Leeds Rhinos beat Warrington Wolves 26-18 in Super League Grand Final
Last Updated: October 7, 2012 2:01pm
Grand Final specialists Leeds retained their Stobart Super League title with a 26-18 victory over Warrington at Old Trafford.
The Rhinos have won five of the last six Grand Finals and repeated their feat of last year in coming from fifth place to be crowned champions.
They also avenged their Challenge Cup final defeat two months ago by Warrington, whose 57-year wait for a league title continues.
Warrington came into the game as favourites and went ahead when Richie Myler took advantage of loose defence to race in by the sticks, with Brett Hodgson converting.
Ryan Hall had a try chalked off for a forward pass from Kevin Sinfield, but Sinfield himself then got over after Hodgson failed to deal with a high kick from Danny McGuire.
Sinfield converted and edged Leeds ahead with the game's first penalty after 24 minutes, before Mike Cooper's high shot gave Leeds the chance to attack with a sweeping move, with McGuire's long pass setting up Ben Jones-Bishop to barge his way in.
Back roared the Wolves as Lee Briers' pass put Joel Monaghan in unopposed and after Hodgson converted, he levelled the scores at 14-14 with a penalty on the half-time hooter.
A superb finish from Ryan Atkins edged Warrington ahead after the break but the Rhinos were not to be denied and after relentless pressure, Lunt's delayed pass put the outstanding Carl Ablett in.
The game was settled when Ablett turned provider and Ryan Hall scooted in at the corner to complete Leeds' sixth Grand Final success.
Sinfield inevitably added the extras, his 21st successful kick from 21 attempts in the play-offs this season.
Sinfield was knocked out early in the second half but stayed on the field and was rewarded for his performance and his bravery with the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man of the match.
The victory enabled Rhinos to became Super League's most successful club, with six championships since the competition began in 1996, while former England captain Jamie Peacock celebrated his eighth victory on his record-breaking 10th appearance in a Grand Final.
Leeds have now won a record eight straight play-off games in coming from way off the regular season pace to lift the title in back-to-back years.
They have also proved their resilience and spirit in each of their four victories in this year's play-offs, coming from behind to win in every one.