Chris Sandow stole the pre-match headlines prior to making his debut tonight at Headingley, but Leeds Rhinos fullback Zak Hardaker was the star of the show as the Rhinos defeated Warrington 49-10 to consolidate their position on top of the Super League table.
Warrington took an early lead when Kevin Penny touched down after supporting a superb break by Daryl Clark and Sandow converted from in front of the posts.
But the Rhinos then took command with four first-half tries from Kallum Watkins, Tom Briscoe, Hardaker and Danny McGuire, with captain Kevin Sinfield adding three conversions and a late penalty to give the Rhinos a 24-6 half-time lead.
The Wolves threatened to come back into the game in the 47th minute when Penny scored his second try supporting a break by Stefan Ratchford, although Sandow couldn’t add the goal.
Hardaker and Joel Moon added the Rhinos’ fifth and sixth tries, with Sinfield converting both before adding a field-goal.
And the Rhinos completed the scoring with tries in the final ten minutes from Rob Burrow and Carl Ablett, with Sinfield adding the goals for a final score of 49-10.
A full report, photos and analysis will feature in Monday’s editon of League Express.