Warrington 35 Leeds 18: Agony for Rhinos as Wolves toast famous Wembley triumph
15:55 GMT, 25 August 2012
The heartache goes on for Leeds after they made Wembley history with a third consecutive Carnegie Challenge Cup final defeat as Warrington lifted the trophy for the third time in four years.
The Rhinos threatened to end their 13-year wait to get their hands on the famous silverware when they led 8-6 after 23 minutes, but a scoring burst of three tries in 10 minutes early in the second half provided decisive.
Leeds are masters of the Super League, with five Grand Final wins in eight years, but the Challenge Cup continues to elude them as they succumbed to a sixth final defeat since their 1999 win over London Broncos.
Cheer we go: Warrington players celebrate their third try scored by Chris Riley during the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley
The game, which drew a 79,180 crowd,
had been fiercely contested and was finely balanced until Warrington,
having benefited from a crucial decision by video referee Phil Bentham
to disallow a Leeds try early in the second half, cut loose with veteran
full-back Brett Hodgson leading the way in a man-of-the-match
Hodgson supplied the final passes to
the key tries and scored the last of his side's six touchdowns as well
as kicking five goals to claim the prestigious Lance Todd Trophy, three
years after he was on the losing side in Huddersfield's Wembley defeat
by the Wolves.
The Rhinos fans must have feared a
repeat of their 30-6 mauling from 2010 when Warrington winger Joel
Monaghan opened the scoring just six minutes into the action.
Touching down: Warrington's Riley goes over for his try
Touch the sky: Try hero Riley celebrates with a personal dedication at Wembley
Smart offloads from Ben Harrison and
Chris Hill created an opening for scrum-half Richie Myler, who had the
vision to spot Monaghan in space out on the right flank and found him
with a pinpoint kick.
Hodgson's angled conversion made it
6-0 and they might have doubled their score had the full-back provided a
more accurate final pass to second rower Ben Westwood after piercing
the first line of defence.
But Leeds had already shown signs
that this was not going to be a walkover, with former England captain
Jamie Peacock setting a tremendous early example with two storming runs
through the heart of the Wolves defence.
Back-to-back penalties got the Rhinos
into the danger zone and substitute forward Ian Kirke took skipper
Kevin Sinfield's pass to barge past three defenders and stretch out of
the tackle to score his first try for 14 months.
Clash of the titans: Leeds' Ryan Bailey squares up to Warrington's Garreth Carvell
Sinfield levelled the scores with the
conversion, just before a torrential downpour, and edged his side in
front four minutes later with a penalty awarded for a punch by Paul Wood
on Carl Ablett.
The rain threatened to ruin the game,
with Warrington's Hill and Trent Waterhouse both spilling possession,
but a run of penalties against the Yorkshiremen helped produce another
As the rain disappeared as quickly as
it had arrived, slick handling by Michael Monaghan and Myler got
Waterhouse into his stride and he proved unstoppable from 10 metres out.
Hodgson's second goal made it 12-8
but Sinfield pulled two points back with a second penalty on the stroke
of half-time and Leeds thought they had re-taken the lead early in the
Making a fist of it: Leeds' Ian Kirke scores their first try but it was not enough for the defeated Rhinos
When Hodgson lost possession in a
crunching tackle from Rhinos prop Kylie Leuluai while attempting to
clear his line, second rower Brett Delaney picked up the loose ball and
The video referee ruled out any foul
play but disallowed the try for a knock-on and Warrington made the most
of the let-off with two quickfire tries, with Hodgson quickly recovering
from the heavy blow to supply both final passes.
Leeds found themselves under
intolerable pressure after conceding successive goal-line drop-outs and
it told when Hodgson combined with Ryan Atkins to get winger Chris Riley
over on 49 minutes.
Done and dusted: Warrington's Ryan Atkins scores their third try to put them on their way to a famous victory
Five minutes later, following another
drop-out, Warrington again attacked the Leeds right and Hodgson's long
pass enabled Atkins to go over.
The Wolves were oozing with
confidence by then and four minutes later substitute Tyrone McCarthy
went over for his side's fifth try after Westwood squeezed out a pass
from a tackle close to the line.
Briers put his side four scores in
front with a drop goal and Hodgson went through a tiring Leeds defence
for a deserved try, rendering later tries from Rhinos centre Kallum
Watkins little more than consolation.