Two sides, who were disappointed in the result of their opening fixtures, were first up in the Totally Wicked Stadium Mose Masoe double header as the Warrington Wolves took on the new boys, Leigh Centurions, with a crucial two points up for grabs and both teams looking to stay in touch with the top of the table.
The Centurions had Ben Reynolds back in their side after he returned from Toulouse Olympique without playing a game for his new side. A transfer fee was involved but the scrum half adds a special dimension to the Leigh line-up.
Warrington were big favourites for the win, Leigh getting a sixteen-point start on the coupon, but the Wolves wouldn’t be taking anything for granted.
After an end to end opening, three back to back sets for Warrington on eight put them in a great position and on the fourth tackle a pass was floated out to Tom Lineham who took the aerial route to outsmart the Leigh defender and get the ball on the ground before landing in touch. Stefan Ratchford added the conversion from the touchline.
Warrington got their second out of nowhere as Toby King was on hand to take a Stefan Ratchford, fend off the last defender, and cross the line. Ratchford added the conversion and out of nowhere, against some good Leigh pressure, the Wolves were 12-0 ahead.
Within a three minutes Jake Mamo grabbed the third for Warrington after a forty metre Josh Charnley break put him clear to run in from twenty. Ratchford missed his first kick of the afternoon and at 16-0 down Leigh could count themselves unlucky but the Wolves were in danger of running away with it.
It was a fifty-metre King break which provided the fourth try for the Wolves, the centre finding Widdop in support to take the pass for a simple walk to the line. Ratchford was good with the conversion for 22-0, Leigh were already out of the game.
Twelve second half minutes were on the clock when Ben Currie extended the Warrington lead after collecting a pinpoint Widdop grubber to spin away from the full-back and score a simple try. Ratchford converted for a 28-0 lead.
Just short of the hour mark the Centurions got on the board as Sidlow ran the angle to take a short pass and crash through the Wolves defence for a four-pointer. Ben Reynolds added the conversion for 6-28.
Harlem Globe Trotters stuff from Warrington on sixty saw King pick the ball up off the ground after a Widdop break to walk in unopposed for his second of the afternoon. Ratchford added the conversion for a 34-6 lead, any hopes of a Leigh fightback quickly quashed.
Lineham joined the two’s club on sixty-eight with a ten-metre run down the left wing and a dive over the line, Widdop again the provider. Ratchford was wide with the conversion attempt.
Warrington went through the forty mark when Widdop helped himself to his second of the afternoon as he was brilliantly placed to take the final pass from Currie to outpace the defence and cross. Ratchford’s conversion made it 44-6.
There was a late consolation for Ryan Brierley as he picked up a clever grubber to score from five metres out. Reynolds added a difficult conversion and Leigh had the last word in a losing game as they went down by 44-12.
Warrington found the form that they were missing last weekend as they demolished a plucky Leigh side who gave their all but were lacking a clinical finish against a determined and well drilled defence. The Wolves will look to use this as a platform upon which they can build their season, Leigh will take the good things that they can from the game as they seek their first points of the season.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford (6G), Lineham (2T), Mamo (T), King (2T), Charnley, Austin, Widdop (2T), Hill, Clark D, Cooper, Currie (T), Hughes, Philbin. Subs: Clark J, Walker, Mulhern, Butler.
Leigh Centurions: Brierley (T), Russell, Thornley, Brand, Tierney, Wallace, Reynolds (2G), Ioane, Hood, Sidlow (T), Hellewell, Gee, Thompson. Subs: Peteru, Wildie, McCarthy, Gerrard.
Referee: James Child.
Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0, 16-0, 20-0, 22-0 : HT : 26-0, 28-0, 28-4, 28-6, 32-6, 34-6, 38-6, 42-6, 44-6, 44-10, 44-12: FT.