Warrington Wolves played their first game since the end of last season, and marked it with a 34-12 win over Leigh Centurions at the Halliwell Jones Stadium for Chris Hill’s testimonial.
Warrington hit the front after just four minutes. Leigh dropped the ball, and were light down the left hand side. Gareth Widdop exploited that space and set Toby King up to cut back inside and score. Stefan Ratchford scored the conversion for a six-point lead.
Wire grabbed their second try just before the 10 minute mark, as Josh Charnley rose highest from a kick by Blake Austin to score in the corner. Ratchford missed the conversion, meaning their lead stayed at 10 points.
That didn’t matter, as five minutes later, Wire struck again through Tom Lineham, he got the ball in space out wide and went over to score. Ratchford scored the conversion to make it 16 points in under 16 minutes.
The Centurions struck back five minutes later, as Alex Gerrard powered his way over under the posts. Jamie Ellis hit the conversion to make it a 10-point game again.
It did not stay a 10-point game for long, as Wire struck again. This time King and Lineham were in a two-on-one situation and King let Lineham over for his second. Ratchford was off target with the conversion.
Man of the moment Chris Hill then got in on the act just past the half-hour as he took in a short ball and went over under the posts. Ratchford scored the conversion to stretch their advantage to 20 points.
It took Warrington just four minutes into the second half to add to their advantage. After Widdop was held up, Ratchford put a kick out wide, and Josh Thewlis pounced after the Leigh defender couldn’t take it in. Ratchford was off target with the conversion attempt.
Six minutes later, Leigh hit back for their second try. Iain Thornley broke through the middle of the Wire defence, and put Ryan Brierley over for the try. Brierley then converted his own try to get the Centurions up to 12 points.
The next try did not come until past the hour mark, with Lineham completing his hat-trick, after taking a cutout pass from Widdop to score out wide. Widdop was off-target with the conversion attempt.
That was the way it stayed until full time.
Both sides now have a week to prepare for the start of the Super League in Leeds. Warrington take on Castleford Tigers, while Leigh face Wigan Warriors on the opening night.
Warrington Wolves: Stefan Ratchford, Tom Lineham, Connor Wrench, Toby King, Josh Charnley, Blake Austin, Gareth Widdop, Chris Hill, Danny Walker, Robbie Mulhern, Ben Currie, Ellis Robson, Joe Philbin.
Subs: Matty Ashton, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Jake Mamo, Josh Thewlis, Morgan Burgess, Eribe Doro.
Head Coach: Steve Price
Leigh Centurions: Ryan Brierley, Lewis Tierney, Iain Thornley, Keanan Brand, Nathan Roebuck, Joe Mellor, Jamie Ellis, Nathan Mason, Liam Hood, Mark Ioane, Matty Foster, Ben Hellewell, Jordan Thompson.
Subs: Matty Wildie, Alex Gerrard, Nathaniel Peteru, Blake Wallace, Josh Eaves, Adam Sidlow, Tom Spencer.
Head Coach: John Duffy.