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26th May 2000: Leeds 26 Wigan 19

Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors - Tetley's Super League V Round 12
Friday 26th May 2000. Kick Off
7:30pm at Headingley

Leeds staged a sensational fightback to topple Super League leaders Wigan in a remarkable Roses battle at a rain-soaked Headingley.

The Rhinos, inspired by magnificent performances from Great Britain forward Adrian Morley and Kiwi Test centre Richie Blackmore, came from 19-6 down to snatch a priceless victory in breathtaking fashion.

The Yorkshiremen had edged 20-19 in front on 67 minutes and clinched only their third home win of the season after Wigan had been reduced to 12 men with the sin-binning of skipper Andy Farrell for dissent three minutes from the end.

Leeds had looked down and out after Wigan stormed into a 13-point lead nine minutes into the second half.

But not even the intervention of a streaker - unceremoniously brought to ground by a Jason Robinson tackle - could distract Leeds from their courageous rally.

Successive defeats by Hull and Bradford had piled the pressure on coach Dean Lance but this victory will kick-start Leeds' season and keep alive their hopes of play-off spot.

The Rhinos had failed to breach the Bradford tryline in their last game and when Blackmore crashed over 32 minutes into the match it ended a 123-minute barren spell.

Skipper Iestyn Harris, playing in his 100th match for the club, added the goal to bring his side right into contention at 8-6.

But lightning-fast winger Brett Dallas raced onto Willie Peters' grubber kick to claim his 12th try of the season to put the visitors back in control.

With Farrell calling the shots from stand-off, Wigan always looked dangerous with the ball in hand and they defended superbly when Leeds threw everything at their line.

The Warriors were forced to defend three successive sets of six tackles at one point in the first half, with Leeds relying almost exclusively on either the barging runs of Morley and Barrie McDermott or the shimmying skills of stand-off Harris.

The Rhinos looked like drawing a blank until profiting from a rare defensive error from the normally reliable Kris Radlinski, who lost the ball in a two-man tackle 20 metres out from his own line.

Scrum-half Ryan Sheridan was held short after picking up the loose ball but there was no stopping Blackmore when he tore past three attempted tacklers to touch down for a vital score.

It was Radlinski who had earlier opened the scoring when he raced through a gap from Farrell's pinpoint pass to grab an 17th-minute try.

Farrell kicked the conversion and added a 30th-minute penalty, while Peters edged Wigan further ahead just before half-time with a neatly-taken drop goal.

Wigan stretched their lead nine minutes into the second half with another delightfully-worked try from Peters after Farrell had combined with loose forward Denis Betts to get Steve Renouf on a run down the left flank.

Farrell's third goal from four attempts made it 19-6 and Peters' one-pointer began to assume considerable importance as the Rhinos hit back with two tries in three minutes to open up the game.

Blackmore burst through for his second try following a crossfield run from Harris, who added the touchline conversion, and then second-rower David Barnhill supported a magnificent break by substitute Jamie Mathiou to touch down.

Harris' third successful goal cut the deficit to just a point and he gave his side the lead for the first time with a penalty after Wigan prop Neil Cowie was caught offside at the play-the-ball.

Leeds were well on top by then and they secured victory two minutes from the end when the 12-man Wigan defence failed to clear the danger caused by Sheridan's grubber kick and full-back Francis Cummins pounced for the try, to which Harris added his fifth goal.

Team Sheets

- Leeds Position Wigan -
5 Francis Cummins Full Back Kris Radlinski 1
2 Paul Sterling Winger Brett Dallas 2
3 Richie Blackmore Centre Gary Connolly 4
4 Keith Senior Centre Steve Renouf 3
21 Karl Pratt Winger Jason Robinson 5
1 Iestyn Harris Stand Off Andy Farrell 13
7 Ryan Sheridan Scrum Half Willie Peters 7
8 Darren Fleary Prop Brady Malam 23
9 Lee Jackson Hooker Terry Newton 9
10 Barrie McDermott Prop Neil Cowie 10
11 Adrian Morley 2nd Row Mick Cassidy 11
12 David Barnhill 2nd Row Denis Betts 12
16 Andy Hay L.Forward Lee Gilmour 14
-
6 Daryl Powell Substitute Terry O'Connor 8
17 Anthony Farrell Substitute Lee Gilmour 14
20 Jamie Mathiou Substitute Simon Haughton 16
33 Graham Mackay Substitute Mark Smith 22

Score Sheet

Leeds Rhinos 26 --- Wigan Warriors 19
Tries:
Richie Blackmore 2
David Barnhill
Francis Cummins
--- Tries:
Kris Radlinski
Brett Dallas
Willie Peters
Goals:
Iestyn Harris 5
--- Goals:
Andy Farrell 3
--- --- Drop Goals:
Willie Peters 1

Other Information

Attendance: 11,881
Referee: Stuart Cummings

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