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6th May 2003: Leeds 24 Wigan 24
Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors Tetley's Super League VIII Round 7
Tuesday 6th May. Kick Off 8:00pm at Headingley.
Match previously postponed on Monday 21st April due to Leeds reaching the Challenge Cup Final.
CherryandWhite.co.uk Match Report by Bilko
Many fans predicted we'd get nothing from our last three matches.

Reality is we could and probably should have taken maximum points.

If only we'd had a fully fit squad?

This 24-24 draw means we only get half of what we deserved.

Leeds opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Kevin Sinfield's delayed pass allowed Chev Walker to break away down the wing then sending Mark Calderwood over in the corner. Sinfield failed to convert.

Wigan responded well. Danny Sculthorpe crashed over after recieving Terry Newton's pass. Danny Tickle converted to give us a 6-4 lead after 11 minutes.

Leeds hit the front again on 17 minutes. A chip kick from Andrew Dunemann was collected by former Warrior Dave Furner who sent Keith Senior away down the left wing. He found Francis Cummins with a suspicious pass inside and he went over to reinstate the Rhinos lead. The Warriors traveling support were adamant it was a clear forward pass and they let the touch judge know it. Sinfield though was not having a good start to the game with the boot. He failed to convert again so the score was 8-6 Leeds.

Wigan again responded well. Juts four minutes later new signing Nick Graham combined with Sean O'Loughlin and Dave Hodgson in sending Jamie Ainscough over in the corner. It was super passing and Tickle converted to make the score 12-8 to us.

On 32 minutes Tickle got a try of his own. Adrian Lam tried to pick up a O'Loughlin chip but the ball instead cannoned off his knee. Newton picked it up and passed to Tickle who went over for a try which he converted to make the score 18-8.

That lead was held to half time. It was thoroughly deserved no doubt about it. Leeds had been a bit flat. I remember saying to someone at the game "if we lose this it will be hard to stomach". Well in the second half our lads put us through the wringer.

At the start of the second half however Wigan should have increased their lead. A superb O'Loughlin chip kick sent the ball towards the try line but Tickle managed to knock on unopposed. If he'd have scored that, we'd probably have won the game but instead it only lifted the Rhinos.

They came flying at us with a long period of possession. First Kevin Sinfield scored a penalty on 46 minutes to narrow the scores to 10-18.

Then three minutes later Gary Connolly broke through linking with Danny McGuire who raced away to score. It was a great try for the Leeds youngster but how of earth Ryan Bailey wasn't penalised for cleaning out Tickle just before hand was a complete mystery. Yet again poor officiating. If referee Steve Ganson didn't see it then surely one of the two touch judges did? Anyway that try narrowed the score to 16-18.

Leeds then piled on the pressure for the next ten minutes but their only reward was another Sinfield penalty on 59 minutes. Nick Graham was penalised for ball stealing. That levelled the scores at 18 all.

Two minutes after that Tickle reinstated our lead with a penalty of his own from 40 metres after Rhinos prop Danny Ward was for some reason punished for interference at the play the ball. 

Leeds then took the lead on 66 minutes. Connolly broke free down the left from deep in his own half. He found Senior on his inside who in turn found little half back Rob Burrow on his inside and he scored under the sticks. Sinfield's conversion made it 24-20 and all of a sudden we were yet again staring defeat in the face despite a tremendous effort.

Thankfully we tied the scores up on 69 minutes. Basically we pushed and pushed and pushed before Sculthorpe produced a wonderfully strong individual effort to power over despite three Rhinos defenders trying to stop him. It was a fantastic effort and he deserved the chants of "theirs only one decent Sculthorpe" from the Wigan support.  Tickle was off the field after being clattered into earlier so in was down to Adrian Lam to kick the give us the lead. But he missed so that left the scores 24 all with ten to go.

Leeds of course had won both of their previous two Super League matches with late drop goals and it would have been oh so sweet to give them a taste of their own medicine.

Adrian Lam should have done that. He had all the time in the world to slot one over from a slight angle but just hit it the wrong side of the posts. Leeds then powered up the other end and should have won it themselves. McGuire's kick looked like it was going over but somehow swerved wide hitting the outside of the post. It didn't go dead and Brian Carney had to be alert to make sure they didn't pounce for a try.

That was the end of the scoring opportunities and when the final siren went, I felt it was a point dropped considering we led 18-8 at half time. But before the match I'd have taken a draw I suppose.

Despite Sculthorpe's brace just to be different I'm giving my man of the match to Brian Carney for his pure effort. Some Wigan fans were called him "Rocky" because of his head band even though it's "Rambo" that wore one of them it isn't it? Anyway he was superb for me.

After the game coach Stuart Raper was happy with the draw.

He said: "It was an outstanding effort. Of the top three teams, we've beaten St Helens, been done on the bell against Bradford and drawn with the undefeated side. That's not bad for a side in crisis."

He was also full of praise for Danny Sculthorpe saying:  "It put a lot on Danny, but he was outstanding. We are showing plenty of character and, when you have that character in a team, it makes it easy to coach the specifics".

"If we had healthy troops, I would have been angry with the draw but at the end of the day we'll take the point."

Team Sheets

Rhinos

 

Warriors

No.
Player
Pos No.
Player
18 Gary Connolly Full Back 1 Kris Radlinski
2 Mark Calderwood Wing 5 Brian Carney
3 Chris McKenna Centre 18 Martin Aspinwall
4 Keith Senior Centre 14 David Hodgson
1 Francis Cummins Wing 3 Jamie Ainscough
14 Andrew Dunemann Stand Off 15 Sean O'Loughlin
6 Danny McGuire Scrum Half 7 Adrian Lam
19 Ryan Bailey Prop 8 Terry O'Connor
9 Matthew Diskin Hooker 9 Terry Newton
10 Barrie McDermott Prop 16 Danny Sculthorpe
11 David Furner 2nd Row 4 Paul Johnson
5 Chev Walker 2nd Row 12 Danny Tickle
13 Kevin Sinfield L.Forward 28 Nick Graham
         
7 Rob Burrow Sub 17 Mark Smith
8 Danny Ward Sub 22 Shaun Briscoe
15 Chris Feather Sub 23 Gareth Hock
16 Willie Poching Sub 26 Mark Roberts
Score Sheet
Leeds Rhinos   24-24   Wigan Warriors

Tries:
Mark Calderwood (4)
Francis Cummins (18)
Danny McGuire (49)
Rob Burrow (65)

 

Tries:
Danny Sculthorpe 2 (11, 68)
Jamie Ainscough (22)
Danny Tickle (31)

Goals:
Kevin Sinfield 4

 

Goals:
Danny Tickle 4

Scoring Pattern

03mins:13 Leeds 04 Wigan 00 Try: Mark Calderwood
- Leeds 04 Wigan 00 K.Sinfield Missed Conversion
11mins:03 Leeds 04 Wigan 04 Try: Danny Sculthorpe
- Leeds 04 Wigan 06 Conversion: Danny Tickle
17mins:23 Leeds 08 Wigan 06 Try: Francis Cummins
- Leeds 08 Wigan 06 K.Sinfield Missed Conversion
21mins:44 Leeds 08 Wigan 10 Try: Jamie Ainscough
- Leeds 08 Wigan 12 Conversion: Danny Tickle
30mins:46 Leeds 08 Wigan 16 Try: Danny Tickle
- Leeds 08 Wigan 18 Conversion: Danny Tickle
Half Time Leeds Rhinos 08 Wigan Warriors 18
47mins:25 Leeds 10 Wigan 18 Penalty Goal: Kevin Sinfield
48mins:45 Leeds 14 Wigan 18 Try: Danny McGuire
- Leeds 16 Wigan 18 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield
58mins:47 Leeds 18 Wigan 18 Penalty Goal: Kevin Sinfield
61mins:19 Leeds 18 Wigan 20 Penalty Goal: Danny Tickle
64mins:33 Leeds 22 Wigan 20 Try: Rob Burrow
- Leeds 24 Wigan 20 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield
67mins:54 Leeds 24 Wigan 24 Try: Danny Sculthorpe (2)
- Leeds 24 Wigan 24 D.Tickle Missed Conversion
Full Time Leeds Rhinos 24 Wigan Warriors 24
Match Info

Match Attendance: 11,115
Referee: Steve Ganson (St Helens)
Cherry and White Star Man: Brian Carney

Alternative Match Reports
Coat of paint costs Leeds victory! - Leeds Southstander.com
Brave Warriors hold Rhinos - BBC Online
Rhinos stay unbeaten - but only just - Sky Sports
Sculthorpe ends Rhinos perfect record - Press Association
Rhinos & Warriors battle out draw  - superleague.co.uk
Sculthorpe spoils Leeds perfect record - The Independent
Weakened Wigan hit back to earn draw - The Times
Rampant Rhinos charge back - The Guardian
Leeds and Wigan draw - rleague.com
Leeds and Wigan fight out enthralling draw - wiganrl.com
 
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