressively.

Sam Lisone, just back on, slipped a pass to Walters and sent Myler through the posts for a hard-earned try which Martin improved.

The penalty count was 10-8 in Warrington’s favour (4-3 to Leeds in the first half).

Warrington Wolves: Thewlis, Russell, Mata’utia, Ratchford, Ashton, Dufty, Drinkwater, Dudson, Clark, Vaughan, Currie, A Holroyd, Philbin. Subs Kasiano, Walker, Bullock, Wrench.

Leeds Rhinos: Myler, Handley, Martin, Macdonald, Fusitu’a, Austin, Sezer, Oledzki, O’Connor, Walters, Bentley, McDonnell, Smith. Subs Johnson, Lisone,Donaldson, T Holroyd.

Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield). Attendance: 8,891.

Here’s how the Rhinos players rated.