Leeds are Champions once again

Leeds Rhinos have once again upset the odds in a Super League Grand Final, defeating Warrington Wolves 26-18 to win the competition from 5th place in the league for a second consecutive year.

Warrington got off to a dream start when Richie Myler darted in next to the sticks after catching the Leeds defence napping.  After a tense opening quarter where both territory and possession stats were very even until Leeds hit back and equalised with Kevin Sinfield showing great awareness to support Carl Ablett who won the race to a testing high kick.

Leeds then took the advantage after winning the first penalty of the game on 25 minutes, which Sinfield duly converted for an 8-6 lead. The Rhinos then started to assert their usual Old Trafford dominance and puled further ahead courtesy of a powerful finish by Ben Jones-Bishop for a 14-6 lead.

Warrington did very well to weather the storm and a superb pass from Lee Briers put Joel Monaghan in and got them right back in the game just before the break, then Brett Hodgson landed a penalty on the hooter to pull the Wolves level at 14-14 at the break. 

The Wolves then drew the first blood of the second half when Ryan Atkins powered over in the corner after 45 minutes to put them back ahead by just 4 points.

Leeds hit the front once again on the hour mark when Grand Final specialist Carl Ablett popped up right on cue to crash over, Sinfield again added the extras to give the Rhinos a slender 20-18 lead with 20 minutes remaining. The Rhinos then took firm control as Ryan Hall finished an unplanned passing move with Sinfield calmly hitting the extras for a 26-18 lead with just 6 minutes remaining.

That try proved to be the killer blow as Leeds expertly closed the game and for the second year running, won the Super League from 5th place.

Leeds Rhinos are a truly special team, with 6 titles in 8 years, surely cementing their place in the history books as one of the greatest teams of all time.

 

Leeds: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Ablett, Hall, McGuire, Sinfield, Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Delaney, Bailey. 

Leeds Subs: Kirke, Griffin, Ward, Lunt. 

Tries: Sinfield, Jones-Bishop,  Ablett, Hall.   Conversions: Sinfield 5/5.

Warrington: Hodgson, Riley, Ratchford, Atkins, J Monaghan, Briers, Myler, Harrison, Higham, Hill, Westwood, Waterhouse, Grix.

Warrington Subs: Morley, M Monaghan, Cooper, Wood. 

Tries: Myler, J. Monaghan, Atkins.   Conversions: Hodgson 3/4.

Man of the Match: Kevin Sinfield      Attendance: 70,676.

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