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Match Report: Leeds 18 Wigan 16
Posted by Bilko on July 17 2016 - 11:34

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Friday 15th July 2016
Leeds Rhinos 18 Wigan Warriors 16
Headingley, Leeds
First Utility Super League 21 - Round 22 of 23

Kick Off 8:00pm

 

- Wigan       - Leeds    
22 Lewis Tierney       14 Liam Sutcliffe    G3 
5 Dom Manfredi       2 Tom Briscoe    
4 Dan Sarginson       3 Kallum Watkins  T   
20 Oliver Gildart       4 Joel Moon    
2 Josh Charnley  T      5 Ryan Hall    
6 George Williams  T      25 Jordan Lilley    
7 Matty Smith    G2    7 Rob Burrow    
29 Joe Bretherton       8 Keith Galloway    
16 Sam Powell       30 James Segeyaro    
10

Ben Flower

      16

Brad Singleton

   
21 Ryan Sutton       19 Mitch Achurch    
25 Willie Isa       12 Carl Ablett    
17

Lee Mossop

      11

Jamie Jones-Buchanan

   
Interchange:
19 Taulima Tautai       10 Adam Cuthbertson  T   
24 Frank-Paul Nuuausala       15 Brett Delaney    
28 Jake Shorrocks       18 Jimmy Keinhorst    
30 Jack Higginson  T      26 Brett Ferres  T   

Report: 

Wigan's eight game winning streak, that ironically began with a victory over Leeds at Magic Weekend, may have come to an end on Friday at Headingley but I've got to be honest that it wasn't too much of a shock to me.

I had a gut feeling all week that this game was ripe for us to lose. I just felt that the team selection would have more eyes on the upcoming Semi Final against Hull and Leeds are finding form for two reasons. One is that they are practically back to full strength, bar Danny McGuire, and also that James Segeyaro is giving them a bit of buzz from hooker that they haven't had all season.

My low expectation was heightened when I arrived and saw the teams but that's not to say I had no hope. I knew we would compete and that's exactly what we did. When Leeds got to 18-4 I thought that was harsh on Wigan but they rallied like they had done all season but this time perhaps lacked the patience when it mattered in the game.

The match in reality was decided by a goal kick missed by Matty Smith but the ultimate difference was the two benches. Leeds had an all forward bench which included three hugely experienced props. Wigan in comparison to those three had a jetlagged debutant who arrived in the country just last Monday, a 20 year stand off who was playing just his fourth match and a 19 year old centre who was making just his third appearance.

Neither Higginson or Shorrocks let us down but the game was screaming more for forwards when they arrived on the field but with Dom Crosby, Micky McIlorum, Joel Tomkins, Liam Farrell, Sean O'Loughlin, John Bateman and Tony Clubb all absent it is frankly remarkable we can compete so well with all those out and that's before mentioning key attacking strike power in Sam Tomkins and Anthony Gelling.

I've actually no idea where Shorrocks came on to play because he was on whilst George Williams, Matty Smith and Sam Powell all remained on the field also. That highlighted how much we were having to make do in this game. I think the lack of alternative to Powell at hooker is another issue that perhaps could haunt us when the big games come later in the year. He is busting his gut every match but how long can he keep doing that effectively?

We still could have won though. Two referee decisions against Charnley, one after he had broke up field, the other when he was penalised for taking a Leeds player out, when to me it looked more that the Leeds player had ran into him, where big moments in the second half.

You have to credit how strong Leeds defence was though. They worked and worked and although I sensed signs of tiredness second half they found two key opportunities to score second half that helped give them a second and perhaps third wind.

Earlier in the first half it was quite a defensive battle. I saw some on twitter suggesting it was a poor watch on Sky but without that commentary at the ground I thought it was a good contest.

Leeds had taken an 11th minute lead with a bad missed tackle by Oliver Gildart being followed by weak defending behind him that allowed Kallum Watkins to finish well. Liam Sutcliffe converted for 6-0.

Wigan quickly responded with a superb grubber from George Williams being touched down by Josh Charnley but Smith missed the extras so it was only 6-4.

The only other talking point left in the first half was a third man in "Cannonball" by Taulima Tautai that had the press benches wincing at the ground. My view is that it wasn't as bad as it looked BUT I still think that his involvement was totally unnecessary risk against a pretty much held Cuthbertson and that if we can eliminate the risk out of the game then that can only be good for the sport.

Second half saw Leeds increase their lead after 5 minutes with a try from Cuthbertson being scored near the posts for Sutcliffe to convert for 12-4 up.

Leeds are masters of controlling games when they get in front but I felt Wigan were lacking patience during this period of the match. Two breaks ended up wasted and if I feel their is one area that Wigan can improve massively on it is patience and an ability to rank up pressure by ruthlessly creating repeat sets.

Brian McDermott's side up the other end took one chance on 66 minutes which we all though had sealed the game. Instead of testing Dom Manfredi, who won his aerial battle with Ryan Hall 4-0, they instead kicked in the area Dan Sarginson was defending and he was legally bumped out the way by three big men and Brett Ferres pounced on the loose ball to score. Sutcliffe kicked for 18-4.

Even though Wigan have notoriously won tight games this year, this looked too much a score to overhaul. But within six minutes of that try Wigan had scored twice through Jack Higginson and then a great solo score by Williams that had Wigan just 18-16 down with still eight minutes to go.

Wigan were pumping Leeds line after that and had a penalty been given it would have been an easy option to "take the two" for the draw that would have kept us a point clear at the top. Leeds though held their discipline and when Leeds had survived Wigan's pressure you felt that our opportunity had gone even though we still had three minutes left. So it proved, Leeds hung on but Wigan's spirit certainly wasn't lacking. I'm adamant the Semi Final is far more important than this but it also increases the pressure for us to win that one at Doncaster.

Scoring: 
10mins:43 Leeds 04 Wigan 00

Try: Kallum Watkins

Leeds 06 Wigan 00 Conversion: Liam Sutcliffe (1/1)
14mins:49 Leeds 06 Wigan 04

Try: Josh Charnley

Leeds 06 Wigan 04 Missed Conv: Matty Smith (0/1)
Half Time Leeds Rhinos 06 Wigan Warriors 04
45mins:38 Leeds 10 Wigan 04

Try: Adam Cuthbertson

Leeds 12 Wigan 04 Conversion: Liam Sutcliffe (2/2)
65mins:21 Leeds 16 Wigan 04

Try: Brett Ferres

Leeds 18 Wigan 04 Conversion: Liam Sutcliffe (3/3)
68mins:58 Leeds 18 Wigan 08

Try: Jack Higginson

Leeds 18 Wigan 10 Conversion: Matty Smith (1/2)
71mins:20 Leeds 18 Wigan 14

Try: George Williams

Leeds 18 Wigan 16 Conversion: Matty Smith (2/3)
Full Time Leeds Rhinos 18 Wigan Warriors 16
Referee: 

Robert Hicks

Attendance: 

16,712

First Utility Super League 21 - Round 22 Results
Thu 14 July Hull FC 36 Hull Kingston Rovers 10 17,481
Fri 15 July Leeds Rhinos 18 Wigan Warriors 16 16,712
Fri 15 July Salford Red Devils 32 Widnes Vikings 24 4,636
Sat 16 July Catalan Dragons 28 Wakefield Wildcats 30 8,562
Sun 17 July Huddersfield Giants 18 St Helens 34 5,526
Sun 17 July Castleford Tigers 26 Warrington Wolves 42 8,060

2016 First Utility Super League 21 Table - After This Round
- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Hull FC 22 16 0 6 577 445 +132 32
2 Wigan Warriors 22 16 0 6 451 417 +34 32
3 Warrington Wolves 22 15 1 6 641 395 +246 31
4 Catalan Dragons 22 13 0 9 589 473 +116 26
5 St Helens 22 13 0 9 550 532 +18 26
6 Wakefield Wildcats 22 10 0 12 465 608 -143 20
7 Castleford Tigers 22 9 1 12 571 620 -49 19
8 Widnes Vikings 22 9 0 13 467 470 -3 18

Top 8 Qualify for "Super 8s" after Round 23 / Top 4 Qualify for Play Offs

9 Salford Red Devils 22 10 0 12 540 541 -1   14*
10 Hull Kingston Rovers 22 6 2 14 466 586 -120 14
11 Leeds Rhinos 22 7 0 15 380 556 -176 14
12 Huddersfield Giants 22 6 0 16 481 535 -54 12

*Salford Deducted Six Points for Salary Cap Breaches in 2014 & 2015

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