Warrington beat Leigh to secure Super League status
|Warrington (20) 32|
|Tries: Russell, Westwood, Gidley, Brown, Hiku, Hill Goals: Patton 2, Livett 2|
|Leigh (18) 30|
|Tries: Clare, Hood, Maria, Vea, Burr Goals: Drinkwater 5|
Warrington maintained their Super League status with a narrow victory home over Leigh.
Wire have won all five of their matches in the Qualifiers and with Hull KR beating Widnes, both sides have confirmed their place in Super League for next season.
Warrington led Leigh 20-18 at the break after a first half with seven tries.
Lachlan Burr thought he had won it for Leigh, but Wolves pulled clear through Chris Hill and Harry Livett’s penalty.
Warrington are top of the table – level on 10 points with Hull KR – who are also unbeaten in the Qualifiers with two games remaining.
Widnes must now battle it out with Leigh and Catalans Dragons for the other automatic place in Super League.
In a frantic game in which there were never more than eight points between the two sides, Wolves trailed 30-24 with 14 minutes remaining and it was captain Chris Hill who scored a crucial try to haul his side back into the game.
Livett then took over the goal-kicking responsibilities from Declan Patton and he kept his nerve to land the conversion and then a match-winning penalty soon after to edge the Wolves home.
Warrington head coach Tony Smith confirmed after the game at centre Peta Hiku will leave the club at the end of the season for family reasons.
Hiku arrived at the Wolves in July but will move back to New Zealand Warriors in the NRL.
Warrington head coach Tony Smith:
“We are happy to get the two points and because of the other results we are secure in Super League and that was a priority.
“I never had a doubt we were going to secure our position and I’m grateful for the boys’ efforts as they worked hard and were determined to get back into the position – we don’t want to be in the Qualifiers again.”
Leigh head coach Neil Jukes:
“With so much at stake to lose a close game is tough to take. We worked hard but at moments we just let ourselves down or didn’t grasp an opportunity.
“When I walked back in, I saw a couple of the guys’ skulls and I said I wanted to see their faces because no one else is going to be feeling sorry for us.
“We need to brush ourselves down and get ready and do some good things in these next two 80 minutes.”
Replacements: Westerman, Savelio, Dwyer, Cooper.
Leigh: McNally, Clare, Brown, Langi, Dawson, Paterson, Drinkwater, Maria, Hood, Tickle, Vea, Burr, Stewart.
Replacements: Pelissier, Richards, Hopkins, Hansen.
Referee: Phil Bentham (RFL)