A DAZZLING hat-trick of tries by rejuvenated Henry Paul put Wigan on
course for their fourth Premiership trophy.
The Kiwi stand-off has
scored only seven tries this season but six have come in the last three
The resurgence of Paul has coincided with the Warriors' improvement in
form and they carried it on last night against plucky Leeds.
The game was played at a frantic pace but the Warriors had the extra
quality and more sound defence to book themselves a semi-final spot at
home to surprise package Sheffield Eagles on Sunday at 6.30pm. In the
first half Paul nipped over for two tries and laid one on for Kris
Radlinski while Andy Farrell grabed three goals. But Leeds were undaunted
and hit back with tries from Francis Cummins and livewire Phil Cantillon
with Iestyn Harris adding two goals.
After the break Farrell added a penalty but Leeds were right back in
contention when Leroy Rivett dived over in the corner.
Paul took a hand again and when he jinked over for his third try the
Rhinos heads went down. The Warriors sealed the win with further tries by
the influential Tony Smith and a first senior try from young hooker Jon
Clarke. Farrell added three goals while Leeds replied with a late try by
Cummins which Graham Holroyd goaled.
Coach Eric Hughes enthused over Paul saying: "He is back to his very
best and is a real entertainer.
"Leeds played very well and gave us a hard game. We were put under
pressure for long spells but defended very well and, although we were able
to score quite easily, couldn't kill the game off."
WIGAN: Robinson, Johnson P, Connolly, Radlinski, Ellison, Paul,
Smith, Hansen, Clarke, Cowie, Cassidy, Johnson A, Farrell. Subs: Wright,
Holgate (for Hansen 31), O'Connor (for Cowie 49), Tallec (for Johnson A
54), Johnson A (for Johnson P 68).
|Henry Paul (2)
|Andy Farrell (4)