Warrington Wolves Emphatically Thump Leeds Rhinos In Super League Opener

Seven tries and seven try scorers saw The Wire run out 42-10 winners
21:52, 16 Feb 2023

Warrington Wolves got the new Super League season off to a flying start as they thumped Leeds Rhinos 42-10 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Daryl Powell’s side, who finished second bottom of the Super League in 2022, put in an outstanding display to stun last year’s Grand Finalists.

Importantly before the match, the Warrington players warmed up with shirts sporting the name Brianna following the death of local 16-year-old transgender girl Brianna Ghey last week. It was a tragedy that has rocked the city, and the players were out to put on a show in her memory.

Warrington made a blistering start as Ben Currie burst through the Leeds defence to set up Matt Dufty who crossed for the opening try of the Super League season. Stefan Ratchford, on his 300th appearance, added the extras to give the hosts a 6-0 lead in five minutes. 


On his milestone day, Ratchford then converted a penalty and Warrington continued their dominance by piling the pressure onto Leeds. They kept on coming and Daryl Clarke fought his way past three loose tackles before getting over the line as the Wolves romped into a 14-0 lead. 

Leeds had barely been out of their own half in the opening quarter, completely caught cold by this vibrant display from Powell’s side. Then, things got even better for Warrington when Josh Thewlis was fed on the right hand side and he made no mistake with a clever finish from close range. 

This time they couldn’t add the extras, but their dominance continued even when Kruise Leeming escaped without a card for his tackle on Thewlis. He connected with his head, but due to the position, referee Liam Moore dealt with it sensibly. 

The Rhinos simply couldn’t cope and looked like a deer in the headlines as The Wire kept coming forward. Danny Walker worked his way towards the try line, placed a clever kick through and then managed to capitalise as Richie Myler slipped to score Warrington’s fourth try of the night. 24-0. With the crowd behind them, the energy and drive of the Wolves was relentless and even in their wildest dreams, they couldn’t have imagined a start to the season like this. 

By the time the hooter went for half time, Warrington had crossed again. On the fifth tackle, Sam Kasiano got his debut try as he claimed a high kick from Williams out of the air to cross from close range. He was a big name signing from the Catalans Dragons this summer and having finished second bottom last term, this was just the tonic they needed in 2023. 

The second half was one that saw Leeds try and stamp their own authority on the match. Instead they were met by more firm tackles and an enthusiastic defence. Rohan Smith’s team, although seeing more of the ball, were stuck in a war of attrition with Warrington. It was energy-sapping, but they did manage to work their way back into the game. 

On the hour mark, Derrell Olpherts on his Leeds debut got over the line in the corner and Rhyse Martin converted from the touchline to bring the score to 30-6. The away end found their voice, but it was a short-lived revival. 

James Harrison, who had played superbly, battled his way through and span past the final tackle before grounding to the delight of the home fans. They’d taken a slight blow in conceding, but this was the perfect response to make sure Leeds would go home empty handed.

Another try followed as The Wire put on a show. Greg Minikin took advantage of a knock-on as he spotted a gap in the Rhinos' backline and crossed to bring up 40 points for the home side. That marked another try from the bench for Powell, who will have been delighted with this showing. Seven tries, seven different try scorers, it really was the perfect curtain raiser for The Wire. 

The only glimmer of hope for Leeds came as Justin Sangare also scored on his debut to reduce the deficit, but this was a woeful performance from Leeds. 

The Warrington Wolves are off to a winning start again, but having won their first three matches of last season - including an opening day win over Leeds before a dismal campaign - they won't be getting carried away this time. The signs are promising though, this could be a far more exciting campaign. 

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Warrington Wolves are 7/1 to win the Super League*
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