Warrington 12-16 Leeds: Ryan Hall and Jack Walker shine for Rhinos
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 02/02/18 9:01am
A sensational solo try from Ryan Hall gave Leeds a winning start to their Betfred Super League defence as they beat Warrington 16-12 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
England winger Hall, one of 12 members of their Grand Final-winning team, provided the highlight with two tries as the Rhinos condemned Steve Price to defeat in his first competitive match as Warrington head coach.
Teenage full-back Jack Walker also impressed, along with Richie Myler, who was chosen to fill the boots of departed skipper Danny McGuire and warmed the hearts of the visiting fans with a superb all-round display.
The champions were forced to withstand a late fightback from the home side, who scored a try through Tom Lineham with just two minutes left, although captain Chris Hill missed the late thrills as he left the ground early after his wife went into labour with their fourth child.
After a tentative opening, Leeds found a purple patch to score two tries in four minutes, both from kicks by their half-backs.
Evergreen second rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan rolled back the years to athletically take Joel Moon's high kick to force his way over for the first before Hall collected Myler's chip over the defence to crash over.
Kallum Watkins, in his first match as captain, added one conversion and increased his side's lead to 12-0 with a 26th-minute penalty.
The Wolves were out of sorts in the opening quarter, with full-back Stefan Ratchford putting his side under pressure with two handling errors, but they gradually clawed their way back into the contest.
Centre Bryson Goodwin, who went off after 14 minutes for running repairs to a head wound, showed a touch of class on his Super League debut, cutting inside for a try to which he added the goal, and the home side might have been level by
the break had Ben Westwood been able to hold onto a pass close to the line.
Leeds had to produce some determined scrambling defence at times to preserve their lead, with Myler, who scored 81 tries in 145 appearances for Warrington from 2010-2015, and 18-year-old Walker prominent as Ryan Atkins and Goodwin were both held up over the line.
It was against the run of play when Leeds went in for their third and decisive try on 54 minutes, Hall racing in from 80 metres and easily rounding the unfortunate Ratchford on the way.
Forwards Brad Singleton and Jack Ormondroyd were both held up over the line as the Rhinos maintained control but Atkins went close at the other end before Lineham went in for what proved to be a consolation try as Leeds secured their first away win over Warrington since 2011.