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Match Report: Leeds 10 Wigan 14
Posted by Bilko on April 05 2008 - 20:21

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors. Engage Super League XIII Round 10.
Saturday 5th April 2008. Kick Off 6:00pm at Headingley Carnegie.

Thoughts on the Match

Well take a bow boys, take a big long bow because that was one of our best performances in many a year. Sometimes you don't have to produce stylish skilful rugby - you just simply have to work hard to get the rewards and Wigan did that tonight.

I said in the Match Preview......

"To have any chance we've got to be good on penalties, make sure we complete sets - and don't be afraid to simply find touch on the last tackle."

Well maybe they read my preview, because that's what they did to great effect. We gave away two penalties late on which left Leeds a bugs dick away from nicking at least a draw but apart from that Wigan, for once, kept it simple and got the result in the end.

I also talked about keeping it tight because Leeds generally fade in tight games against us. I don't necessarily think they did today. They could just as easily have nicked it themselves but the two points was won first half when Wigan just had the edge on the Rhinos. Second Half there wasn't much in it.

Top praise for the young kids. Tommy Coyle came in and never let us down. Mike McIlorum continues to impress me - he has a simple but affective game. His opposite number Matt Diskin was none existent.

The pack also had a great effort. Fielden, Feka and Coley all stood up tall and young O'Carroll as well.

And how great to see Tommy Leuluai step up to the plate. Sometimes he looks as if he's hiding being Trent Barrett but not tonight. He controlled things and again his opposite number - Rob Burrow - was none existent.

All in all you really can't find a poor effort from a Cherry & White today, no matter how hard you look.

And for all that's gone on previously - what a position we are now in. At least joint 2nd in the table come the end of the weekend despite us having been to Warrington, to St Helens and to Leeds during our last four away matches. They've all got to come to the JJB and we know if we defend like that for the rest of the season - like Phil Clarke said on Sky - the attack will improve and that can only be good for us.

Story of the Match

Leeds suffered an early injury blow when Ali Lauitiiti hobbled off in the 7th minute but it didn't seem to matter as they soon took the lead. They also lost loose forward Simon Worrall as well early on. Those injuries helped Wigan no end.

A nothing kick was left to bounce by statuesque Wigan defenders and Scott Donald punished by touching down in the corner despite a brave effort from Liam Colbon. Sinfield missed the conversion but Leeds held a 4-0 lead after 10 minutes.

Wigan though soon hit back. On 17 minutes Sean O'Loughlin sent George Carmont away down the left and he found wing partner Pat Richards who rounded off towards the sticks to make his conversion easier. Carmont again proving that he is a quality signing. He both scores and creates tries and if Pat continues to play out wide, he'll have a more than great chance of top points scorer playing alongside Carmont. Richards kicked the goal to give Wigan a 6-4 lead - which was soon boosted by a 45 metre penalty goal which Pat hit sweet as a nut. 8-4 to Wigan and visibly our boys began to believe.

It was at this point that the weather changed from bright sunshine to rainy hail but the rugby was not affected. Both sides carried on handling the ball well and it was nice to see the referee not giving too many penalties. The game flowed nicely tonight.

The half wore on and Wigan defended well and just as it was looking like they would take their lead to half time, they got pegged back. Right under the sticks Tommy's cousin, Kylie Leuluai crashed over. Simple conversion for Sinfield made it 10-8 Leeds with 4 minutes to go.

I was quite happy with that though, we'd kept them close and past experience tells you that we generally come out on top here at Headingley if we do. Better still though we got a bonus with 15 seconds to go till half time. Helped by a knock on from Matt Diskin - Wigan went on the attack and it was Feka Paleaaesina who offloaded to send Tommy Leuluai over close to the sticks. Questions of a forward pass but Wigan had earned this luck (if that's what it was) on the back of their great defensive effort. Pat converted to send us into the sheds with a 14-10 lead.

Into the second half and Wigan also suffered a game ending injury when centre Darrell Goulding went off with an ankle problem just two minutes into the second half. Phil Bailey switched to the centre position he played in last year and plugged the gap well.

Wigan did have to defend for long periods of the second half  as Leeds inevitably attempted to nick a win but we defended superbly. It was never comfortable but at times it felt it - we were so good in defence.

Leeds had two big opportunities to nick the win that you couldn't have argued with but it would have been so, so cruel on Wigan.

First Leeds thought they had drawn level when winger Lee Smith went over at the corner after 69 minutes but the try was disallowed for a forward pass.

And then on the back of two penalties Wigan survived another scare three minutes from the end when makeshift centre Carl Ablett lost the ball going for the line.

The final hooter was to much relief as we secured another close fought win at Leeds. Think you have to credit both sides. It was a slug fest that, like I said earlier, for me, Wigan just deserved for being slightly better first half.

Game Breaking Moment

Ganson giving a forward pass when Leeds when in on the right. Questionable call - but it's Ganson so we'll take the luck off him for once. Early injuries to Leeds players also played their part.

Top Player

Thomas Coyle - So hard to pick but a good debut Coyle deserves the accolades.

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "I'm really pleased for Thomas Coyle and I thought Thomas Leuluai stood up to the plate and steered the team around. It was a really, really good performance. It was really intense and it had to be because Leeds were pounding away at the end. We got embarrassed at St Helens and since then we've re-focused and our performances have been pretty good."

Leeds coach Brian McClennan: "It sounds strange but this could be good for us. We need these type of things to learn from. Wigan were very good tonight. They worked really hard at the ruck and dominated the game in a lot of areas. We lost our shape in attack so we weren't as much of a threat as we have been in the last few games. I could see the boys fatiguing as the game went on. I'm really proud of them. They kept competing but we didn't have enough juice left."

Team Sheets

-LeedsPositionWigan-
1Brent WebbFull BackRichard Mathers1
5Lee SmithWingerLiam Colbon14
12Gareth EllisCentreDarrell Goulding3
4Keith SeniorCentreGeorge Carmont4
2Scott DonaldWingerPat Richards5
13Kevin SinfieldStand OffThomas Coyle25
7Rob BurrowScrum HalfThomas Leuluai7
17Nick ScrutonPropStuart Fielden8
9Matt DiskinHookerMike McIlorum17
8Kylie LeuluaiPropAndy Coley15
10Jamie Peacock2nd RowHarrison Hansen16
14Ali Lauitiiti2nd RowPhil Bailey12
28Simon WorrallL.ForwardSean O'Loughlin13
-----
16Ryan BaileySubstituteMick Higham9
19Carl AblettSubstituteIafeta Paleaaesina10
21Jordan TanseySubstituteJoel Tomkins22
24Luke BurgessSubstituteEamon O'Carroll24

Score Sheet

Leeds Rhinos 10---Wigan Warriors 14
Tries (2):
Scott Donald
Kylie Leuluai
---Tries (2):
Pat Richards
Thomas Leuluai
Goals:
Kevin Sinfield 1/2
---Goals:
Pat Richards 3/3

Scoring and Incident Pattern

10mins:15Leeds 04Wigan 00Try: Scott Donald
-Leeds 04Wigan 00K.Sinfield Missed Conversion (0/1)
16mins:54Leeds 04Wigan 04Try: Pat Richards
-Leeds 04Wigan 06Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
21mins:04Leeds 04Wigan 08Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (2/2)
35mins:23Leeds 08Wigan 08Try: Kylie Leuluai
-Leeds 10Wigan 08Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (1/2)
39mins:38Leeds 10Wigan 14Try: Thomas Leuluai
-Leeds 10Wigan 14Conversion: Pat Richards (3/3)
Half TimeLeeds Rhinos 10 Wigan Warriors 14
Full TimeLeeds Rhinos 10 Wigan Warriors 14

Video Highlights

Referee

Steve Ganson (St Helens)

Video Referee

Ben Thaler (Wakefield)

Penalties Conceded

Leeds 5 Wigan 8

Goal Line Drop Outs Forced

Leeds 2 Wigan 2

Match Attendance

18,769

Television

Match Weather

Started off sunny then heavy rain/hail 20 minutes in.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 13 Round 10

-TeamPWDLFADiffPts
1Leeds Rhinos10802294104+19016
2Wigan Warriors10703215205+1014
3Bradford Bulls10604243196+4712
4Warrington Wolves10604235208+2712
5Harlequins10604221213+812
6Catalans Dragons10514207226-1912
7St Helens10505254227+2710
8Hull Kingston Rovers10415191204-159
9Wakefield Wildcats10406180228-488
10Huddersfield Giants10316215232-177
11Hull FC10217155237-825
12Castleford Tigers10208181311-1304

Round 10 Results
Fri 4 Apr Huddersfield Giants 16 Catalan Dragons 20 4,071
Fri 4 Apr Hull FC 8 Bradford Bulls 24 13,617
Sat 5 Apr Harlequins 35 Hull Kingston Rovers 16 4,560
Sat 5 Apr Leeds Rhinos 10 Wigan Warriors 14 18,769
Sun 6 Apr Castleford Tigers 30 St Helens 24 7,529
Sun 6 Apr Wakefield Wildcats 16 Warrington Wolves 2 5,436

Comments
wwrl paul on April 05 2008 - 20:43
it was a gr8 effort by the boyz in defence and wot do u think about thomas coyle???
Bilko on April 05 2008 - 21:09
Tommy Coyle never let us down did he.
catalancs on April 06 2008 - 12:36
brilliant! coyle didnt set the world alight but he didnt make too many errors either. a good solid game from the young lad no calderwood or higham in starting line up...sign of things to come next season?
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