Match Preview – Warrington vs Leeds

Warrington coach Steve Price insists his players will stay humble as they chase a seventh successive Super League win when Leeds visit the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Monday night.

Although they went out of the Challenge Cup, the Wolves have not looked back in the league since slipping up at home to Huddersfield in May but Price says there will be no complacency.

Warrington Wolves vs Leeds Rhinos

July 5, 2021, 7:30pm

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“There’s a real good vibe around the club,” he said. “The boys are playing some really good football of late. There’s a good rhythm and good momentum, hopefully it continues.

“It’s important we keep our feet on the ground and remain humble.”

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Leeds, who on Saturday dismissed speculation over the future of coach Richard Agar, went a month without a game following a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp but they made it three wins in a row at the expense of Leigh on Thursday despite being without a host of players.

“They’ve had a few disruptions over the last couple of weeks but they’ve got a really strong forward pack and some exciting young players,” Price said.

“They’ll get a few more players back this week. It’s a challenge we’re really excited for. We’re back at the Halliwell Jones and hopefully our fans will cheer us to another victory.”

In terms of team news, Warrington are still without Gareth Widdop so the versatile Stefan Ratchford continues at half-back and in-form centre Toby King is back from a two-match lay-off with a knee injury.

“Toby is a great asset to our team,” said Price. “His decision-making on that left edge has been class and his carries out of yardage better than anyone.

“I thought he was playing some really good football before his injury but he had a few niggles so it’s come at a good time to realign his body and freshen up.”

Warrington Wolves: from Akauola, Austin, Butler, Charnley, D Clark, J Clark, Cooper, Currie, Davis, Hill, Hughes, King, Lineham, Longstaff, Mamo, Mulhern, Philbin, Ratchford, Thewlis, Walker, Wrench.

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🐺 @TobyKing96 returns to the matchday squad for Monday's clash against Leeds πŸ™Œ@RegattaWorkwear | #WeAreTheWire

Leeds lost forward King Vuniyayawa with a head injury in the win over Leigh but centre Konrad Hurrell and full-back Ash Handley return from injury and back-row forwards Alex Mellor and Bodene Thompson have completed their one-match bans.

“The key to our season is undoubtedly getting our key players on the field and getting some stability and momentum; when we are going to do that, I don’t know,” Leeds head coach Richard Agar said this week.

“Nonetheless, the competition over the full season is a test of your squad and our young guys are developing nicely. The game time and exposure will stand them in good stead.

“We understand why we had a tricky start to the year, given the combination of circumstances.

“It has taken us a while to find a bit of flow, certainly with the ball, but I think in those games – Hull KR apart – we’ve competed really hard and had some tight games.

“Staying strong and battling through that period was important.

“We still feel we’ve got some catching up to do and we have got some tough fixtures coming up, but you can see across the competition if you take three or four of the better players out of most teams it affects their performance.

“We have regularly had 10, 11, 12 players out and generally seven or eight of those have been starting players in key positions.

“We have had a huge challenge on our hands and I don’t think you can underestimate that, but the belief in the squad is still pretty strong.”

Leeds Rhinos: from T Briscoe, Hurrell, Handley, Lui, Oledzki, Leeming, Prior, Mellor, Martin, Dwyer, L Sutcliffe, Holroyd, Thompson, Walters, McLelland, L Briscoe, Donaldson, O’Connor, Broadbent, Tindall, Gannon.

Leeds Rhinos welcome back Ash Handley, Konrad Hurrell, Alex Mellor and Bodene Thompson for Monday's trip to face Warrington Wolves
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Last season: Warrington 32-6 Leeds, Leeds 36-0 Warrington.

Last six league matches: Warrington WWWWWW; Leeds LWLWWW.

Top try scorers: Jake Mamo and Gareth Widdop (Warrington) 10; Jack Broadbent (Leeds) 8.

Top goal scorers: Stefan Ratchford (Warrington) 41; Rhyse Martin (Leeds) 32.

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