Warrington 32 – 30 Leigh

Warrington Wolves secured their Super League place for another year with their fifth straight win of the Qualifiers series but Leigh’s hard-won top grade status now hangs by a thread.

After their third defeat in five Qualifiers games Neil Jukes’s side now face Championship opposition in Halifax and London.

Hull KR secured promotion by beating Widnes and the Vikings are now level on 6pts with Catalans who beat Featherstone Rovers in Perpignan. London face Halifax on Sunday with both sides looking for their first win of the Qualifiers.

Leigh held the lead four times in a desperate contest but each time failed to consolidate with basic errors under pressure proving crucial. The game was eventually settled by Harvey Livett’s 68th minute penalty for a ball stealing offence right in front of the posts.

James Clare got the visitors off to a flying start with a try in the corner- his second in two games since recovering from injury- and Josh Drinkwater hit the first of his five conversions.

But Warrington powered back with tries by Matty Russell and Ben Westwood to lead 10-6.

Leigh went back in front through Liam Hood’s try from dummy half and three minutes later Antoni Maria crashed over for an 18-10 lead after only 18 minutes.

But the visitors failed to build on that advantage and Warrington, without ever really looking convincing, went in at half-time with a 20-18 lead after tries by Kurt Gidley and Kevin Brown.

The see-saw nature of the frenetic contest continued after the break as Atelea Vea regained the lead for his side only for the Wolves to draw level when Peta Hiku went over.

Lachlan Burr scored Leigh’s fifth try just before the hour-mark but again Leigh failed to hold on to their advantage as ex-Centurions forward Chris Hill brought the scores level with a try converted by Livett, who then kept his nerve to pot the winning penalty.

Warrington Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Matty Russell, Peta Hiku, Harvey Livett, Tom Lineham; Declan Patton, Kevin Brown; Chris Hill, Krt Gidley, Ashton Sims, Benjamin Julien, Jack Hughes, Ben Westhead. Interchange: Joe Westerman, Andre Savelio, Brad Dwyer, Mike Cooper.

Tries: Russell (8), Westwood (12), Gidley (33), Brown (38), Hiku (55), Hill (64).
Goals: Patton 2/ 5, Livett 2/ 2.

Leigh Centurions: Gregg McNally; Matty Dawson, Mitch Brown, Cory Paterson, James Clare; Samisoni Langi, Josh Drinkwater; Antoni Maria, Liam Hood, Danny Tickle, Atelea Vea, Glenn Stewart, Lachlan Burr. Interchange: Eloi Pelissier, Greg Richards, Sam Hopkins, Harrison Hansen.

Tries: Clare (4), Hood (15), Maria (18), Vea (45), Burr (59).
Goals: Drinkwater 5/5.

Referee: Phil Bentham;
Attendance: 9,787;
Penalty count: 7-4;
Half-time: 20-18.

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