In a great game dominated by the wonderful skills of both Iestyn Harris and
Andy Farrell Wigan eventually ran out 36-18 victors at Leeds tonight.
Both sides made a smart opening to the match at Headingley this evening with
some hard tackles flying in from the off.
However, it was Leeds that drew first blood with a brilliantly orchestrated
move instigated by Iestyn Harris. The Wigan defence was poor and allowed Leeds
far too much room and Harris took full advantage chipping over the top for the
onrushing Karl Pratt to touch down under the posts. Harris made no mistake with
the kick as Leeds took a seventh minute 6-0 lead.
Wigan though, had an immediate response stretching the Leeds defence to breaking
point before levelling the scores. Former Leeds star Terry Newton carried the
ball before releasing Adrian Lam, and despite Leeds managing to haul him down a
yard from the line his momentum carried him over for the score. Andy Farrell
converted comfortably to tie the scores at 6-6.
Wigan then stole into a slender lead as Leeds conceded a penalty within kicking
distance and Farrell placed his attempt perfectly between the sticks. He added
another two on the half hour mark as the referee awarded Wigan another penalty,
this time for obstruction, and Wigan claimed a four point advantage
However, Leeds hit back before the interval as Harris caused all sorts of
problems running along the Wigan line. He created plenty of space for Tonie
Carroll and Chev Walker to work with and after they had exchanged passes Carroll
went over for the score, whilst Harris' conversion ensured that Leeds had a
slender 12-10 lead at the break.
The second half started with Wigan asking all the questions and the Leeds'
defence had to be at its very best to deny Wigan a try in the opening attack as
The Warriors enjoyed two sets of six.
However, it seemed only a matter of time and eventually Wigan broke through five
minutes into the second period. Leeds were overloaded on the flank and when the
ball was flicked wide to Steve Renouf he managed to get over comfortably to grab
the first score of the second half. Farrell made the kick look easy as Wigan got
back in front 16-12.
Wigan managed to extend their advantage to a crucial six points following a 57th
minute penalty. Harris' showing dissent to the referee, ensuring the kick was
brought forward ten yards and within range, and Farrell made no mistake to
maintain his 100 percent kicking record on the evening.
And Farrell proved to be the thorn in Leeds' side to an even greater degree just
a couple of minute later. He threw a dummy to Andy Hay and Kevin Sinfield, who
both bought it, and then coasted through the gap before touching down. His
conversion came as no surprise as Wigan managed to gain some breathing space for
the first time on the evening.
Leeds were effectively finished courtesy of a controversial try. Harris' pass
towards Keith Senior was never completed due to interference from Paul Johnson
but the referee played on and quick thinking from Radlinski released Brian
The Irishman raced the length of the field escaping the attentions of Hay, and
Farrell's conversion meant Wigan had a rather flattering lead of 30-12.
However, there was to be a consolation try in the game for The Rhino's and
arguably it was the try of the night. It was a great solo effort from young
Robert Burrow as he twisted one way and then the other, bamboozling the Wigan
defence before diving over for the score. Harris converted but despite late
Leeds' pressure, Wigan still had one last trick up their sleeve. Steve Renouf
again broke clear for an easy try and Farrell had the final say kicking the
final conversion to take his personal points tally for the game to 20, as Wigan
secured a 36-18.