Challenge Cup semi-final: Warrington Wolves 48-12 Leeds Rhinos

By Jay FreemanBBC Sport at University of Bolton Stadium
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final
Warrington Wolves (26) 48
Tries: Lineham 2, Charnley 2, Brown, Murdoch-Masila, T King, Goodwin Goals: Roberts 8
Leeds Rhinos (6) 12
Tries: Hall, Cuthbertson Goals: Sutcliffe 2

Warrington Wolves set up a Challenge Cup final against Catalans Dragons as they overwhelmed Leeds Rhinos in their semi-final in Bolton.

Leeds winger Ryan Hall crossed first but Tom Lineham ran the length of the field to score a sensational try, edging the Wire ahead midway through the first half.

Josh Charnley ran in soon after, and Kevin Brown and Ben Murdoch-Masila extended their lead to 26-6 by half-time.

After the break, Adam Cuthbertson reduced Leeds' deficit but Charnley scored once more before Toby King, Bryson Goodwin and Lineham touched down to send Warrington to their second final in three seasons.

They will face Catalans in the final on 25 August, after the French side pulled off a stunning win against runaway Super League leaders St Helens in Sunday's earlier semi-final.

Warrington have not won the Challenge Cup since beating Leeds in the 2012 final, but they once again overcame the Rhinos to reach Wembley.

In Steve Price's first season in charge, the Wire are fourth in Super League at the start of the Super 8s campaign, but will now feel the cup represents their best chance of silverware during a campaign in which Saints hold a formidable lead over the rest of the division.

Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield, who captained the Rhinos to victory as a player in 2014 and 2015, will now ready his side for a Qualifiers campaign in which they will hope to retain their Super League status, less than a year after they beat Castleford Tigers to win the Super League title in 2017.

Warrington stay cool in the heat

During an end-to-end opening 20 minutes, Leeds looked good value for their lead after Sydney Roosters-bound winger Hall crossed over to put them ahead, but Lineham's outrageous 90-metre run-in changed the face of the game.

At points this season, Warrington have managed the pressure of the big occasion, like their Challenge Cup quarter-final victory against Wigan, whereas they struggled against the Warriors in front of the sizable crowd at the Magic Weekend.

However, they played the conditions perfectly on a very warm day in Bolton and ran away with the match in the second half.

'We got what we deserved, it was ugly' - post-match reaction

Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield told BBC Sport:

"We got what we deserved, it was ugly, the first half wasn't good enough, it's not what we're about.

"We showed some response at the start of the second half but we are where we are and there is a challenge on for all of us to fix it and there has been for this last month.

"I knew this was not going to be beautiful for us and it certainly isn't, we're a bit of a way off at the minute but we're all in this together and we've got to do something about it.

"We've probably lost some of the values and spirit the club had and I don't think you can just manufacture that."

Warrington head coach Steve Price:

"I'm really proud of the guys, that was a really fantastic performance today. They were coming at us early in the first half and we stayed in the grind.

"As a club we had to change a fair few things and it's a credit to all the players and staff, it's unbelievable."

Warrington hooker Daryl Clark:

"I think we started slowly and went behind early but I thought we reacted really well and went a long way to winning the game.

"After the disappointment of last year we've worked really hard in the off-season, you only get to win two trophies in a season so at least we can have a crack at one of them."


Warrington: Ratchford; Lineham, Goodwin, T King, Charnley; Brown, Roberts; Hill, Clark, Cooper, Livett, Hughes, Westwood.

Interchanges: Murdoch-Masila, G King, Patton, Philbin.

Leeds: Walker; Briscoe, Handley, Sutcliffe, Hall; Moon, Myler; Cuthbertson, Parcell, Singleton, Ablett, Ferres, Jones-Buchanan.

Interchanges: Dwyer, Oledzki, Peteru, Walters.

Referee: Chris Kendall


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