Warrington 44-18 Leigh: Widdop on form as Wolves keep Leigh winless

Eribe Doro (25) of Warrington Wolves goes over for a try

Gareth Widdop claimed a personal haul of 20 points to help an under-strength Warrington to a 44-18 Betfred Super League victory over winless Leigh at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Widdop won a recall to Shaun Wane’s England squad earlier this month but failed to make the final cut for Friday evening’s international against the Combined Nations All Stars.

But the half-back produced the goods for his club with a try, created another for winger Josh Charnley and landed eight goals, while Blake Austin, Danny Walker, Eribe Doro and Matt Davis also touched down.

The night did end on a sour note for Widdop though as he hobbled from the field in the closing minutes with an ankle problem.

The Wolves were without five key players who will be on England duty on home soil on Friday and in-form centre Toby King was also sidelined with a knee injury as coach Steve Price was forced to ring the changes after their win over champions St Helens.

The Wolves recalled Riley Dean and Ellis Robson from their loan spells at York and Bradford respectively and also brought in fellow youngsters Josh Thewlis, Connor Wrench, Ellis Longstaff and Doro.

But despite all the changes the Wolves still proved too strong for the winless Centurions who are still searching for their first victory in Warrington since 1987.

Leigh were without hooker Nathan Peats, who is playing for the All Stars on Friday, with Jordan Thompson recalled after a month on the sidelines with a knee injury.

They claimed points through tries by Liam Hood, Mark Ioana and Junior Sa’u and three conversions by Ryan Brierley.

And Leigh suffered an early blow when prop forward Tyrone McCarthy was on the receiving end of a ferocious charge by Sitaleki Akauola which forced the former Warrington man from the field where he failed his concussion assessment.

It was the home side who took the lead after nine minutes when Austin scythed through the Centurions defence for the opening try which Widdop converted after being off target with an earlier penalty.

And the Wolves increased their advantage six minutes later as Austin was involved again as his deft pass allowed Davis to race clear to score.

Leigh had their territorial moments in the opening half but could find no way through an excellent defensive rearguard by the Wolves who further increased their lead when Widdop booted over a penalty to give his side a 14-0 half-time lead.

Leigh gave themselves hope of a second-half revival when Liam Hood touched down five minutes after the restart which Brierley converted.

But that was soon extinguished as Widdop and Charnley touched down in the space of four minutes, both converted by Widdop, to stretch the lead to 26-6.

A Sa’u try was brief respite for the Centurions as the Wolves finished in style with further tries by Walker, Doro and an 80-metre interception try from Lineham which meant Ioane’s late score was a mere consolation for Leigh.

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