Super League Super 8s: Leeds Rhinos 49-10 Warrington Wolves

Zak Hardaker
Zak Hardaker signed a new four-year deal with Leeds last month
First Utility Super League - Super 8s
Leeds (24) 49
Tries: Watkins, Briscoe, Hardaker 2, McGuire, Moon, Burrow, Ablett Goals: Sinfield 8 Drop-goal: Sinfield
Warrington (6) 10
Tries: Penny 2 Goal: Sandow

Leeds moved two points clear of Wigan at the top of Super League with victory over Warrington in their first game of the Super 8s.

Kevin Penny raced away for the first of two tries to put the visitors ahead.

But tries from Kallum Watkins, Tom Briscoe, Zak Hardaker and Danny McGuire saw Rhinos lead 24-6 at half-time.

Hardaker's stunning second try plus efforts from Joel Moon, Rob Burrow and Carl Ablett, and 17 points from Kevin Sinfield, underlined Leeds' dominance.

With points carried over from games played so far this season, Warrington, who handed a debut to Australian half-back Chris Sandow, remain sixth in the table. They are four points behind fourth-placed Huddersfield and Castleford - who beat Hull FC - in fifth.

What are the Super 8s?
The 12-team Super League and Championship divisions have become three groups of eight - Super League, The Qualifiers and Championship Shield.
The top four in the smaller Super League will enter the play-offs to compete for a place in October's Grand Final at Old Trafford.
This structure is new for 2015, with the Rugby Football League reintroducing promotion and relegation following six years of the licensing system.
Read more on the new format

Tony Smith's side had won both previous league meetings against Leeds this season but they were not to complete the hat-trick despite taking the lead when Daryl Clark broke clear before sending Penny over.

Leeds' response was immediate, with Watkins scoring after executing a quick play-the-ball with Sinfield.

Sinfield was the creator again with a brilliant floated pass to put Briscoe in at the corner, before Hardaker raced in from 40 metres after bursting on to Jamie Peacock's offload.

The video referee awarded Leeds' fourth try, scored by McGuire after Ablett bundled forward Adam Cuthbertson's offload without touching the ball with his hand.

Penny finished off a fine passing move in the corner early in the second half to give Warrington hope but that was soon extinguished when Hardaker brilliantly stepped through the visitors' defence to score.

Moon then powered his way over from close range before Sinfield added a drop-goal to his earlier six successful goals.

And as Warrington tired, Leeds added two more tries late on through Burrow and Ablett, both converted by Sinfield.

Warrington head coach Tony Smith: "I think that was pretty exceptional, the best I've seen the Rhinos all year.

"They were rampant and all their dangerous players were very, very dangerous.

"I don't know many teams who would have competed with the Rhinos the way they played.

"I thought we did well to contain them to that score at times."

Leeds head coach Brian McDermott on full-back Zak Hardaker: "It's not finesse with Zak, he's backing himself and is a tough tenacious man.

"He's got a fantastic attitude. He's a colourful character and we talk about him sometimes for the wrong reasons and because of that we don't get to talk about who he is, and he's just one of the ultimate competitors.

"Performances like that against a potentially very dangerous team on the back of last week as well, he's got to be in contention (for England)."

Leeds: Hardaker; Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Garbutt, Aiton, Peacock, Ablett, Keinhorst, Cuthbertson.

Replacements: Singleton, Delaney, Burrow, Leuluai.

Warrington: Ratchford; Penny, R. Evans, T. King, Monaghan; Sandow, Myler; England, Clark, Sims, Philbin, Currie, Hill.

Replacements: Dwyer, Asotasi, Wilde, G. King.

Att: 13,118

Referee: James Child.

Top Stories