Kevin Sinfield converts a 79th minute Scott Donald try to deny Warrington Wolves victory at Headingley.
Leeds Rhinos stay top with late try
Tony Smith was condemned to a cruel defeat on his return to Leeds as Kevin Sinfield converted a 79th-minute try from Scott Donald to deny Warrington. The Wolves led 18-8 in the 50th minute after Louis Anderson touched down, adding to first-half scores from former Leeds fullback Richie Mathers and Vinnie Anderson. Yet the Rhinos hit back through Danny McGuire before Lee Smith wriggled his way over in the 65th minute for a try which tied the scores at 18-18. Warrington edged back in front in the 75th minute through unheralded youngster Michael Cooper, but Donald claimed his second try of the match four minutes later and Sinfield kept his cool to add the extras from the touchline. The Wolves are steadily evolving under coach Smith's guidance and this impressive display was another telling indicator of their progress. In 2004 Smith guided Leeds to their first championship in 32 years and delivered another title in 2007 before departing Headingley with his head held high. Now back on the club scene with Warrington ? and back on his old stamping ground for the first time ? the Australian's more immediate and modest aim is to guide the competition's most notorious underachievers into the playoffs. Mathers, one of three former Rhinos players in the Warrington starting line-up, opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a well-constructed try which Chris Bridge converted. Scrum-half Michael Monaghan embarked on a darting run and combined with Ben Westwood to send Mathers scampering under the posts from 30 metres out. Chris Bridge converted with ease but Mathers' joy was quickly tempered by a dreadful mistake which gifted Leeds wing Ryan Hall the easiest of touchdowns five minutes later. A teasing grubber kick from Sinfield was badly fumbled by Mathers and Hall grounded the ball for a score which Sinfield could not convert. Yet Warrington boss Smith has fashioned a side with guts. His men claimed their second try in the 17th minute when Vinnie Anderson collected a superb pass from Monaghan and burrowed his way over the line. Bridge again added the extra two points to put his side 12-4 ahead but five minutes later Leeds registered their second score when McGuire's brilliant kick to the corner was touched down by Donald. Sinfield again failed with the boot from a difficult angle and both sides could have had a third try before the break as Rhinos fullback Brent Webb and Warrington second-row Ben Harrison had scores ruled out by video referee Ben Thaler. Warrington lost Brian Carney and Simon Grix to injuries but in the 50th minute they extended their lead in impressive fashion. A meticulous piece of dummy running by replacement hooker Jon Clarke left a trail of Leeds defenders bewildered before his neat short offload ushered Louis Anderson over the line from close range. Bridge added his third goal to put Warrington 18-8 ahead but Leeds hit back on the hour when McGuire scrambled the ball home and Sinfield converted to cut the gap to four points. Leeds were level five minutes later when Lee Smith wriggled his way over the line after good work from Carl Ablett, but Sinfield's conversion rebounded off an upright to leave the scores tied at 18-18. Cooper's powerful try in the 75th minute ? which Bridge could not convert ? looked to have given Warrington victory, however Donald found the space to dive over in the right corner with a minute remaining and Sinfield did the rest with the boot. * PA Sport