Warrington beat Leeds to finally win first Super League game of the season

Andy Hampson
The win was not without controversy: Getty

Ryan Atkins scored twice as Warrington finally won their first Betfred Super League game of the season with a controversial 25-14 victory over Leeds.

The Wolves were fortunate not to have Ben Westwood sent off in the first minute after late tackle on Liam Sutcliffe at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

They made the most of the reprieve as Atkins cancelled out Tom Briscoe's early score with two tries and Tom Lineham added another to put them in control.

Leeds rallied through Matt Parcell and Joel Moon but Warrington, with Westood influential, held out and Kurt Gidley made a long-awaited victory - at the eighth attempt - safe.

There was controversy in the opening seconds as Westwood flattened Sutcliffe with a late shot after a kick by the Leeds utility man.

The Warrington forward could easily have been sent off for a challenge that ended a concussed Sutcliffe's game but referee James Child brandished only a yellow card.

Leeds were angered but at least took advantage of their numerical superiority to score while Westwood was off as Briscoe wriggled through the defence on the right.

Warrington were ragged and ill-disciplined at this stage and after Jack Hughes escaped punishment for another late tackle, Ashton Sims was placed on report following an altercation with Adam Cuthbertson.

That occurred after Cuthbertson had knocked on with Leeds trying to apply more pressure. It looked like being another long night for Tony Smith's men but to their credit, and finally after a dismal start to the season, they emerged from their torpor.

Atkins sparked the recovery as he collected a Lineham knock-down from a high kick from Declan Patton and crashed over.

He then brilliantly caught a Gidley bomb and forced his way over for a second try, although replays suggested he may have lost control as he touched down.

Patton, starting in place of the injured Kevin Brown, converted both and thought he had created a hat-trick try for Atkins with a fine kick but the video referee ruled Leeds had grounded the ball.

Wire carried the momentum into the second half and a fine move saw Westwood send Lineham over on the left for another converted try.

Leeds were not done and Parcell gave them some hope when he forced his way over from dummy half and Moon brought them right back into contention when he scored from a Brett Delaney flick.

Yet Warrington continued to enjoy spells of pressure themselves and after Westwood had forced a goalline drop-out, Gidley jinked his way through the Leeds line to extend the lead.

Patton capped a fine performance by landing his fourth conversion and adding a late drop goal for good measure.

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