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Feb 27, 2014 at 6pm UK
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3-1
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Insigne (17'), Higuain (78'), Inler (90')
FT(HT: 1-1)
de Guzman (30')

Result: Warrington get season off to flying start with hammering of Leeds

Result: Warrington get season off to flying start with hammering of Leeds
© Reuters
The Wolves were 26-6 winners at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Warrington got their Betfred Super League campaign off to a flying start with a 26-6 hammering of Leeds at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

New signing Blake Austin was one of four try scorers as last year's runners-up justified the pre-season optimism surrounding the club against a Rhinos team that disappointed in their first competitive outing under new coach Dave Furner.

Stand-off Austin, a front-runner for the Man of Steel award, revealed some classy touches on his Super League debut but old stagers Stefan Ratchford, Chris Hill, Mike Cooper and Daryl Clark came up with the major contributions as Warrington showed they could be the real deal in 2019 even without the injured Kevin Brown.

The Wolves, who also had Jason Clark and Danny Walker making their bows off the bench, even played the game with 12 men for 20 minutes with Jack Hughes and Toby King both shown yellow cards but never looked anything but comfortable.

Leeds had four players making their debuts and one of them, Tongan centre Konrad Hurrell, provided a glimpse of the blockbusting running that should make him a big attraction in Super League.

But there was little else to encourage fans of the Rhinos, who are starting the season with four successive away games and have potentially daunting trips to Wigan and St Helens looming.

When new stand-off Tui Lolohea failed to find touch from an early penalty, it summed up the Rhinos' abject evening.

Warrington almost made them pay for the error when centre Bryson Goodwin opened up their defence only for Austin to drop his pass close to the line.

Even when the home side were temporarily reduced to 12 men following the sin-binning of Hughes for tackling Hurrell without the ball they looked the more threatening side.

Full-back Ratchford was a constant threat and he opened the scoring after 14 minutes, taking Dec Patton's pass and jinking his way over for a try.

Ratchford converted and added a penalty goal to make it 8-0 before the Wolves struck twice more in quick succession to effectively seal the win before half-time.

Fast hands from centre Ryan Atkins got winger Josh Charnley in at the corner while hooker Clark wriggled free from the attempted tackle of Jack Walker and Matt Parcell to touch down for a soft try.

Ratchford kicked his fourth goal from as many attempts to make it 20-0 while Leeds' only real chance came four minutes before half-time when Walker was held up over the line.

The visitors tightened their defence in the second half but continued to struggle to find any cohesion in attack and the game became scrappy.

Austin scored Warrington's only try of the second half, supporting a break from Cooper, and Ratchford maintained his accuracy by kicking his fifth goal from as many attempts.

Leeds finally broke their duck four minutes from the end when loose forward Stevie Ward forced his way over from close range and Lolohea added the conversion.

That came while the home side were down to 12 for a second time with King in the bin for a dangerous tackle.

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