Leeds 26-4 Warrington: Wolves drop to fourth after loss
Last Updated: 13/09/19 11:09pm
Warrington will face Castleford in the Super League semi-finals after suffering a 26-4 defeat at Leeds.
The Rhinos finished a difficult season on a high thanks to a victory secured by the boot of Rhyse Martin, with the tries coming from Liam Sutcliffe, Rob Lui, Adam Cuthbertson and Luke Briscoe.
The Wolves will take on the Tigers next weekend after Salford beat Hull KR and dislodged them from third place.
Leeds bade farewell to Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who has retired after 20 years with the club, in style.
Jones-Buchanan was given the captaincy for his final match, starting at loose forward, and they handed a debut to 18-year-old hooker Corey Johnson.
Warrington made a terrible start with Blake Austin dropping the kick-off and Leeds had a gilt-edged chance to attack after just 40 seconds.
However, Cuthbertson knocked on three tackles later and the chance was gone.
The Wolves settled their nerves and grew into the match.
An error from Konrad Hurrell in the fifth minute handed the visitors excellent field position, but Josh Charnley lost control of the ball as he darted for the try-line and the Rhinos took possession back.
Four minutes later Leeds went close to scoring after Ash Handley broke through the middle. Handley found Jack Walker in support and he was tackled just 15 metres from the line.
But Daryl Clark was sent to the sin-bin for holding down Walker too long, leaving Warrington with 12 men.
However, the Wolves' scrambled defence managed to keep the home team at bay.
Leeds finally made the breakthrough when Lui intercepted Jack Hughes' pass and made a 60-metre break. On the next tackle Sutcliffe stepped his way over, Martin adding the extras to make it 6-0.
Warrington continued to invite pressure by giving penalties away and with four minutes left in the half Martin increased Leeds' lead to eight.
The Rhinos then forced a goal-line drop-out to turn the heat up further on the visitors, but Martin was held up on the try-line.
Basic errors continued to undermine Warrington's play in the second half, although they should have been on the board in the 47th minute.
Clark made a break down the middle and found Bryson Goodwin in support. He passed to Tom Lineham but the winger inexplicably dived early for the try-line and Briscoe dragged him into touch.
The Wolves upped their intensity but Leeds' strong defence held firm.
In the 53rd minute the home team forced a drop-out after a smart grubber from Martin.
It proved telling as in the next set Lui powered over to grab the Rhinos' second try. Martin made no mistake with his conversion to make it 14-0.
Josh Charnley gave Warrington hope when he dived over in the corner with 11 minutes left following Austin's pass.
But Cuthbertson and Briscoe both crossed late on as Leeds emphatically closed out the match.